This week, TWT presents Rachel and Chris’s meet-up with an AAC social group of SLPs and AT specialists in Cuyahoga county in Ohio! Their AAC podcast & research group sets aside time every month to listen and discuss a TWT podcast episode or journal article via Zoom. Rachel and Chris dropped by to connect with them and learn about how they have used the podcast to further AAC in their district. The social group talks about how they formed their group, how Zoom has helped make getting together easier, how helpful learning about AT can be for SLPs, and creating social groups for AAC users within the district!
Before the interview, Chris and Rachel brainstorm assistive technology questions that listeners might have, and some possible answers. For example, turning on closed captions is really helpful with building literacy by presenting information in multiple modalities. Rachel and Chris also discuss word prediction and when a student might benefit from prediction that is “in line” rather than “ahead”.
Key ideas this week:
🔑 Meeting on Zoom makes people more willing to participate in learning groups like this. Hopefully teleconferencing can make professional development for everyone more organic, authentic, and fun.
🔑 You can use Zoom to help students connect via a social group. This can be for just AAC users, AAC users and people who don’t use AAC, or even as a mentor-type relationship between a more advanced user and an emerging AAC user.
🔑 A social group for AAC users, whether in person or on Zoom, develops vocabulary that users may not use as often in an academic setting , like greetings and humor.
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