AAC in the Cloud 2020 Conference

Beyond the Now

Looking for CEUs? When you watch the sessions in our conference player you'll see a link at the end to fill out participation surveys that will be used to generate a certificate you can report for credits.
Pre-Conference Sessions - Watch After June 10th
Time Track 1 Track 2 Track 3
Both parents and professionals spend a lot of time and energy on word lists, funding devices, laminating, and coming up with the activities to practice using AAC. What if some changes early on could make that work even more impactful? Join us as we reflect on one of the principles that are foundational to our work: our mindset & the mindset of those we work with. We will discuss the challenges that come along with self-reflection as educators shift towards being influencers rather than experts. Throughout this presentation, we will share resources to help teams consider their role in AAC learning.
Rachael Langley & Marlene Cummings: Mindset Matters -- Setting the Stage for AAC Success
Bill Binko: Digitizing the Intent -- Custom AT for Everyone
Susie Cuzme & Tyrell Janiga: Practical AAC Strategies for Severe and Multiple Disabilities
Session by Rachel Madel about using telepractice for AAC
Rachel Madel: AAC in Telepractice
Kelly will set the stage for Dads of AAC communicators to Share 5 tips about AAC that they think that everyone should know. Their tips will cover their children of a variety of ages and use of different AAC systems. Please join us to get this valuable information for your family and child's staff. You may want to share a few tips of your own!
Kelly Fonner & Team: Dads Have a Lot to Share -- Tips from Parents of AAC Communicators
We discuss the case study of a clients AAC journey with complex access requirements. How Mike’s physical skill development lead to the use of bespoke systems and the progression from switch scanning to learning morse code. One of the challenges? How do you teach morse code auditorily?
Samantha McNeilly & Will Wade: -.. --- - / --- .-. / -.. .- ... .... : An individuals AAC journey of beginning to learn morse code
Society is built around mouthwords. People claim to care about our futures, but everyone’s entire focus is on vocal speech. There’s little to no communication accessibility. This needs to change. To improve the lives of non-speaking people, we need a society that includes us. We need a communication accessible world!
Saoirse T: Communication is a Human Right -- Why is Society Communication Inaccessible
Transition planning is an essential part of preparing our students for the adult life they want and need. Many of our students are still learning to use AAC at the time that we need to start planning for their transition out of school. Fortunately, even the most emergent student can be involved in their own planning. This session describes tools and strategies to maximize the role of the student learning to use AAC. Learn to use AAC supports in new, flexible ways to support autonomy, decision-making, and participation.
Erin Sheldon: AAC and Transition Planning -- Supporting all students to make decisions for the future
When setting up AAC, considering disability is normal. But, identity is complex, more than just our disabilities, and our assistive tech is a part of us. It needs to support the whole person. We’ll discuss using AAC as a trans, disabled person and some considerations as they customize their device.
Tuttleturtle (Stephanie): My AAC is Part of My Gender Presentation
The purpose of this presentation is to show specific strategies to teach AAC to people with ASD at different moments of their life, making emphasis in the importance of using highly motivating activities to create significant learning. Also to transmit that an approach focused on the strengths more than in the deficits can helps develop communication skills with AAC.
Josefina Gibbons: AAC & the Autistic Spectrum -- Strategies, Motivations, & Use Throughout Lifespan *Session in Spanish*
Anne shares 10 great ways to incorporate modeling & support into virtual connections with AAC users.
Anne Page: 10 Ideas for AAC Virtual Modeling
Naomi Evans: Tips for Helping Parents Thrive With AAC in the Home
Day 1 - June 23, 2020
Time Track 1 Track 2 Track 3
11:30 am ET Welcome & Opening Remarks
12 pm ET
Successful AAC users have a village of AAC supporters. This session will share unique, yet practical ways to empower communication partners in becoming proficient and confident in modeling and interacting using AAC.
Deidre Dobbels & Kelly Key: Empowering Partners-- Parents & Professionals
Aided Language Input: How to! AAC & Aided Language Stimulation Modeling: Teaching teachers, paras and parents the Why and How to modeling AAC. We learn language by having language modeled. Aided Language Stimulation (ALS) is seen as best practice in the field of AAC and is often one of the first strategies suggested when beginning AAC with individuals with Complex Communication Needs. In this hour-long webinar, we not only will learn about why modeling symbolic communication is so vital to AAC users but why it is so hard to implement and then learn simple techniques to teach communication partners how to implement ALS into their everyday routine. It may sound like an easy thing to do, however, in reality, our teachers, para's and parents are struggling with this strategy. Model, Model, Model! Let’s learn how to model because it is not as easy as it sounds. Learning Objectives: In this webinar participants will be able to... Understand the reason modeling symbolic language can be so difficult Describe three ways to teach communication partners how to model Be able to implement ALS into three routines in their students day
Sharon Redmon: Aided Language From Research to Practice -- the How & Why of Modeling AAC
Students exiting contemporary schools need to have fundamental knowledge of computer science and coding, including those learning language using AAC. Learn to use free and low-cost tools, many likely already available in your school, to teach language concepts through easy to use block coding and robots!
Chris Bugaj: Teaching Language With Coding, Robots, & AAC
1 pm ET
Communication doesn't just happen during speech therapy! This presentation will help you consider how to train & support classroom professionals so they actually enjoy implementing AAC when you're not there.
Emily Diaz: How to get Staff Buy-in for all-day AAC Use in the Classroom
Ever wonder how to incorporate AAC across the day in your classroom? We will review written expression tools available in augmentative communication systems and their use within classroom activities to support building capacity of AAC devices. The session will provide concrete examples and instructional resources to support student success.
Laura Hayes: Integration of AAC & Writing
Many of us start the AAC journey with choice or requesting boards but is that the best way to promote effective communication? In this presentation we share our personal experience of what we learned when we transitioned our AAC user from choice/requesting boards to a robust core vocabulary, what we wish we would have known when we started, and the importance of collaboration between school and home
Scot Wahlquist & Sarah Cox: Transitioning from 'Choice-based' AAC to Core Vocabulary
2 pm ET
This presentation will give AAC users and families concrete steps they can take to prepare for emergencies. They will learn how to plan ahead and what to bring with in case of an evacuation. Tools discussed will include AAC Go Bags, light tech communication boards, and The Cloud.
Kathryn Helland: Emergency Planning for AAC Users
This presentation will give ideas and resources to encourage teaming up with related service providers to support AAC users. Practical how-to guides as well as case examples will be shared. You’ll leave with resources to get everyone on the same page to help your AAC user(s) make progress and use their device across their day, at home, school, and in the community!
Elisa Wern: Teaming With Related Services to Support Your AAC User
For some students, writing has been difficult due to their inability to manipulate the standard tools of writing. Many educators, therapists and parents have heard of the concept of Alternative Pencils. What are they? We will look at many examples, from the use of alphabet tiles to partner assisted scanning.
Kelly Fonner: Alternative Pencils -- What Are They & How Are They Used
3 pm ET Lauren Enders & Rachel Madel: Attention-grabbing Tools & Ideas for Virtual Language Learning
Learn tips and tricks for incorporating a AAC throughout your day- especially in standards-based instruction. This session is perfect for teachers and therapist who support students who use AAC and participate in alternative assessments.
Ashley Preece: Incorporating AAC into the Standards -- A Lens Into the Self-contained Classroom
Tennessee Talks is a grant project funded by the Tennessee Department of Education in 2018. Four regional contracts work collaboratively helping public schools serve the needs of their students with significant communication challenges. This presentation discusses the work we’ve done, and how it has evolved in the last few months.
Vicki Haddix, Beth Warren & Janice Reese: The Tennessee Talks Grant -- Building AAC Capacity in TN Public Schools
4 pm ET
Technology is omnipresent in our world and children may be experts at navigating these tools well before entering kindergarten. While AT provides access, the use of technology as a teaching tool for young children must be balanced with their need to play and learn through interactions in natural settings. This session examines current research on technology for birth to 5-year-olds and the implications of technology as an early learning tool for young children with language disabilities. We will discuss criteria for evaluating apps with a focus on interaction, cultural diversity and accessibility. Explore how families and therapists can use technology with young children to support the growth of language, play, early literacy, and problem solving skills.
Beth Poss: Supporting Your Youngest Learners -- How Carefully Curated Resources with Adult Facilitation Can Promote Language Development, Play, & Communication
Everyone benefits from visual supports, whether it is an icon on our phone or a red light at an intersection. With many of our individuals incorporating visuals across environments can be a daunting task. Through this course we will discuss how to make visuals a natural part of your routine by reviewing what visual supports are, how to easily incorporate them in various environments, and how we can use them in addition to AAC.
Jenna Rinaldi: Visual Support & AAC -- How These Can Support Individuals with Various Abilities at Home
Eye gaze AAC assessments can be one of the most intimidating types of evaluations to perform. This session will focus on applying ASHA’s evidence-based guidelines, show typical vs. atypical eye images, and discuss how to apply critical thinking skills in medically-complex scenarios, decreasing chances of AAC abandonment.
James Brinton: Demystify Eye Gaze AAC Assessment with Evidence-based Practice Guidelines
5 pm ET
Instructional assistants often spend the most time with students; however, they frequently do not get the training needed to effectively implement augmentative alternative communication with students with complex communication needs. This presentation offers examples of training and strategies we used to train instructional assistants in our Colorado Facility School.
Robert Vickery & Kyle Delahanty: Empowering the Paraprofessional
Experience of a Shared Reading activity and AAC Online with a group of children from different Spanish-speaking countries. Experiencia de una actividad de lectura Compartida y CAA Online con un grupo de niños de diferentes países de habla hispana.
Claudia Marimon Rigollet: Shared Reading Group & AAC in Spanish *Session in Spanish*
Why should you have backup AAC methods and how do you make them? This session is about planning for situations when you can’t access your primary communication method.
Endever* Corbin: AAC Backups (& Backups for Backups)
6 pm ET
All of us, including AAC users, communicate in many different ways, across different platforms and in different environments. AAC users communicate in many ways beyond their device. The AAC community should identify and tackle barriers to communication. We should support strategies that encourage all different ways to communicate. We should advocate for AAC users to use whichever form of communication they find the most accessible, that people can understand. This presentation will provide an overview of all the different ways we can communicate. We will look at practical strategies for how we can encourage, respect and even build these ways for AAC users.
Amanda Hartmann: More Than the Device -- Considering ALL Forms of Communication
AAC users are at a disadvantage in speaking in detail about their hobbies. It can take a lot of work to set up AAC to discuss specificity in theses areas, but it allows AAC to be used to better communicate interests, and engage with social and peer groups.
Darla Burrow: Talking About Your Passions -- Challenges & Realities in Programming AAC to Talk About the Stuff You Love
This session will summarise the origins of The Pragmatics Profile for People who use AAC and will be useful for AAC Practitioners who want to develop their knowledge of this Assessment tool. A case example will be presented where the Profile was used to assist practitioners working in local services.
Suzanne Martin: The Development of an Assessment Tool to support AAC Practitioners -- The Pragmatics Profile for People who use AAC
7 pm ET Lightning Talks & Hack Night
Day 2 - June 24, 2020
Time Track 1 Track 2 Track 3
11 am ET
Shared reading is fundamental for anyone implementing literacy programs with emergent readers and writers – and good shared reading has strong ties with language development, and use of AAC. This workshop will discuss how we can support AAC users at different language and emergent literacy levels– supporting them to develop their language, communication skills and print concepts.
Keynote Address Jane Farrall: Shared Reading -- Let’s Be Interactive!
12 pm ET Anne Page: Writing Authentic AAC Goals
With the COVID-19 pandemic, we closed our AAC private practice offices, and we began providing telepractice services to our clients. This presentation will discuss how we accomplished this, share successes and challenges of this service delivery model, tools and strategies we use, and current outcomes. Families’ perspectives will be included.
Jill Tullman & Christie Bowers: Overnight Transformation to TeleprAACtice Due to Covid-19 -- Keeping it Real
There has been a recent pivot in the way AAC support is provided due to the need for distance learning. This is an opportunity to evaluate new and traditional strategies to decide what will be continued upon return to in person learning. Let’s allow creativity and innovation to guide implementation.
Sarah Gregory: Improving AAC Support with Lessons from Distance Learning
1 pm ET
Having a growth mindset can develop a love of learning in students, those with special needs should not be left out. Using aided language input with core language to model a growth mindset in AAC will allow you to set your user up for success in life no matter if you are a parent educator or therapist.
Gemma White: Modeling a Growth Mindset with Core Vocabulary
Accommodations, Assessments, Tools, when does a UDL become AT! Where, when and how to add AT and AAC into the IEP? Writing IEP's is exhausting and not knowing if you are doing it right can be stressful. This webinar will, while not the most exciting part of what we do, help you have a better understanding of how to have AT/AAC documented and connected throughout the IEP. In this hour-long webinar, we will look at AT consideration, when UDL becomes AT, and how to ensure the Present Levels, assessments, goals, and accommodations are all connected. Examples of what and how to write goals, AT services and devices will be shared. We will also explore how to ensure your goals do not conflict with private practice goals and discuss testing accommodations for state testing. Learning Objectives: In this webinar participants will be able to... Understand the difference between UDL and AT Describe how and where to write AT/AAC into an IEP State importance of having AT/AAC in the IEP
Sharon Redmon: AT/AAC in the IEP
In this session we will be exploring how AAC apps organize words, phrases and letters so that communicators can quickly and easily communicate. We will explore the messaging features of some of the more popular AAC apps, how we teach within these apps and the cognitive considerations for people new to AAC.
Vicki Clarke: Thinking Inside the Box -- Which AAC App is Right For Us?
2 pm ET
This session helps families and educators understand expressive core vocabulary: what it is, where to get it, and how to use it to communicate with existing AAC systems and on manual core boards. We will share resources for pre-made core vocabulary and activities as well as tools for creating custom core resources.
Beth Poss & Kelly Fonner: I Need That! How to Get Started with Core Vocabulary
Remote digital communication can be a valuable resource for AAC users for many reasons. With the sudden shift to remote practice it can be difficult to know how to support communicators from a remote setting, and how to best implement AAC from a distance. Come learn about some of the unique features of CoughDrop like built-in two-way texting, virtual assessments, remote editing and reporting, and screen share helping tools, and how they can help support communicators in various settings.
Brian Whitmer - Remote Communication is no Longer an Afterthought
We know and use alternative access methods for students unable to activate a device with direct selection. But what about our other students? What if we used eye gaze, head, pointing, switch scanning, and partner-assisted scanning for students that have the motor abilities for direct selection?
Lily Huston: Alternative Access Beyond Physical Disabilities
3 pm ET
This presentation will provide intervention strategies and display materials that could be utilized for promoting social language skills that are important for an AAC user to practice while interacting with others.
Laura Valerio: Promoting Social Language Skills for an AAC User
Storybook reading activities are a natural part of the home and school day for children. By incorporating modeling with augmentative communication into these activities, research repeatedly demonstrates that communication partners can easily impact language skills!
Cheri Dodge Chin: Modeling AAC Within Storybook Reading Activities
Understand how to set up and customise combinations of face gestures that a person can use to access Predictable. Recipes are then linked to spoken messages. This opens up access for people with limited movements, who can isolate movements of eyes, mouth or eyebrows.
Gabrielle Flahault & Rebecca Bright: Using Face Gestures to Access Predictable
4 pm ET
This webinar will present well-defined intervention strategies and resources for embedding core vocabulary instruction into common emergent literacy routines. The routines to be featured include (1) shared reading, (2) predictable chart writing, (3) alphabet and phonological awareness, (4) independent reading and (5) independent writing. The presentation will include case examples.
Lori Geist: Core Vocabulary
This session seeks to provide information about goal writing in AAC. Learning objectives include helping the audience (1) understand the components of a good goal (2) learn how to select appropriate goals for students who use AAC and (3) learn about some sources for goal ideas.
Melanie Melton, Heather Patton, & Jaime Lawson: AAC Goals “Donut Forget -- No Holes in Your Goals”
An overview of the huge array of alternative paper-based alphabet charts which you can print for free. Including an evaluation of the following; - Letter layouts - Alternative access - Incorporating phrases
Ruth Williams & Gemma Wilkinson: Discover Affordable & Alternative Alphabet Charts
5 pm ET
In this course, we will review the Life Participation Approach to Aphasia framework as a tool for AAC device set-up. This includes tools to identify life -participation goals, how to set up a device to meet those goals, and the incorporation of caregivers for maximum success with AAC.
Amanda Gunn & Caitlin Mueller: AAC Device Personalization for Adults with Aphasia
Parents can feel overwhelm with everything they need to do. Sometimes parents don't learn about our community much later or not at all. This workshop will invite parents, siblings, grandparents, and professionals to the beautiful community and to give ideas to build your local AAC community. Come learn and be amaze about our big and beautiful community.
Mike Hipple: Welcome to the AAC Community
Learn about the resources available to professionals, users, and families through your state's Assistive Technology Act Program.
Amy Goldman: Resources for You From Your State AT Program
6 pm ET
Co-VidSpeak is a new, AAC-oriented web conferencing app. We originally created it for ventilated individuals in a hospital setting, and are expanding its use to support remote communication for any users who could benefit from AAC. Come learn what Co-VidSpeak does, share feedback on features you'd like to see, and learn how you can try it out for yourself!
Brian Whitmer: Introducing Co-VidSpeak
This presentation will use case studies to demonstrate how a variety of access methods, including eye-gaze, has been used to achieve access to robust communication systems for children and young adults with a variety of (dis)ability profiles, including those with cortical vision impairment (CVI) and complex motor needs.
Jennifer Clark, Emi Takeuchi, & Sofia Benson-Goldberg: Eye Gaze & CVI -- Efficient Access to Robust Communication
Early lessons for families whose children acquire an AAC device focus on modeling its use for the user. This session explores the experiences of a family where both parent and child are AAC users to help guide others into understanding the importance of speaking in the AAC language.
**Canceled** Oswin Latimer: Multigenerational AAC Use -- Modeling, Generalizing, & Normalizing