Thursday, October 1, 2015

Welcome to AAC Awareness Month!

October might be my favorite month of the year. I love the multicolor leaves, the edge of cool in the air, salted caramel mochas, all of it. And, as a bonus, it’s AAC Awareness Month!

AAC (Augmentative and Alternative Communication, if you’re new to this) is actually a topic that could use some increased awareness. People may be unable to speak their thoughts for a wide variety of reasons; and while some people use AAC 100% of the time, other people can use verbal speech for much of the time but need to switch to AAC when their ability to speak becomes inaccessible, which also happens for a variety of reasons. My first introduction to AAC was in learning about Stephen Hawking, but “that guy with the computer voice in a wheelchair” was kind of all I knew . . . until I had a child who couldn’t speak.

In celebration of AAC, and in the spirit of raising awareness, I’ll be doing a month of (almost) daily AAC related posts. In the spirit of maintaining the illusion of organization, each day will have a theme. In the spirit of making this project possible for me (in addition to my mom and grad student duties) there will be a combination of posts, sharing previous posts, and Facebook activity.

This year the general theme for my month of AAC Awareness is not just going to be general AAC awareness, but will focus on modeling (with a few general resources thrown in). I've chosen to focus on modeling because the recent 21 Day Modeling Challenge that I hosted was very well received, and seemed to make a difference for many families (including my own!), and I'd like to keep some of that momentum going. Here's what you can expect to see each day:

*Daily Modeling Support/Chat/Inspiration:  I will have a modeling check-in post every night on our Facebook page. These typically post between 7:30-8:30pm EST and are a great place to come brag about your modeling successes, share what you're working on, post a picture, etc. (If you participated in the 21 day challenge, you are familiar with the general format of the daily FB post)

Modeling Movie Monday  . . . a video clip (or two) of modeling in action (some old, some new)

Toss-it-Back Tuesday . . . a throw-back post about modeling/AAC

Work Together Wednesday (on FACEBOOK) . . . on Wednesday I will post an AAC discussion topic or question on our Facebook page and encourage everyone to share, share, share! Challenges, tips and tricks, questions, etc.

Thoughts on Thursday . . . a new blog post here. These might be simple reflections about our previous week of modeling and what we are looking ahead to, or may be bigger pieces about AAC (depending on time and on my typing arm).

#AACfamily Friday . . . a compilation of pictures sent in by AAC users (and supporter of AAC       
                                         users) PLEASE JOIN IN! (More information here)

We-have-a-life-too Weekend . . . in which nothing gets posted here, because we are too busy. (But 
                                                        there will still be AAC stuff shared on the blog's Facebook page 
                                                        over the weekend!)

Happy AAC Awareness Month!

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