COD

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    The Premier AT Conference

Building Equitable Family AAC Training in your Community

Description
Throughout Comprehensive Distance learning in the 2020-21 school year, Augmentative and Alternative Communication Specialists finished a pilot project for our county-wide program. We were able to incorporate a community component that had been missing and found that by implementing a parent aug. comm. group, we were able to bridge the gap between what is happening in the home and school communities, as no other strategies have helped before. Through collaboration and documentation, we created a learning map of the successes and challenges of building an involved family community to support the students we were previously working with within our school buildings in a more robust way. Throughout the pilot experience, we learned how to set up an online parent group, including getting the word out, extending invitations to the community group to extended family members, personal support workers, and close family friends. Additionally, we developed practical applications for implementation such as setting up bitmoji classrooms, creating a monthly schedule to maximize learning time and creating aug. comm. training videos, and how to come up with relevant topics that engaged all learners. Topics we addressed included the importance of AAC communication modeling and what that looks like in home environments, programming considerations, communication bill of rights, equity in communication settings, and cultural influences and considerations on the use of AAC in home environments. We also engaged families in the practical application of AAC supports, such as creating time for modeling in the home environment in a stepped and manageable way. We found over the year of social distancing that, unlike the social media portrayal of student regression, we found our students gained skills like no other previous year. The ability to work remotely with families and support from educational administrators on designing a program around equability accessing families in their home space prove invaluable for the progression of communication skills for our most vulnerable populations. We want to share this framework with other educators.  
Audience
  • Higher Education
  • Information & Communications Technology
  • Disability Specific
  • K-12 Education
  • Administration & Business Support
Audience Level
Intermediate  
Session Summary (Abstract)
Community programs focusing on equitable access to family AAC training proved invaluable for the progression of student communication skills throughout distance learning. Attendees will leave with guidelines on creating community groups, topic ideas, agendas, bitmoji classroom templates, and questionnaires to obtain information about the cultural impact on AAC use.  
Session Type
General Track  
Topics
  • Augmentative and Alternative Communications (AAC)
  • Cognitive & Learning Disabilities
  • Education
  • School-to-Work Transitioning

Presenters

  • Rachel Moore
    Lane Education Service District
  • Sara Mansfield
    Lane Education Service District

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