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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Inside the Box: AAC Applications (vocabulary organization)​

In the session we are going to be talking about what’s inside an AAC application, not which box we should pick! We’re taking a look at some of the most popular AAC apps and exploring the different ways they organize and present language to us. As we are choosing an AAC system for a student it’s helpful to know the strengths of each of the different applications so that we can best match it to what we know about our student.Most high-tech AAC systems can be customized, so if you already have an application don’t worry about that, you can make it work to fit your students needs.  But if you’re in a situation where you are choosing an application for the first time, some of the things that we talk about today might be a consideration!

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Pre-Stored Messages vs. Generative Language

Understanding Robust AAC Language Systems

Lesson

1

Robust AAC Systems Intro

A robust AAC system is designed to facilitate effective communication for individuals with speech and language disabilities. An "effective" system is one in which the communicator can say anything they want to, to anyone at any time! Most often, a single button or a picture book just isn't enough. In this session we are discussing the key features of a robust AAC system and how you can ensure that your student has all of the language they need!

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Lesson

2

Inside the Box: AAC Applications (vocabulary organization)​

In the session we are going to be talking about what’s inside an AAC application, not which box we should pick! We’re taking a look at some of the most popular AAC apps and exploring the different ways they organize and present language to us.

Start Training

Lesson

3

Pre-Stored Messages vs. Generative Language

On our AAC applications we have the choice of using single words for creative message generation and the use of complete phrases for quick communication. Generative language is the term we use to describe a person putting individual words together and  adding word endings to say a novel sentence of their own.  Pre-stored message are those messages, typically complete phrases or sentences, which require the person using AAC to simply access one button to speak an entire message.

This debate is has a lot of nuances which we will explore in our session.  We are considering the question, is AAC more important for immediate participation in our environment or to allow our student to develop language skills to allow autonomous, unlimited communication over time, or do we need a little of both? (HINT: we need both!!)

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Lesson

Vocabulary Organization by System​

Each of our robust communication systems has it's own way of organizing the words and messages on the different pages. In this training we are looking at each of the more common AAC applications and exploring how the words and messages are categorized so you can easily find them!

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Lesson

1

Electronic AAC Systems- Speech Generating Devices

Electronic Augmentative and Alternative Communication Systems with Dynamic Displays come in a wide variety of hardware options, with several different operating systems and a plethora of applications!  These are the "high tech" systems you've heard of, typically offering thousands of words on hundreds of pages with many different means of organizing vocabulary.

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Lesson

1

Robust AAC Systems Intro

A robust AAC system is designed to facilitate effective communication for individuals with speech and language disabilities. An "effective" system is one in which the communicator can say anything they want to, to anyone at any time! Most often, a single button or a picture book just isn't enough. In this session we are discussing the key features of a robust AAC system and how you can ensure that your student has all of the language they need!

Start Training

Lesson

2

Inside the Box: AAC Applications (vocabulary organization)​

In the session we are going to be talking about what’s inside an AAC application, not which box we should pick! We’re taking a look at some of the most popular AAC apps and exploring the different ways they organize and present language to us.

Start Training

Lesson

3

Pre-Stored Messages vs. Generative Language

On our AAC applications we have the choice of using single words for creative message generation and the use of complete phrases for quick communication. Generative language is the term we use to describe a person putting individual words together and  adding word endings to say a novel sentence of their own.  Pre-stored message are those messages, typically complete phrases or sentences, which require the person using AAC to simply access one button to speak an entire message.

This debate is has a lot of nuances which we will explore in our session.  We are considering the question, is AAC more important for immediate participation in our environment or to allow our student to develop language skills to allow autonomous, unlimited communication over time, or do we need a little of both? (HINT: we need both!!)

Start Training

Lesson

4

Implementation Planning: Customization

Everyone needs to be able to talk about their favorite people, places, topics and activities. Our students using AAC are no exception! Let's talk about why and how we give them access to these favorites!

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Lesson

5

Customization by System​

Each of the AAC applications has it's own unique way to customize the buttons and pages. In this section we will give you links and resources to help you understand the nuances of the different AAC systems!

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Lesson

5

Light Tech, High Tech, Mid Tech & Unaided AAC

You’ve undoubtedly heard us talk about multi-modal communication, and today we are investigating the tools that makeup the variety of AAC methods we use to supplement or replace speech!

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Lesson

6

Sharing and Backups by System​

Our students need access to their communication system at all times, and there are often multiple partners who need to make changes. In this training we are ensuring the communication device is backed up and shared with all relevant team members!

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Lesson

7

The AAC Implementation Plan: Getting Started

In this training, we will review the development of the AAC Implementation Plan which includes details about the student's AAC system, customization and training to help the team successfully implement a new AAC system.

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