Starting an AAC Journey
Effective Classroom Supports for Preschool Teams
Join us for a pre-conference workshop at ATIA!
About This Workshop
Despite our best efforts, too many children with little or no functional speech enter kindergarten without an effective communication system to support their language and literacy development. This pre-conference workshop will provide participants with a framework for developing an initial AAC system and implementing effective communication supports in the classroom.
Starting the AAC Journey: In this segment, we explore some of the main issues involved is providing classroom-based AAC supports for young children. How can we start AAC when they don’t have an AAC system in place and our resources for creating this are limited? How can we support children who have difficulty attending, engaging, and participating in classroom activities?
Creating the Initial AAC System: In this section, we help participants understand the processes and procedures for making decisions that lead to a ‘starter’ AAC system. Resources for creating classroom-friendly AAC materials will also be shared.
Building an AAC-rich Learning Environment: Do you need a vision for what an AAC-supportive classroom looks, sounds, and feels like? Here, we describe characteristics of high-quality AAC learning environments and share examples from a variety of classrooms.
Developing Effective Instructional Routines: Even the best communication tools are not likely to generate positive outcomes without the consistent use of key intervention strategies. This segment helps participants gain the knowledge and skills to begin teaching AAC throughout the day using strategies that can be implemented by teachers, therapists, and paraprofessionals.
Assessing the Preschool Child for AAC Technology: Once teams consistently implement the intervention strategies we describe, they often realize that their young students need a more customized and long-lasting set of AAC solutions. In this segment, participants will gain insight into how they can assess their students for a personal speech-generating device (SGD).
About the Presenters
Carole Zangari, Ph.D., CCC-SLP
Nova Southeastern University
Dr. Carole Zangari is an associate professor in the Speech Language Pathology department at Nova Southeastern University where she teaches master’s/doctoral courses in AAC, coordinates the AAC Lab, and provides clinical supervision to graduate student clinicians. In addition, Dr. Zangari serves as the Executive Director of the Broward satellite of the University of Miami-Nova Southeastern University Center for Autism and Related Disabilities (UM-NSU CARD). She is a frequent presenter on AAC topics at international and national conferences. Dr. Zangari is the co-editor of Practically Speaking Language, Literacy, and Academic Development for Students with AAC Needs and co-author of TELL ME: AAC in the Preschool Classroom. She blogs at www.PrAACticalAAC.org.
Lori Wise, M.S.
Coordinator of Clinical & Educational Services at UM-NSU CARD
Nova Southeastern University
Ms. Lori Wise is the Coordinator of Clinical and Educational Services UM-NSU CARD, where she focuses her efforts on teaching families how to engage with their children with ASD, building language and literacy skills, and providing consultation services to families and teachers. She holds Florida teaching certificates in the areas of Special Education and Reading. Ms. Wise has been working with children with Autism Spectrum Disorder for over 20 years. Along with Dr. Carole Zangari, Ms. Wise co-authored TELL ME: Teaching early language and literacy through multimodal expression (2017), a publication of Attainment Company.
Kim Galant, Ph.D.
Dr. Kim Galant is a speech-language pathologist and special educator who has been working with children from birth to 5 and their families for over 30 years. She is interested in the genesis of social-communication development, the use of AAC with beginning communicators, effective professional development for early childhood personnel, and promoting inclusion for young children with disabilities. Kim currently works as a consultant doing training and implementation of AAC systems with young children.
Vicki Clarke, M.S.
Dynamic Therapy Associates, Inc.
Ms. Vicki Clarke is a speech-language pathologist who has specialized in augmentative and alternative communication for over 25 years. Vicki is the CEO of Dynamic Therapy Associates, Inc. and Director of DTA Schools, a division providing multi-district AAC services. Vicki supports school districts in AAC evaluation, equipment procurement, and implementation for individual students in the academic environment. In addition, DTA Schools supports district-wide AAC implementation through the Classroom Communication Goals Project, training, and supporting all team members in classroom AAC implementation.
MAIL: ATIA Registration, 8324 Solutions Center, Chicago, IL 60677-8003