This week, we share Part 1 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. The resulting interview is packed with useful tips and ideas for improving AAC assessment and implementation!
Before the interview, Chris and Rachel discuss more questions from a Patreon user about how to change the mindset and culture surrounding AAC in her district. Rachel and Chris talk about coaching teachers to use core words to describe fringe words, why we shouldn’t create temporary pages for specific activities or academic topics, and more!
Key ideas this week:
🔑 Rather than add academic vocabulary to a device that will only be used for a particular lesson or unit, try coaching the team to describe academic words using core words. This helps teach core words and doesn’t create temporary folders and additional fringe vocabulary words, which can interfere with motor planning.
🔑 Technology is a tool, not a quick fix. Make sure the team understands that giving a device to someone is only the beginning. Parents sometimes demand a device without understanding the work that goes along with teaching how to use this tool.
🔑 During assessment, consider having a team member, such as a teacher, describe what they want a potential AAC user to be able to do with the device long term. Even better, consider collaborating with a variety of communication partners to determine AAC needs. Collaboration amongst the team on assessment can help avoid disagreements later about the decisions that were made about device selection and implementation.
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