This week, we share Part 2 of Chris’s interview with Jayme Grant. Jayme is an Educational Technology and Assistive Technology Specialist in Beaufort, South Carolina who wanted to interview Chris about AAC and Assistive Technology. In Part 2, Chris and Jayme discuss obtaining funding for AAC and AT, shifting away from a direct therapy model for AAC users, monitoring progress, and more!
Before the interview, Chris and Rachel finish up answering some questions from one of our Patreon users about changing the mindset of AAC communication partners. In this listener’s school district, classroom staff appear more interested in AAC assessment than AAC implementation. Rachel and Chris share why it can be helpful to break coaching sessions up into smaller “bites” and how to reduce the negative impact of staff turnover on AAC users by coaching family members as well as school staff.
Key ideas this week:
🔑 School should be an opportunity to get kids excited about things they never would have been excited about in the first place. SLPs can benefit from fun activities in therapy, because we can get students to talk more about things they are interested in.
🔑 Mindset is the most important first step in a successful implementation. Many people who work with people with disabilities start with a mindset that a student must prove they can use AAC before we give them AAC and help them learn to use it. We must help them see the AAC user’s potential before we move on to assessment or implementation.
🔑 When measuring progress of AAC users, don’t measure how much he or she uses the AAC tool, measure whether or not the desired outcome was achieved. It is difficult to say if the AAC tool we provided is the total reason someone is communicating more, or if it is a combination of factors. By measuring the outcome, you don’t have to worry how much the AAC device was the cause.
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