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Communication at any time - Alternative access to communication boards and books

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While all individuals who use AAC require multiple systems to most effectively meet their communication needs, access to a non-electronic option becomes even more critical for those individuals who experience severe physical challenges. Physical position, difficulty producing consistent graded movements, fatigue, health issues, and other factors may functionally limit access to speech generating devices, leaving the individual many hours across the day without a voice.
Alternative methods to select items from communication boards and books include eye-gaze, partner-assisted scanning, combination and coded access. While these methods are not new, this workshop will present a range of innovations and refinements to the layout, operational procedures and teaching strategies to develop the individual’s and their partners’ use of alternative access methods with communication boards and books. The aim of these strategies is to reduce the reliance on a few highly skilled partners and support the individual’s developing autonomous communication at any time.
Participants will have the opportunity for hands-on practice using these alternative access displays and procedures during the workshop.
Video and case examples will be used to illustrate:
• Considerations for determining selection techniques that support the user’s control and communication with a broader range of partners
• Strategies to teach more intelligible movements for communication
• Strategies to support communication partner and user agreement
• Strategies to teach communication partners to understand the individual’s movements for communication
Come explore strategies to enable real communication to happen at any time for those individuals who face the most severe challenges.


Porter Gayle    
Cerebral Palsy Education Centre

Linda Burkhart    
Linda Burkhart
United States


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