Aided Language: from Research to Practice – 60 minutes

“Aided language may be defined as the use of communication aides in face-to-face conversations.” (VonTetzchner, 2018). Various AAC (Augmentative & Alternative Communication) vendors & presenters talk about the use of Aided Language Stimulation, Modeling, Aided Input and other methods of introducing a language system to an individual with CCN (Complex Communication Needs). In this webinar we will provide the research background on Aided language, explain aspects and skills related to utilizing it in your practice, and give usable examples of its implementation into real life in school, community and home. Learn how to model because it is not as easy as it sounds. Aided Language: from Research to Practice 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.

Sharon Redmon

Sharon Redmon

M.S., Ad.Ed.~Assistive Technology; ATP

Sharon Redmon is a SpEd and GenEd teacher with over 20 years of experience. She holds a Masters of Science degree in Adaptive Education: Assistive Technology and an Assistive Technology Practitioner (ATP) license from RESNA. Sharon's passion for AT and especially AAC began with her first teaching job in WI where she became involved in WATI and continues today as a leader in the WI AAC Network created by an AAC Communicator. Sharon has been an AT specialist for a WI and WA school district, ECSE teacher (low incidence population), SPED/ABA/Autism coordinator/teacher, high school and kindergarten teacher and now ATP in private practice. Her classroom experience in WI, WA and overseas schools, has given her a unique perspective on how UDL, AT, and AAC intertwine. She is excited to be back in Washington State and working with individuals of all ages and abilities to access communication and their environment.

Beginner

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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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