Selecting Early Vocabulary for AAC

When setting up an AAC device or app, it can be very difficult to determine a starting vocabulary.  While I am an advocate for core word vocabulary, I strongly believe in starting with a small amount of vocabulary and then quickly increasing.

During this beginning phase of using a small vocabulary set, the AAC user will only be able to tell us what we have anticipated; howevever, it is important the user succeed during these early days so they understand the power and importance of communication.  It is also vital that parents, teachers, and family members have buy-in, so we must make the launch of AAC as easy and successful as possible.

Here is a video with more information on selecting early vocabulary for AAC:

Elementary Breakthroughs: My Grade School Years with AAC

With cerebral palsy, I was just a rag doll that was nonverbal and wheelchair-bound. On my third birthday, my mother put me on the bus to go to school. Within a few days, the teacher saw a spark of intelligence in my eyes. The fight began that day to find a way for me to participate socially in my elementary school.

After researching which assistive device was best for my communication and for classroom assignments, the school system purchased my first device — the DynaVox. I accessed the device with two head switches. Although I was using pages with only a few buttons at the time, I quickly learned how to communicate with the world. Continue reading “Elementary Breakthroughs: My Grade School Years with AAC”

Tips for Making Your App or Website More Inclusive

This post is based upon Betsy Furler’s session at the 2017 Global Tech Women Summit.  You can watch her presentation below:

One billion – or 15 percent – of the world’s population has a disability. In addition, we are all aging and losing our vision, hearing, and mobility. This includes people who have cognitive impairments, physical access difficulties, vision impairments, learning disabilities, color blindness, and senior adults. By making your app or website more accessible, you can expand your reach and serve your existing clients more effectively. Continue reading “Tips for Making Your App or Website More Inclusive”