Amy Fleischer & Corinne Nelson - Implementing a Specific Language System First Approach to AAC Selection - Part 1
This week, Amy Fleischer & Corinne Nelson talk with Chris about moving their school district to a Specific Language System First” approach to AAC device selection. There is currently no set standard in Amy and Corinne's district for device selection, and many students go get an outside AAC evaluation before getting a device. There are many different AAC apps being used at different sites for a variety of reasons, and this has led to disagreements about which app to use, confusion about the device selection process, and inconsistent device implementation across their district.
Before the interview, Chris shares some good news he’s heard about his two latest books with ISTE - The New Assistive Tech & Inclusive Learning 365. Rachel talks about adding early intervention content to her AAC Ally course. They both talk about dealing with “imposter syndrome”, especially when charging money for something you have created.
🔑 Under the “system first” approach, most students who need AAC across the district get one robust AAC system. When students have needs that are not met by that particular AAC system, then a different system is selected. You don’t force a particular system on anyone, but you look at it first.
🔑 One benefit of a “system first” approach is better implementation in many cases. If the school team knows one system better, they can usually teach students how to use that system better.
🔑 Trialing multiple AAC systems during device selection, even if you trial for a few weeks, may not be the best way to choose one system over another. Often, implementation of each system isn’t very robust and the student isn’t trained extensively on each device. It is difficult to learn much about how proficient a student will get in one system over another in a couple of weeks.
🔑 You can take a phased approach to implementing a “systems first” device selection process. All the new students get one AAC system (unless there are good reasons to choose another) and every student who has already made progress with a different system keeps the one they are already using.
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