The Benefit of Targeting Writing for Students Who Use AAC
The Benefit of Targeting Writing for Students Who Use AAC
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This session from ASHA’s 2021 Schools Connect online conference examines how to incorporate written language instruction to enhance language interventions for students with complex communication needs who use augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) systems. The presenter discusses how writing practice using AAC fits into the context of a balanced literacy framework. The session also outlines the benefits of collaborating with occupational therapists.

Learning Outcomes
You will be able to:

  • List three benefits of targeting writing in intervention for all students 
  • Discuss the benefits of collaborating with occupational therapists during writing instruction 
  • Identify multiple ways to implement evidence-based writing practices using AAC as a part of a balanced literacy framework

Presenter Information

Karen Natoci, MS, CCC-SLP, earned both her undergraduate and graduate degrees from the University of Michigan in the area of Psychology, Speech/Hearing Science, and Speech and Language Pathology in 1981 and 1982. Karen has always been drawn to those with complex communication needs. She was first introduced to the new field of Assistive Technology when the Apple II GS was used with a Unicorn keyboard connected via an adaptive firmware card. Karen spent 15 years at Wing Lake Developmental Center in the Bloomfield Hills School district and was a part-time lecturer at Wayne State University, College of Special Education. She joined the Communication Matrix grant project to help launch the Community of Practice interactive website in 2014. She coached teams in Washington, DC, and Oklahoma learn to use the Matrix. She spent 6 months at Oregon Health and Science University wrapping up her consulting role before moving to the Bay Area. Karen follows an “integrationist” approach in the area of early AAC, appreciating the research from multiple disciplines. She has a special interest in cortical vision impairment and emergent literacy/AAC. Previous courses include: ASHA Webinar course (2019 topic: Balanced Literacy Instruction), AAC by the Bay (2016 topic: Communication Matrix), Michigan Speech and Hearing Association and the California Speech/Hearing Association (Communication Matrix). The implementation of shared reading may be found in Dr. Carol Zangari’s PrAACticalAAC website (“PrAACtically Reading”). Karen is honored to have received training directly from original authors and researchers in PECS, PODD (advanced), Intensive Literacy Course (Erickson, Koppenhaver), CVI (Christine Roman Lantzy), and Communication Matrix Profile (OHSU). When not working, Karen spends time with her family, hiking in the Bay Area, practicing piano, or singing soprano with the Berkeley Community Choir and Orchestra.

Financial Disclosures:

  • Financial compensation from ASHA for this presentation
  • Full-time employee of the Palo Alto Unified School District
  • Small private practice (part-time)

Nonfinancial Disclosures:

  • None

Assessment Type

Self-assessment—Think about what you learned and report on the Completion Form how you will use your new knowledge.

To earn continuing education credit, you must complete the learning assessment by the end date below.

Program History and CE Information

Content origination date: July 14, 2021
End date: October 14, 2027

This course is offered for 0.1 ASHA CEUs (Intermediate level, Professional area).

Continuing Education

10/14/2022 to 10/14/2027

Product Information

Item #(s): PD102599
Client Age: Children
Format(s): eWorkshop
Language: English
Author: Karen Olivia Natoci, MS, CCC-SLP

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