October is AAC Awareness Month

It’s time to celebrate the accomplishments of our AAC users, the advances in AAC technology, and the dedication of those who support AAC users!  There are loads of resources you can use to bring AAC to the forefront in your practice, your school, and your community. Here are a few to get you started.  Click on each title to access:

PrAACtical AAC:  a super blog dedicated to AAC with lots of great, practical information (hence the name!).  The most recent blog is about 50 ways to celebrate AAC Month.  Great stuff here;  check it out!

Closing the Gap: informative newspaper and wonderful yearly conference in Minneapolis.  This year’s conference is Oct 17-19, and they are still taking reservations.  Oh, how I wish I was going!  I’ve been there twice in the past and was blown away each time with the number and quality of presenters, topics, and vendors.

YAACK:  If you are new to AAC, whether it’s no-tech, low-tech, or high-tech, and you need good information to get you started, or if you have some experience with AAC but need some implementation ideas, this is the site for you.

ATIA:  the site of Assistive Technology Industry Association. On this site you’ll find info on funding and AT research.  Their conference is in Orlando every year;  next one is Jan 30 – Feb 2.

Augmentative Communication, Inc.:  Publisher of Augmentative Communication News and other resources

AAC Institute:  Among other resources, you’ll find Self Study Programs in AAC that qualify for CEUs.

ASHA:  Info for parents and professionals

ISAAC:  International Society of AAC has a great biennial conference

Of course, you’ll find all kinds of useful information on the web sites of the major AAC developers:

Ablenet, Inc.:  source of switches, interfaces, AAC devices, plus lots of online trainings through Ablenet University

Dynavox:  AAC devices, online and onsite trainings, and the Implementation Toolkit of instructive videos

Prentke Romich:  manufacturer of AAC devices;  offers super support for funding and loads of information and resources through their Language Lab

Saltillo:  AAC devices, webinars and other training resources

Katie coverTo acquaint children with AAC, I recently published a children’s book called “How Katie Got a Voice (and a cool new nickname).”  This 40 page, illustrated book is available from Speaking of Speech.com.  A Discussion Guide (which can also be used as writing prompts) is available as a free download from the Lesson Plans and Data Forms page of Speaking of Speech.com.  Katie has a Facebook page, too!  Visit http://www.facebook.com/HowKatieGotAVoice to see reviews of the book and to meet some of the characters.

I also created a 3 minute video, using the characters in the book, to explain Disability Etiquette to children.  The video features a switch and AAC device.  Click here to view the video:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S0fs9650Vz8.  This video and Katie book would be perfect for AAC Awareness Month!

What will you be doing for AAC Awareness Month?  Please leave your ideas here by leaving a comment.  And, as always, please feel free to share this post with others.

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