AAC – Communication in Action

Augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) are the communication tools, systems and strategies that can replace or supplement natural speech. There are many reasons that a person may not be able to communicate using speech. AAC is the tool that can give a person with little or no speech a way to communicate their needs, their thoughts and ideas, tell stories, and interact with the world around them.

Details

  • Thursday, 6 September, 2018 - Friday, 7 September, 2018
    9:00 am - 4:00 pm
Course Code:   CPE18AAC

Course Information

Augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) are the communication tools, systems and strategies that can replace or supplement natural speech. There are many reasons that a person may not be able to communicate using speech. AAC is the tool that can give a person with little or no speech a way to communicate their needs, their thoughts and ideas, tell stories, and interact with the world around them.

In today’s world, AAC, more than ever, can be accessible for people with complex communication needs. With this comes challenges. How do we know the appropriate AAC tools to choose from a vast array of choices? How do we get started? How can we support the successful implementation of AAC? How can we make sure we have AAC systems that support language and literacy development? What old practices and myths can we throw out?

This workshop will give practical ideas and best practice principles for AAC implementation, regardless of the AAC tool. We will discuss the journey and processes from AAC assessment to getting AAC embedded across environments, from school, to home, to community. Through video examples, hands on activities and practice time, together we will learn how we can build the communication skills for all AAC users.

Learning objectives:

  1. Identify key types of AAC from low-tech to high-tech, from symbol-based to text-based AAC.
  2. List tools, checklists and basic principles of AAC assessment and AAC decision-making.
  3. Describe crucial steps to getting started with AAC.
  4. Identify best practice principles for AAC implementation, across different environments.
  5. Describe the place of core words in AAC systems.
  6. List tools and resources that can support language and literacy development.

Day 1: 

Introduction to AAC: light-tech vs high-tech, symbol-based vs text-based, device vs iPad, access etc..

Fundamental principles of AAC: presume competence, choosing right from the start, links to literacy, access across environments, communication functions, core words, modeling. 

Dispelling AAC myths and old ways of practice.

AAC assessment and decision making- tools, check lists, assessments.

Access considerations for AAC users with motor and sensory needs.

Overview of current often-used AAC systems and tools in Australia.

Core word AAC systems: why, value, what words, resources.

Getting started with AAC: personalisation, planning, always available, supporting teams.

Day 2:

Modeling: Dos and Don’ts

More on Core words: teaching strategies for core words. Selecting and teaching of core words.

Communication Partner skills

Building language using AAC

Conversations and social interaction in AAC

AAC and literacy

Other visual tools and story telling tools to add to AAC

Challenging AAC - ways to adapt and modify AAC for people with complex bodies

Troubleshooting - overcoming roadblocks.

Resources and where to get more information.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Completing Completing AAC - Communication in Action will contribute 14 hours of NSW Education Standards Authority (NESA) Registered PD addressing 1.1.2, 1.2.2, 1.5.2, 1.6.2, 2.5.2, 3.5.2 from the Australian Professional Standards for Teachers towards maintaining Proficient Teacher Accreditation in NSW.

Presenter

  • Amanda Hartmann
    Amanda Hartmann is a Speech-Language Pathologist with over 20 years experience - experience which has led to a passion for working with children and young adults with disabilities. She has specialist skills and knowledge in Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC), literacy and technology.  She started her career in Education Queensland and worked closely with teachers and parents in Special Facilities to implement successful communication and literacy programs. During her career she has taught Key Word Sign workshops, iPad workshops as a certified Apple Trainer, as well as presented on AAC and Assistive Technology to schools, organisations and conferences both nationally and internationally.  She currently divides her time between a busy private practice and at AssistiveWare, as a Consultant in AAC working on training and implementation materials. She currently provides the AAC lectures to Speech Pathology students at the University of Queensland.

Location

Venue:  

Address:
361-365 North Rocks Road, North Rocks, New South Wales, 2151, Australia

Description:

North Rocks, Sydney, Australia

Sydney is located on Australia’s south-east coast. With an approximate population of 4.5 million in the Sydney metropolitan area the city is the largest municipality in Australia. Sydney is easily accessible by air, rail and road networks from other Australian cities.

Located approximately 26 km north-west of the city centre, Renwick Centre is accessible via private and public transport to metropolitan areas such as Epping, Parramatta, Hornsby and the city.

North Rocks is a suburban area of Sydney and is the home of the Royal Institute for Deaf and Blind Children since 1961.

Public Transport

There are several public transport options for getting to and from the Renwick Centre within the Sydney metropolitan area.

Trains

Cityrail train stations are located in Epping (6 km away) and Parramatta (7km away) and have connecting bus services (refer to Buses section below) to the Centre.

Epping train station is on the Northern, Newcastle and Central Coast lines with a journey time of approximately 30 minutes to the city (Central, Town Hall and Wynyard stations) and 20 minutes to Strathfield or Hornsby stations.

Parramatta train station offers frequent services to the city (about 40 minutes of travel time) and is located on the Western, Cumberland and Blue Mountains lines.

Both stations are wheelchair accessible.

Buses

There is a bus stop directly outside the RIDBC campus – services to Epping and Macquarie Centre – and another across the road outside the Westfield Shopping Centre for services to Parramatta and Blacktown. For latest info on these routes, please visit the Sydney Buses website.

Route Destination Wheelchair Accessible
549 Epping Most
546 Epping via Carlingford Most
546/549 Parramatta Most
630 Macquarie Centre No
630 Blacktown No
610/619* City Few
610/619* Rouse Hill Few

* Access to these bus services is from the M2 motorway at Barclay Road bus stop, a 20 minute walk (1.4 km) from the Centre.

Sydney Airport

Sydney Airport has domestic and international terminals and is approximately 35 km south-east of the Renwick Centre.

Cityrail train stations are located within the domestic and international terminals. To get to the centre, you will need to change trains at Central to an Epping or Parramatta service and then either take a taxi or bus the remaining distance to the centre. Journey time by public transport is approximately 90-120 minutes.

Taxis

Companies providing a taxi service in the Sydney area include Premier Cabs (Phone: 13 10 17), Silver Service (Phone: 133 100), Taxis Combined (Phone: 8332 8888) and RSL Cabs (Phone: 132 211).

Tickets

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with payment by:
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