Classroom Toolbox Training

The Classroom Toolbox is a virtual toolbox of resources to help teachers provide adapted communication supports to students in their classrooms. In here you'll find the Classroom Communication Supports Checklist to help you determine what supports you already have in place, ones you have but aren't using, and ones you are interested in exploring. For every communication support, there's a learning module to explore, with photos, descriptions, components, links to comprehensive resources and curated YouTube videos. These modules will help you confidently increase the communication supports for your students!

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Building the Communication Classroom Series

  • Getting Oriented (3 lessons)​
  • Present Level of Performance: How do my students communicate? (3 lessons)​
  • Can You Hear Me Now?   Classroom Routines, Expectations & Visual Supports (7 lessons)​
  • Simple Communication Systems: Light Tech (5 lessons)​
  • Embedding Communication Into Your Classroom (5 lessons)​
  • IEP Time! Progress, Present Levels and Goals (2 lessons)​
  • AAC 101: Simple Steps for Student Communication​
  • The Core Word Classroom​

There is a wealth of information and materials for you on our website, so you may be asking yourself, "Where in the world do I start?" No worries, we've got you! This is the first stop in your training! In this unit we will be answering some primary questions to get you started!

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Starting Young: Communication in Early Intervention & the Preschool Classroom

Our specialized training hub dedicated to supporting communication success in Early Intervention in the home and our preschool classrooms

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Communication Systems Series

  • Getting Started with a New Communication System (3 lessons)​
  • Understanding Robust AAC Systems (3 lessons)​
  • AAC Feature Considerations (5 lessons)​
  • Speech Generating Devices & Applications (3 lessons) ​

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Partner Strategy Kits

  • Interaction Strategies (3 lessons)​
  • AAC Access (3 lessons)​
  • Engagement (3 lessons)​
  • Language Support Strategies (5 lessons)​

Partner Strategy Kits

AAC Partner Strategy Kits are engaging posters/handouts, descriptions and short videos explaining and modeling techniques for you to use to help your student be willing, and able to communicate using their AAC system!

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AAC Assessment Series

  • Communication Matrix:  Forms & Functions​
  • Student Communication Goals Grid​
  • Every Move Counts, Clicks & Chats: Motivators, Sensory Needs, Forms & Functions​
  • Communication Sample & Analysis​
  • Dynamic AAC Goals Grid (DAGG)​
  • AAC Evaluation Genie Training​
  • AAC Communication Skills Assessment-2​
  • Dynamic AAC Advanced Consultation FORM​
  • Team & Family Involvement

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DTA Schools Evaluation and Funding

  • DTA Schools Process Introduction​
  • DTA Schools Referral & Records Review​
  • DTA Schools Dynamic AAC Assessment & Trials Process​
  • AAC Funding Sources​
  • SGD Evaluation Report Writing​
  • Working with SGD Manufacturers
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Empowering Families: AAC At Home

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High Frequency Core Words & Messages

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AAC 101

5 steps to move from training to talking, give you a clear path for you and your student learner. Learning to communicate is a shared journey between the learner and their partners, and that makes sense! Communication is a shared activity between two people. It is the means for us to make connections, meet our needs, engage socially, participate in shared experiences, and bridge the gap between our experiences and sharing these their partners.

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Dynamic AAC Goals Grid (DAGG)

The Dynamic AAC Goals Grid (DAGG), is an AAC assessment and planning tool which is the result of a collaborative effort between Vicki Clarke, and the team at Tobii Dynavox.

Holly Schneider and Vicki began this project with the goal of giving professionals and families, supporting students using AAC to communicate, an organized system of assessing their student’s current communication skills and determining goals to move them in a positive direction along a continuum of developing communication skills and competence. The DAGG has been through several iterations and continues to be studied and improved, even now, almost 15 years after it was initially introduced. Our agreement was that the DAGG would always be made freely available to anyone who needed it, and despite the improvements, the basic foundations are still there, and that is what we are discussing in this training. For our school teams, the DAGG gives us a means of evaluating an individual student's communicative competency and a means to move them toward independent communication skills.

The Dynamic AAC Goals Grid-2: Assessing AAC Skills and Competencies to Inform Intervention & Show Progress

At the inception of the DAGG, we were debating possible topics for an assistive technology conference.  It happened that both of Holly and Vicki had recently been contacted by several SLPs and teachers looking for AAC goals to write on their student’s IEP.  We both had the same reaction:  we couldn’t offer examples of goals for students we didn’t know. Despite the wide variety of skills and needs seen in students who use AAC, we saw the same basic goals on IEPs:

  1. Student will use symbols to indicate a need to go to the bathroom.
  2. Student will choose desired items/activities for leisure.
  3. Student will choose a desired snack/drink.
  4. Student will greet teachers and peers using AAC.

From this discussion we began developing the Dynamic AAC Goals Grid, a tool that is now freely available in a few different formats. The Dynamic AAC Goals Grid-2 (DAGG-2) is a tool that allows you to assess and describe your AAC user across 2 domains, communication skill level and communicative competence.  Professionals look through a hierarchy of goals, across 4 domains, to determine the skills their AAC user has mastered, can accomplish with varying levels of prompting (support) or those that have not yet been attempted.

Using Janice Light’s targets for Communication Competency in AAC, goals are organized as Linguistic, Operational, Social or Strategic.  Linguistic goals are those that address language development and use, and include vocabulary knowledge (semantics), length of messages (syntax), use of word endings (morphology) and literacy skills.  Operational goals are those that address a person’s ability to operate and maintain their communication system.  These goals include targets such as turning your device on/off, changing the volume, and troubleshooting repair needs. Turn-taking, greeting and requesting clarification are social targets addressed. Finally, strategic goals help us focus on over-coming the functional limitations of the AAC system.  Goals in this area include gaining partner attention, requesting the device and actively engaging partners.The goals are organized by communication skill level, offering a set of goals at 5 different levels:  Emergent, Emergent Transitional, Context Dependent, Independent Transitional and Independent.  The abilities skill levels were informed by the work of Dr. Patricia Dowden, Ph.D. CCC-SLP.

In the schools, we have to justify continuation of speech/language and AAC service by showing progress.  The DAGG-2 allows us to report percentages of achievement and compare this achievement over time.  It allows us to consider different paths for communication growth, target individually significant objectives, and to document a patient’s journey toward independence. Goals worksheets and periodic progress charts help us individualize goals for each patient.

big news image

The DAGG-3 has now been released, as of the end of July 2023! The newly released DAGG-3 includes the addition of psychosocial goals, access goals, and literacy goals,and includes an updated prompting hierarchy. Other updates were made based on current research in the field and clinician feedback. In addition, a sample activity was created for each goal in the DAGG-3 to assist in implementation ideas and techniques.

You can download the DAGG-3 and instructions below. Look for more releases as Tobii Dynavox shares access to activities for each of the objectives introduced in the DAGG-3!

Downloads:

Next Lesson:

AAC Evaluation Genie Training

Lesson

1

Communication Sampling and Analysis

The Communication Sampling and Analysis program, available on-line, which allows us to gather a communication sample for students who are non-speaking or minimally speaking, in a systematic way, and analyze it.

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Lesson

2

Dynamic AAC Goals Grid (DAGG)

The Dynamic AAC Goals Grid (DAGG), is an AAC assessment and planning tool which is the result of a collaborative effort between Vicki Clarke, and the team at Tobii Dynavox.  Holly Schneider and Vicki began this project with the goal of giving professionals and families, supporting students using AAC to communicate, an organized system of assessing their student’s current communication skills and determining goals to move them in a positive direction along a continuum of developing communication skills and competence. The DAGG has been through several iterations and continues to be studied and improved, even now, almost 15 years after it was initially introduced. Our agreement was that the DAGG would always be made freely available to anyone who needed it, and despite the improvements, the basic foundations are still there, and that is what we are discussing in this training. For our school teams, the DAGG gives us a means of evaluating an individual student's communicative competency and a means to move them toward independent communication skills.

Start Training

Lesson

3

AAC Evaluation Genie Training

This iPad application was developed to give you some starting information about your student's skills, language comprehension and access as it relates to the use of augmentative and alternative communication tools. We created a short slide show to get you started!

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Lesson

4

Dynamic AAC Communication Skills Assessment-2

The Dynamic AAC Communication Assessment is a DTA Original tool to help guide you in assessing your student’s skills in communicating using features in different AAC systems.  It is an observation guide to use as you are working with your student during typical communication situations.

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Lesson

5

Dynamic AAC Advanced Consultation Form

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Lesson

6

Test of Aided-Communication Symbol Performance

The Test of Aided-Communication Symbol Performance (TASP) is a formal assessment tool you can use to assess some of your student's skills which may impact your selection, development and instruction in AAC. This tool was developed by Joan Bruno. We've done multiple trainings on the TASP and will upload these soon. For now, take a look at the curated videos from YouTube as a place to get started!

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Lesson

7

Balancing Demands​ of AAC and Academics

In this lesson we are considering the cognitive demands of using an AAC system to communicate and the considerations you will need to make to support your student, depending on the complexity of your topic!

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Lesson

8

Team and Family Involvement​

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