Where to start? Examining the Language Organization of Communication Devices and Strategies to Support Their Use – 60 minutes

Where do we start? How do we teach speech generating devices (SGD) to individuals who have exceptional and complex communication needs? This webinar examines the language representation and organization on various SGDs. We will also focus on strategies for working with a wide range of device users: users with language skills at the cause effect level up to those using dynamic communication devices. Join us to discuss symbol representation, vocabulary sets, and use/implementation of various forms of Augmentative and Alternative Communication. Where to start - Examining the Language Organization of Communication Devices and Strategies to Support Their Use Handout

Megan Mussano

Megan Mussano

M.S. CCC-SLP/L, ATP

Megan Mussano M.S. CCC-SLP/L, ATP is a full time Assisstive Technology Coordinator for an Illinois K-12 school district. She has been an Assistive Technology specialist for 6 years with an additional 8 years of experience as a Speech Language Pathologist. She provides professional development at various conferences and is the instructor for an AT course at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee.

Beginner

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Why is the Student Having Difficulty With Direct Access? – 60-minutes

Your student is using Direct Access to control a speech generating device, but is struggling. How do you determine if the issue is motor-based or something else? If the client is struggling due to motor skills, what can be done to optimize Direct Access and when are other access methods more appropriate? Why is the Student Having Difficulty With Direct Access? Handout

Michelle Lange

Michelle Lange

OTR/L, ABDA, ATP/SMS


Michelle is an occupational therapist with 30 years of experience and has been in private practice, Access to Independence, for over 10 years. She is a well-respected lecturer, both nationally and internationally and has authored numerous texts, chapters, and articles. She is the co-editor of Seating and Wheeled Mobility: a clinical resource guide, editor of Fundamentals in Assistive Technology, 4th ed., NRRTS Continuing Education Curriculum Coordinator and Clinical Editor of Directions magazine. Michelle is on the teaching faculty of RESNA. Michelle is a member of the Clinician Task Force. Michelle is a certified ATP, certified SMS and is a Senior Disability Analyst of the ABDA.

Intermediate

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All That and a Bag of Chips – 60-minutes

The purpose of this presentation is to simplify the multiple demands that are included in constructing a language rich classroom that meets the demands of the Indiana Content Connectors while complying with IEP goals and utilizing common curricular pieces. This presentation will leave participants with the necessary ingredients to return to their own classrooms and be equipped to serve up their own recipes that align standards, goals, and curriculum in an organized manner to make implementation easy breezy lemon squeezy! We will focus on practical ways to organize and implement the Indiana Content Connectors, IEP goals, AAC, and curricular pieces in an intense interventions setting. We will offer a step-by-step recipe, specifying key ingredients including Content Connectors and functional classroom activities that can easily be related to language and communication instruction to meet individual needs. We will introduce free, online tools and resources to guide participants through the outlines and directories of the Content Connectors. Popular curriculum pieces will be explored and incorporated into the bag of chips. We will offer tips to include related services personnel, student peers, and family members, and ideas for planning, storage, and organization of lessons and materials. All that and a Bag Chips Webinar Handout

Nicole Wingate

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Nicole Wingate

M.A. CCC-SLP

Nicole is a graduate of Ball State University with a bachelor's of science degree in speech-language pathology and audiology and a master's in speech-language pathology. She has worked in a school setting for 18 years. She is passionate about optimizing her students' communication abilities so that they may become competent communicators. Nicole has co-presented at PATINS, Indiana Principal's Association, Indiana AAC Summit, OCALICON and AAC in the Cloud. Nicole has had guest posts on the AAC Language Lab and PrAACtical AAC.

Angela Sheets

Angela Sheets

Interventions Teacher

Angela is a graduate of Ball State University with a bachelor's degree in special education. She has taught elementary intense interventions for 18 years. She is passionate about designing access for all students to meet their greatest potential. She is also a parent of a child who has cerebral palsy, who is an assistive tech user. Angela has co-presented at PATINS, Indiana Principal's Association, Indiana AAC Summit, and AAC in the Cloud. In addition, she has served two years on the ISTAR Content Review Panel and has had guest posts on the AAC Language Lab and PrAACtical AAC.

Beginner

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All Aboard – 60-minutes

Educators from Bluffton Harrison Elementary School will present their AAC journey including experimentation, education, assessment, and growth. Presenters will demonstrate creative methods to increase AAC use across multiple settings with a variety of ages, levels of cognitive performance, and physical needs. Along the journey, participants will examine data collection procedures to help guide instruction. Additionally, presenters will demonstrate methods to educate and encourage non-AAC instructors to become vested participants. This is a timely piece because educators now have access to advanced technology that can aide in the enhancement of communication options for a variety of students. Empowering teachers, families and peers to take the plunge is eminent to meeting student communication needs on a daily basis. Since implementing multiple forms of AAC, it soon became evident that we needed to increase AAC knowledge in our school and community. In addition to our willing participants, we also encountered some participants who were less than eager to take part in the AAC experience. We will present instructional strategies to target the eager and reluctant participants. This presentation will give specific strategies to encourage families, paraprofessionals, therapists, community members, and typical students to jump on board to assist with modeling, prompting, and instructing. All Aboard Handout

Nicole Wingate

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Nicole Wingate

M.A. CCC-SLP

Nicole is a graduate of Ball State University with a bachelor's of science degree in speech-language pathology and audiology and a master's in speech-language pathology. She has worked in a school setting for 18 years. She is passionate about optimizing her students' communication abilities so that they may become competent communicators. Nicole has co-presented at PATINS, Indiana Principal's Association, Indiana AAC Summit, OCALICON and AAC in the Cloud. Nicole has had guest posts on the AAC Language Lab and PrAACtical AAC.

Angela Sheets

Angela Sheets

Interventions Teacher

Angela is a graduate of Ball State University with a bachelor's degree in special education. She has taught elementary intense interventions for 18 years. She is passionate about designing access for all students to meet their greatest potential. She is also a parent of a child who has cerebral palsy, who is an assistive tech user. Angela has co-presented at PATINS, Indiana Principal's Association, Indiana AAC Summit, and AAC in the Cloud. In addition, she has served two years on the ISTAR Content Review Panel and has had guest posts on the AAC Language Lab and PrAACtical AAC.

Beginner

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How Do I Determine How the Student Can Access Augmentative Communication? – 60 minutes

Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC) can provide communication for many non-verbal or difficult to understand students. However, the student must have the ability to “access” or control the device as efficiently as possible. This webinar will present general AAC access evaluation considerations. How Do I Determine How the Student Can Access Augmentative Communication? Handout

Michelle Lange

Michelle Lange

OTR/L, ABDA, ATP/SMS


Michelle is an occupational therapist with 30 years of experience and has been in private practice, Access to Independence, for over 10 years. She is a well-respected lecturer, both nationally and internationally and has authored numerous texts, chapters, and articles. She is the co-editor of Seating and Wheeled Mobility: a clinical resource guide, editor of Fundamentals in Assistive Technology, 4th ed., NRRTS Continuing Education Curriculum Coordinator and Clinical Editor of Directions magazine. Michelle is on the teaching faculty of RESNA. Michelle is a member of the Clinician Task Force. Michelle is a certified ATP, certified SMS and is a Senior Disability Analyst of the ABDA.

Intermediate

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Amazing Race – 60 minutes

Staff members from Bluffton-Harrison Elementary will share their "Amazing Race" in implementing various methods of AAC use with their students who have a wide range of abilities and needs. These methods will include no tech, low tech and high tech examples of AAC systems trialed and utilized in the Intense Interventions class. This presentation will also include case studies and practical methods of utilizing AAC in the classroom using communication, collaboration and core vocabulary. Amazing Race Handout

Nicole Wingate

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Nicole Wingate

M.A. CCC-SLP

Nicole is a graduate of Ball State University with a bachelor's of science degree in speech-language pathology and audiology and a master's in speech-language pathology. She has worked in a school setting for 18 years. She is passionate about optimizing her students' communication abilities so that they may become competent communicators. Nicole has co-presented at PATINS, Indiana Principal's Association, Indiana AAC Summit, OCALICON and AAC in the Cloud. Nicole has had guest posts on the AAC Language Lab and PrAACtical AAC.

Angela Sheets

Angela Sheets

Interventions Teacher

Angela is a graduate of Ball State University with a bachelor's degree in special education. She has taught elementary intense interventions for 18 years. She is passionate about designing access for all students to meet their greatest potential. She is also a parent of a child who has cerebral palsy, who is an assistive tech user. Angela has co-presented at PATINS, Indiana Principal's Association, Indiana AAC Summit, and AAC in the Cloud. In addition, she has served two years on the ISTAR Content Review Panel and has had guest posts on the AAC Language Lab and PrAACtical AAC.

Beginner

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AAC Funding Report Writing – 60 minutes

AAC report writing can seem like a daunting task whether you are writing your first report or have submitted reports in the past. There are several steps involved starting with device trials and moving towards writing a device submission report. What are the do's and don’ts of report writing? What is the language of report writing? How can our treatment plan on the report be used in our therapy plan and/or IEP to help the user acclimate to their device? In this presentation, participants will learn successful report writing tips for AAC device submissions. The resources, tools and strategies learned during this presentation can help a therapist during each stage of an AAC device funding report and treatment plan. During the presentation tools and strategies for having the most effective report will be discussed and examples demonstrated. These resources can be easily implemented into a clinician’s evaluation process when working with any AAC user. AAC Funding Report Writing Handout

Rachell Johnson

Rachell Johnson

M.C.D., CCC-SLP

Rachel Johnson has a Bachelor’s (BA) in Speech Pathology from Columbia College, Columbia, SC and a Masters in Communication Disorders (MCD) from the University Of South Carolina School Of Public Health.

Rachel has 12 years of experience in the field of speech language pathology and have worked as an expert with assistive technology since 2011. First serving as the Pediatric and Adult Neuro AAC Specialist for an outpatient rehabilitation center then transitioning to working with AT and ALS patients with the MN/ND/SD Chapter of the ALS Association's Herbek Sing AT Program, which led me to become the AT Program Manager of the DC/MD/VA Chapter of ALS Association. I am an experienced presenter, and I have presented at Closing the Gap, a national AT conference in 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016. During the last 2 years, I have presented at the Children’s Hospital AT Symposium, CollaborATe in Richmond, VA as well as a host of support groups, medical clinics, and in-services on the topic of AT/AAC for the ALS patient and/or other eye-gaze users.

Beginner

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ABCs & AAC: Alphabet Books in AAC Implementation – 60 minutes

There are a large variety of Alphabet books to cover many interest areas and age ranges. A wide diversity of students can relate to them, create custom ones, sing them, sign them, and repeat them over and over again. ABC books connect literacy to communication. These books can provide a prompt for a lesson, an opportunity for a child to read to themselves, or an engaged time for a parent to read with their child. Alphabet books can be rich in language and are prolific; you can be using more ABCs in your AAC! ABCs & AAC: Alphabet Books in AAC Implementation Handout

Kelly Fonner

Kelly Fonner

MS

Kelly is a self-employed consultant and trainer in assistive and educational technology. She has a BS in Special Education from Millersville University & an MS in Educational Technology with emphasis in Rehabilitation/Special Education Technology from The Johns Hopkins University. Her continuing education & research is in the area of Adult Education & Urban Education at the University of Wisconsin – Milwaukee. She holds an Assistive Technology Applications Certificate of Learning from California State University - Northridge. Kelly has been a teacher, para-educator, instructional media specialist, assistive technology specialist in early education, school & university settings. She has worked for a statewide AT project & has been an instructor in university courses.

Since 1986 Kelly has presented at schools, conferences, & to families in 48 states and internationally (Australia, Canada, South Africa). She speaks on a wide-range of topics including augmentative communication, computer access, electronic literacy, study skills, AT assessment & implementation strategies. Each year, she works with approximately 50 school-based teams & families supporting students’ implementation of AAC & literacy implementation in the classroom. Kelly is also the relative to individuals with CP, Aspergers & acquired disabilities, which impacts her perspective on the field. She is available to do seminars, webinars, consultations & workshops.

Beginner/Intermediate

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Early AACtion: Using Augmentative and Alternative Communication with the Birth to Five Population – 60 minutes

Several myths about using Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC) with the birth-five population have been dispelled through research in the field of speech pathology. Early introduction of AAC has shown a positive impact on verbal speech, successful communication, and overall independence.

Learning objectives are as follows:
1. Attendees will briefly define AAC and some of its key components, as well as highlight the basic differences/give examples of a high tech/low tech AAC system.
2. Attendees will be able to dispel three “myths” about introducing an AAC system with birth-to-five children with language impairments and explain the benefits of introducing such a system as early on as possible.
3. Attendees will understand the concept of “Aided Language Input” and be able to explain its importance to a child’s development of language with an alternative communication system.
Early AACtion: Using Augmentative and Alternative Communication with the Birth to Five Population - Handout Early AACtion: Using Augmentative and Alternative Communication with the Birth to Five Population - Additional Handout

Meghan Reitz

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Meghan Reitz

M. Ed., CCC-SLP

Meghan Reitz is an SLP working at Children’s Hospital of Richmond at VCU for four years. She received her Master’s in Speech Language Pathology from the University of Virginia in 2012. She has always had a passion for working with the pediatric population, which continues to grow through her work at Children’s Hospital’s outpatient, long term care unit and assistive technology center. She has been a member of the AT team since 2013 and has assisted in AT Recipes for Success mini-grant program and planning two CHoR AT Symposiums to provide education and collaboration for community therapists. She has presented at several regional, state, and nation-wide conferences on the topic of AAC and caregiver training. She completes evaluations and family trainings for children and adults who require augmentative and alternative communication to communicate. She also enjoys working with a very diverse population and has created several caregiver handouts in Spanish to assist with carryover of device implementation at home. She values the importance of training and providing education to caregivers in order to empower families to target communication at home and anywhere on-the-go.

Cary Hastings

Cary Hastings

M. Ed., CCC-SLP

Cary Hastings received her B.A. from Randolph-Macon College in 2008 and earned her M.Ed. in Communication Disorders from The University of Virginia in 2012. She has worked as a Speech-Language Pathologist at Children’s Hospital of Richmond at VCU for four years, serving the birth to 21 population who present with a range of diagnoses and communication disorders. She specializes in Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC) usage and serves on the Assistive Technology Core team, providing transdisciplinary AAC evaluations, patient and caregiver training, and ongoing treatment in this area. She coordinates the hospital’s grant-funded ‘Ready, Set, Read’ program which provides books and therapy materials to patients to help families carryover therapy targets at home. Other areas of professional interest include working with children with pragmatic language needs and providing parent coaching for early language stimulation. When she is not working with children, she enjoys running, live music, and being outside with her husband and their yellow lab, Bedford.

Beginner

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Cortical Visual Impairment: Assessment, Implications, and Adaptations for Successful AAC Use – 60 minutes

After attending this webinar, participants will be able to identify 10 unique characteristics and behaviors assessed for individuals with diagnosis of cortical visual impairment (CVI); identify at least five environmental barriers for use of functional vision by a patient with CVI; identify at least five adaptations for an individual with CVI to support use of functional vision and increase successful use of an AAC system.

Cortical Visual Impairment- Assessment, Implications, and Adaptations for Successful AAC Use Handout

Lauren S. Andelin

Lauren S. Andelin

M.S., OTR/L

Lauren graduated from The University of Virginia in 2004 and Virginia Commonwealth University in 2009 with a Masters in Occupational Therapy. She has worked at Children's Hospital of Richmond at VCU for 7 years and is on the AT Core team as well as a mentor in sensory processing disorder for new clinicians. Her caseload includes patients in out-patient therapy and on the Transitional Care Unit which provides pediatric long-term care. In 2012, Lauren completed the Virginia Leadership Education Program in Neurodevelopmental Disabilities (Va-LEND) and is currently working toward her doctorate in OT through VCU. She has received specialty training in sensory integration including an advanced intensive mentorship for diagnosis and treatment of sensory processing disorders through the STAR center in Denver. Through her trans-disciplinary practice on the AT team Lauren has developed a passion for collaboration with other disciplines to help children access communication and their environments.

Beginner/Intermediate

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