Tuesday, October 7, 2014

AAC Awareness Month: Take a Look Tuesday

This month Tuesdays are Take a Look Tuesdays, in which I'll put up some AAC related videos. My intent is to have a combination of user videos and professional/strategy videos (some weeks I may post a bunch, some weeks I may only post a few). Here are two videos to get started with:

User Video: Maya Finds A Voice

I'm obviously biased, but this is a video that I still get regular emails about, so I know it's a good one :) This video shows Maya's path to a full AAC communication system (through several other options, starting with sign language) . . . but her progress is only part of the story. The other part is the way that she was regularly underestimated by assessments and evaluations, and how we chose to presume competence anyway. "Nonverbal" kids are universally underestimated, and they need advocates (family, friends, teachers, therapists) who will have open expectations and give them big systems.

Professional Video: How to support individuals with complex communication needs?

This video is of superstar early education teacher Mary-Louise Bertram, queen of presuming competence. While the talk focuses on communicators with Angelman Syndrome, it's pretty universally applicable. This talk was my introduction to the phrase "complex communication needs." It's very long, but once you start watching you won't want to quit----I just kept the window open on my computer for 2 days and watching pieces when I had little chunks of free time, or when I did the dishes, etc.

Here is the description from YouTube:
"Communication and Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC) intervention for children with AS. A range of technologies - from low to high-tech - to support communication in individuals with AS will be presented along with useful and effective strategies of how to implement such communication tools at home and school. 
Videos of people with AS learning to communicate effectively demonstrate strategies and technologies.
Classroom strategies that meet the needs of the student with AS while helping the student reach his or her full potential. This section discusses technology to assist student's with AS to engage with learning and demonstrate their knowledge. 

Mary Louise Bertram presents Part two of a three part series that make up the Foundation for Angelman Syndrome Therapeutics first ever Educational Summit. Mary-Louise Bertram is an Early Childhood Teacher from Perth, Western Australia, with special qualifications and training in the communication needs of children with complex disabilities."



Anonymous said...

Thank you, Dana!!! What a wealth of information!

Julie said...

Thank you, Dana! What a wealth of information!!!

Laura Taylor said...

Wow. This was a great video. Thank you so much for posting. I found myself agreeing out loud (to my empty office) with everything she says here. I'm sharing this link with as many people as I can.