CE Courses / Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC)

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Contemporary Issues: Augmentative & Alternative Communication Service Provision
Format(s): SIG Perspectives
These SIG 12 Perspectives articles provide information on current issues associated with display design and image complexity for individuals with cortical visual impairment and an in-depth overview of telepractice for people who rely on augmentative and alternative communication. Readers will be more adept at assessing and assisting children with cortical visual impairment and will have a better understanding of telepractice methods that can be used to improve virtual service delivery.
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A Culturally and Linguistically Responsive Approach to AAC
Format(s): eWorkshop
In this session, the speaker reviews the characteristics of culturally and linguistically responsive AAC practices and presents evidence-based strategies for culturally appropriate bilingual AAC assessment and intervention. The speaker discusses partnering with families to determine values, needs, priorities, and resources when implementing AAC. This course is a recorded session from the 2021 online conference “Expanding AAC: Accessible Strategies for Functional Communication.”
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AAC Intervention as Language Intervention: Building on What You Know
Format(s): eWorkshop
This session explores how to adapt traditional speech-language practices to serve students who use AAC systems. The session demonstrates analyzing language samples from a student using an AAC system and then developing goals and intervention activities to address development in the areas of pragmatics, phonology, vocabulary, and grammar. This course is a recorded session from the 2021 online conference “Expanding AAC: Accessible Strategies for Functional Communication.”
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Building Early Communication Skills: Matching AAC Strategies to Developmental Needs
Format(s): eWorkshop
Learning to gesture or use aided AAC for intentional communication with a partner is challenging for some infants and toddlers with complex communication needs. This session explores a variety of intervention strategies that improve pre-intentional and intentional communication skills using various AAC modalities and some of which incorporate families and caregivers. The speaker shares live illustrations and video examples of young children who have various difficulties with pre-intentional communication and problem solves about how intervention can structure the learner’s experiences to fill in gaps. This course is a recorded session from the 2021 online conference “Expanding AAC: Accessible Strategies for Functional Communication.”
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Creating AAC-Friendly Environments
This session explores evidence-based strategies to make environments communicatively accessible to students who use aided language systems. The speaker discusses barriers these students may encounter in language learning, how we can proactively reduce these barriers, and how we can use peers and other communication partners to create language-supportive environments using AAC. The session also includes reflections on what worked and what didn't from students who used AAC systems in classrooms. This course is a recorded session from the 2021 online conference “Expanding AAC: Accessible Strategies for Functional Communication.”
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Effective Practices in AAC Assessment
Format(s): eWorkshop
Given the landscape of hundreds of apps, speech-generating devices, low-tech options, and no-tech strategies, SLPs who do not typically complete AAC assessments may wonder who to refer for an AAC an assessment and how they can contribute to the assessment process. This session reviews the AAC assessment process, with an emphasis on feature matching and consideration of the individual’s current and future needs. This course is a recorded session from the 2021 online conference “Expanding AAC: Accessible Strategies for Functional Communication.”
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Effective, Engaging AAC Instruction

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Format(s): eWorkshop
This session explores tools, strategies, and a framework to enhance engagement, learning, and generalization for students who use AAC. The speakers discuss various ways to support students’ learning and communication with peers, including using social communication games, combining core vocabulary and literacy, and determining authentic purposes. This course is a recorded session from the 2021 online conference “Expanding AAC: Accessible Strategies for Functional Communication.”
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Engaging and Manageable School-Based AAC Telepractice
Format(s): eWorkshop
AAC teletherapy can be fun, engaging, and effective with the right tools and strategies. This session provides guidance on setting up AAC systems for modeling during virtual sessions as well as tools SLPs can use to view a student's AAC device virtually. The speaker explores free and low-cost telepractice materials to increase student engagement and make planning more manageable. This course is a recorded session from the 2021 online conference “Expanding AAC: Accessible Strategies for Functional Communication.”
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Improving AAC Implementation With Effective Collaboration
Format(s): eWorkshop
Effective collaboration among individuals who use AAC and their families, communication partners at school/work, and those in the community can promote positive outcomes for the AAC communicators. This session defines what successful information exchanges can look like and explores who in the community an SLP may want to include as collaborators. The presenter shares strategies for effective and efficient collaboration across the AAC communicator’s family, school/work life, and broader community. This course is a recorded session from the 2021 online conference “Expanding AAC: Accessible Strategies for Functional Communication.”
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Integrating AAC in School Settings
Format(s): eWorkshop
This session discusses strategies to incorporate AAC throughout a student’s school day to increase their expressive output over a variety of communication opportunities. The speaker presents ideas for creating a systematic integration plan and discusses strategies that can work with low- or high-tech AAC systems to prompt expressive communication initiations, topic maintenance, and appropriate conversation redirection and termination. This course is a recorded session from the 2021 online conference “Expanding AAC: Accessible Strategies for Functional Communication.”
Moving Toward a Robust AAC System
Format(s): eWorkshop
This session examine the often-daunting process of moving a child who is minimally verbal or nonverbal from a basic to a full-featured AAC system. The session covers the selection, use, and goal-setting process for a basic, functional communication and language development system while planning for assessment for and implementation of a fuller system. The speaker shares suggestions for designing effective intervention sessions and ideas for helping the team get on board. This course is a recorded session from the 2021 online conference “Expanding AAC: Accessible Strategies for Functional Communication.”
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Setting Goals for Students Who Use AAC
Format(s): eWorkshop
This session explores the process of selecting and crafting measurable goals that are appropriate for students learning to communicate using AAC. The speaker reviews the AAC competency categories, shares tools that SLPs can use to identify developmentally appropriate learning targets, and discusses strategies for writing observable and measurable goals. This course is a recorded session from the 2021 online conference “Expanding AAC: Accessible Strategies for Functional Communication.”
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There’s No Place Like Home: Supporting AAC at Home
Format(s): eWorkshop
Having knowledgeable and supported caregivers—including parents, siblings, care attendants, home aides, home nurses, and extended family—is vital to an AAC user’s success. New opportunities for virtual sessions allow a level of home involvement and support previously made difficult by time and logistical constraints. This session discusses practical strategies for teaching and supporting home caregivers. This course is a recorded session from the 2021 online conference “Expanding AAC: Accessible Strategies for Functional Communication.”
AAC for Patients in Critical and Acute Care Settings
Format(s): eWorkshop
Regardless of their age, patients in critical and acute care settings may experience communication difficulties due to the nature of their illness and the medical interventions they require. This session discusses augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) for these patients, including evaluation and intervention considerations, resources, and materials to support AAC service delivery.
AAC Considerations for Individuals With ALS [On Demand Webinar]
Format(s): On Demand Webinar
When individuals with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) experience changes in speech, they often look to SLPs for guidance and hope. SLPs have many tools at their disposal that can make a dramatic difference in patients’ quality of life. This on demand webinar will describe practical, patient-focused methods for AAC assessment and implementation for individuals with ALS that are based on an individual’s current strengths and needs.
SLP and BCBA Collaboration for AAC: Finding Common Ground (SIG 12) (On Demand Webinar)
Format(s): On Demand Webinar
This on demand webinar (available beginning November 20, 2020) will address interprofessional collaboration between SLPs and Board-Certified Behavior Analysts (BCBAs) when assessing and implementing augmentative and alternative communication (AAC). Focusing on a case study where collaboration improved outcomes for a young child who uses AAC, the speaker will address terminology and language frameworks used by each field, highlight the perspective of each discipline, and share practical strategies for facilitating collaboration. Participants will walk away with a handout with conversation starters and question prompts SLPs can use to facilitate discussions about AAC with BCBAs. This webinar – part of the SIGnature Series – was developed by SIG 12: Augmentative and Alternative Communication.
Current Issues in Augmentative & Alternative Communication Service Provision
Format(s): SIG Perspectives
These Perspectives (SIG 12) articles provide information on an assortment of current issues in augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) service provision. Specific topics include discussions regarding preparation and training of speech-language pathologists and other stakeholders in the AAC field as well as information regarding culturally competent assessment and intervention. In addition, literacy acquisition using video visual scene displays is introduced and information regarding image color in AAC displays is provided.
AAC and Core Vocabulary Implementation in Schools: Secrets to Success
Format(s): eWorkshop
This session—a recorded session from ASHA’s 2020 Schools Connect conference—reviews five key secrets to success for augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) and core vocabulary initiatives in schools. The speaker discusses specific strategies and tools based on a successful, large-scale AAC implementation. She also shares student examples with language targets and staff examples with fidelity tools.
AAC for Early Intervention: Myths and Realities
Format(s): eWorkshop
This session provides an overview of myths – widely held but false beliefs – that have hampered the use of AAC in early intervention services (e.g., that a child must be a certain age to benefit from AAC, or that AAC hinders or stops speech development). The presenters provide evidence to refute these common myths and discuss strategies for how to debunk them. This course is a recorded session from the 2019 online conference “Birth to Three: Working Together to Serve Children and Their Families.”
Augmentative and Alternative Communication for Preschoolers With Autism Spectrum Disorder
Format(s): eWorkshop
Children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) need to become effective communicators with multiple communication partners and across multiple settings. This session addresses how to use evidence-based core word augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) systems and strategies to facilitate functional and social communication skills with preschool-age children with ASD who are either verbal or nonverbal. This course is a recorded session from the 2019/2020 online conference “Innovative Methods for Preschool Assessment, Collaboration, and Treatment.”
Planning AAC Intervention for Children With ASD (On Demand Webinar)
Format(s): On Demand Webinar
This on demand webinar presents an organizational framework for planning AAC intervention that maximizes communication for children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). The course presents strategies to support children with ASD and their communication partners, including clinicians, parents, and teachers. The speaker defines the “mask of attention” for children with ASD; discusses factors that contribute to the challenge of looking behind this mask to increase communication; and demonstrates how to plan and organize a goal-driven AAC intervention session.
Improving Patient Safety and Patient-Provider Communication: A Clinical Forum
Format(s): SIG Perspectives
These Perspectives (SIG 12) articles provide an introduction to and description of the rationale for implementation of augmentative alternative communication/assistive technology (AAC/AT) in acute care settings. Barriers associated with implementation of AAC/AT in acute care settings are identified and discussed. Data regarding use of the Noddle, a specific access and communication option, are presented and discussed. A series of case studies illustrate potential solutions to a wide range of both patient-specific and institutional implementation problems.
AAC Considerations for Neurogenic Communication Disorders
Format(s): SIG Perspectives
These Perspectives (SIG 2) articles review and present current issues related to augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) across different patient populations, as well as identifies and discusses team-based interprofessional practice approaches for managing individuals with complex communication needs within both pediatric and adult populations. In the first article, Shannon Taylor, Sarah Jane Wallace, and Sarah Elizabeth Wallace explore factors that influence successful use of high-technology AAC in persons with poststroke aphasia via a literature review and narrative synthesis methodology. Lori Marra and Katie Micco present a clinical focus article that assesses communication partner’s perception regarding the effectiveness of a training model to support AAC use within a parent–adolescent communication pair. Michelle Westley, Dean Sutherland, and H. Timothy Bunnell examine the experience of healthy voice donors during the ModelTalker voice banking process for New Zealand-accent synthesized voices. Sarah Diehl and Michael de Reisthal describe the complex symptoms associated with Huntington’s disease and how they influence implementation of AAC to address the communication needs of this population. Kristen Abbott-Anderson, Hsinhuei Sheen Chiou, and Brooke N. Burk address interprofessional practice via a multidisciplinary patient-centered engagement experience entitled Spring EngAGEment that serves individuals living with Alzheimer’s disease or other associated dementias. Finally, Laura Hinkes Molinaro, and Wendy Stellpflug discuss a team approach for education and support of patients and families with postoperative pediatric cerebellar mutism syndrome.
Innovations in AAC Assessment, System Design, and Communication Partner Training
Format(s): Journal (Online)
SLPs who work with children who use augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) need a broad base of knowledge in evidence-based assessment, system designs, and implementation practices, particularly as technological innovations in AAC proliferate. This journal self-study explores of all of the above. The first article provides a useful framework for assessment that distinguishes essential components according to the child’s motor and cognitive abilities. Two articles examine design features: The first examines consistency of symbol location to increase efficiency, and the second looks at characteristics of naturalistic displays and their effects on gaze behavior according to clinical profiles. The final article in this self-study reviews practices for training communication partners of children who use AAC.
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Emergent Literacy and AAC for All Ages (On Demand Webinar)
Format(s): On Demand Webinar
Emergent learners who use augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) – no matter their age – can benefit from literacy instruction. This webinar reviews important elements of literacy and language instruction, especially for those who are early in their AAC use and language development. The presenter discusses the elements of a strong literacy curriculum – including a voice for all, learner engagement, an enthused knowledgeable reader, the alphabet, actual text, and shared environments and experiences – and how SLPs can incorporate them when working with AAC users on language and literacy goals.
Effective Solutions to Ethical Dilemmas in AAC (On Demand Webinar)
Format(s): On Demand Webinar
Augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) can be life-changing for many individuals, but due to its complex and commercial nature, it also comes with a myriad of potential ethical concerns. Clinicians can improve AAC assessment and intervention outcomes for those they serve by being confident they are making ethically informed decisions about AAC use. This webinar uses case studies to discuss common ethical dilemmas encountered in the use of AAC, leaning on the ASHA Code of Ethics for support. The presenter outlines a process for ethical decision-making and shares trends in school and health care settings that affect ethical decision-making as it relates to AAC use.
Enhancing AAC for Adults
Format(s): Journal (Online)
This journal self-study explores preferences about topics and types of visual supports as well as information about how people who use AAC can expand their communication using social media. Clinicians working with adults who use AAC can apply this information to improve decisions about methods and types of communication supports and maximize patient success.
Improving AAC for Children
Format(s): Journal (Online)
Augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) often benefits children with severe disabilities. The most effective AAC systems consider the child’s individual needs and support learning and social interactions. This journal self-study explores ways to improve AAC systems to increase language skills, allow for more active participation in communication, and encourage emotional competence. Incorporating parent perceptions about AAC use into decision-making is also discussed, as are the benefits of peer involvement in communication using AAC. Clinicians will be able to incorporate strategies discussed to enhance services for children using AAC.
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A Roadmap to Integrating AAC Into the Classroom
Format(s): On Demand Webinar
This webinar will explore how augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) can be effectively integrated into the classroom. The presenter will share a roadmap to walk SLPs through the particular considerations and decision-making process for selecting and implementing AAC in an educational setting. The webinar will explore the importance of the SETT Framework and a core vocabulary organization as well as highlight specific strategies for programming an AAC device, including modeling and color coding.

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