Building Bridges AAC Webinar Series 2022 23 Supporting Students with Complex Communication Needs

Building Bridges

This year long Building Bridges Webinar Series provides a variety of learning opportunities around research-based strategies to support the implementation of AAC for students with complex communication needs. Participants are able to register for multiple sessions which include topics around:

  • Coaching communication partners
  • Consideration for AAC in Early Intervention
  • Exploring the continuum of communication supports and robust systems
  • AAC implementation in the classroom
  • Development of communication goals, aligning goals and planning instruction that aligns to the core standards.

Series will be held virtually via Zoom on the following dates, Sept. 29, Oct. 27, Nov. 17, Dec. 15, Jan 19, Feb. 16, March 23, and April 27.

Register Today: Course #203405

See who's presenting and plan your session using this flyer! Or check out the descriptions below!

Coaching Communication Partners: Part 2

Coaching Communication Partners Part 2 It takes practice to learn any skill. Want to become better at dribbling a basketball? You need practice. Want to learn how to play the guitar? You need practice. Want to become a communication partner who effectively demonstrates and teaches language to users of AAC? You need practice! Practice alone, however, does not make perfect. Instead, perfect practice makes perfect. To become a more effective communication partner who is practicing perfectly, feedback and guidance are important factors. Participants will learn a systematic structure that can be implemented in either face-to-face or virtual learning environments for how to develop and foster skills in others so they can become effective communication partners and coaches.

Christopher R. Bugaj, MA CCC-SLP is a founding member of the Assistive Technology Team for Loudoun County Public Schools. Chris co-hosts the Talking with Tech podcast featuring interviews and conversations about augmentative and alternative communication and has hosted “The A.T.TIPSCAST”; a multi-award-winning podcast featuring strategies to design educational experiences. Chris is the author of The New Assistive Tech: Make Learning Awesome for All, published by the International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE). Chris is the co-author of Inclusive Learning 365: EdTech Strategies for Every Day of the Year and The Practical (and Fun) Guide to Assistive Technology in Public Schools both of which are also published by ISTE. Chris co-authored two chapters for a book published by Brookes Publishing titled Technology Tools for Students with Autism. Chris co-produces and co-authors the popular Night Light Stories podcast which features original stories for children of all ages. Chris has presented over 500 live or digital sessions at local, regional, state, national and international events, including TEDx.

Rachel Madel M.A.,CCC-SLP is a L.A.-based speech-language pathologist dedicated to coaching parents and professionals on how to incorporate technology to best support speech and language development. Rachel presents both nationally and abroad on the use of augmentative alternative communication (AAC) for children with complex communication needs and coaches clinicians, teachers and parents on integrating technology in classrooms and at home to support communication. She co-hosts a weekly podcast called “Talking with Tech” and creates educational resources, therapy materials and training videos to help support parents and professionals.

Dates: Section 1 — Sept. 29, 2022 from 3:30 - 4:30 p.m.

Section 2 — Oct. 27, 2022 from 3:30 p.m. - 4:30 p.m.

AAC and Inclusion: Considerations for Social and Academic...

Authentic inclusion in the mainstream general education setting is a basic right for all learners, but achieving this presents unique challenges. This session will explore strategies to support the academic and social development AAC users in general education environments. Strategies will include the descriptive teaching model, peer supports and curriculum modifications.

Sarah Gregory, M.S. CCC-SLP is a speech-language pathologist and Assistive Technology consultant in the Ithaca City School District in Upstate New York. She specializes in Augmentative and Alternative Communication in a public- school setting with a focus on inclusion. Sarah has presented on these topics at national and statewide conferences. She shares ideas and strategies for AAC and teletherapy on her YouTube channel, as well as Twitter and Instagram @SarahGregorySLP. Connections to Core: Instructional

Date: Nov. 17, 2022 from 3:30 - 4:30 p.m.

Connections to Core: Instructional Planning...

Participants will explore the SDI framework of Diagnose, Design, and Deliver and how it guides instructional practices for our most complex learners. An overview of the state requirements for Alternate Assessment and the connection to Iowa Core/Essential Elements through access points to determine student skills. Participants will explore the Iowa Comprehensive Literacy Instructional Framework which guides instructional practice and coaching around research based instructional strategies to move student skills toward independence.

Terri Knipper, has been with Grant Wood AEA for 21 years as a special education consultant. She has taught special education for 27 years. For the past 10 years she has focused on the Iowa Alternate Assessment as a team lead and direct link to an urban school district. She is the Lead for the GWAEA Significant Disabilities strand work from the state of Iowa. Terri works with AEA staff and school districts to develop instructional plans for students with complex needs. In addition, she works with a team of AEA staff members to align instructional strategies with student needs in emergent/conventional literacy classes and emergent/conventional math strategies

Date: Dec. 15, 2022 from 3:30 - 5:00 p.m.

AAC Implementation Strategies for Early Intervention

Long-perceived as a last resort intervention, augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) is now understood as an important component of a practitioner’s toolkit for supporting communication, language, and social-emotional development in young children. This session will highlight foundational understandings of meaningful AAC implementation, including how language development in our guide when teaching AAC. Specific and actionable communication partner strategies will target development of skills and habits related to 1) planning (pre-planning) for AAC, 2) speaking AAC and 3) inviting young children to attend, explore and engage with AAC. With a focus on the transactional nature of communication, the importance of meaningful connection between children and their caregivers is emphasized.

Tabi Jones-Wohleber is an AAC-focused SLP working with families through WV Birth to Three. For 16 years she was a Team leader on the Assistive Technology team for Frederick County Public Schools. Tabi is a contributor to PrAACticalAAC Blog, and created the widely shared Model as a MASTER PAL training series. She has authored chapters on AAC implementations in various texts. Tabi has worked with Angelman Syndrome family organizations in multiple countries, and presents on AAC-related topics at local, state, national, and international conferences.

Date: Jan. 19, 2023 from 3:30 - 5:00 p.m.

Managing AAC in the Classroom: Implementation Strategies..

Communication doesn’t just happen during speech therapy! This presentation will help you consider how to train & support classroom professionals so they actually follow through (and enjoy) implementing AAC when you’re not there. Emily has rounded up all of her favorite tips & tools for coaching paraprofessionals/teachers, building rapport, and improving AAC outcomes in the classroom.

Emily Diaz, M.S., CCC-SLP is a licensed and ASHA certified speech-language pathologist currently working as a school-based SLP and Assistive Technology Lead for San Marcos Consolidated Independent School District. While she supports complex communication needs across all ages, she is most passionate about working with teenagers & young adults who use AAC. Emily shares free ideas & strategies for AAC implementation on her YouTube channel, as well as Instagram (@emilydiazslp). She also offers paid workshops, webinars, and consulting services through her private practice - Emily Diaz, SLP.

Date: Feb. 16, 2023 from 3:30 - 4:30 p.m.

A Toolbox of Communication Supports and Systems

In this session, participants will expand their knowledge around evidence-based strategies and tools to support students with complex communication needs. Consideration and implementation of functional communication training, communication supports and robust systems will be discussed. Participants will leave with an array of options in their “toolbox “ and a guide to help choose the right “tools” to meet a student’s needs.

Emily Doolittle is a speech-language pathologist and autism consultant. Emily works directly with teachers and direct service providers (SLPs,OTs, paraeducators) to support the increased use of evidence-based practices for our neurodiverse students.

Jess Krob is a speech-language pathologist and the AAC Resource Team Lead. Jess serves an elementary school supporting students with a variety of communication needs, including those with complex communication needs. She has been learning and working to build the capacity of Grant Wood AEA’s SLPs in the area of AAC assessment and implementation for more than 10 years. She has facilitated workshops at Grant Wood AEA, including: SMART Communication Partner Strategies, A Path to Communication and Language Access, and Emergent Literacy for Significant Disabilities.

Date: March 23, 2023 from 3:30 - 5:00 p.m.

Classroom Communication Goals Grid: A Roadmap to...

Effective communication is the most important skill needed to ensure participation and learning in the classroom. The need to consider students’ understanding and ability to express themselves is a critical component of every lesson plan and every topic discussion from States of Matter to Activities of Daily Living. In this session we will explore:
• The Classroom Communication Goals Grid, a tool educators and speech language
pathologists can use to define a present level of communicative performance,
• Choose appropriate goals and show progress,
• Specifically designed for the classroom environment.

Vicki Clarke is the CEO of Dynamic Therapy Associates, Inc (DTA Inc.), a speech- language pathology clinic specializing in AAC. She is the Director of DTA Schools, a division of DTA Inc, which provides individual student, classroom and district-wide AAC  services for consultation, assessment, training, curriculum development and equipment procurement in multiple public-school districts. Additional professional activities include professional consultation and training through publications, workshops and presentations at local, state and national conferences in the areas of augmentative communication, speech-language pathology, special education and Autism.

Date: April 27, 2023 from 3:30 - 4:30 p.m.

Want to prep for this webinar series? Don't forget you can read all the recent Building Bridges blog posts here!