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  • 1. Funded by: The AAC Self-Assessment Tool-Kit A project based in Cumbria Click here Produced by for CandLE Communication and Learning Enterprises (CandLE) Website. In collaboration with: Helen Dixon Cumbria PCT James Rennie School Carlisle Mayfield School Whitehaven George Hastwell School Barrow-In-Furness Sandside Lodge School Ulverston Sandgate School Kendal Also thanks to Ulverston Victoria High School Enter here Symbols: Click above for Widgit Website.
  • 2. How to use the AAC Self-Assessment Tool-KitThe pages in this tool-kit operate a little like a high techcommunication aid with dynamic screen. Dynamic screen means thatthe page automatically changes when you select one of the colouredsquares which will usually have a symbol or photograph in them. Youwill usually be directed to choose a square that is active. The choiceswill either go to another page in the tool-kit, a document or to awebsite. This tool-kit works much better if you are on line when youuse it. This is a prototype which will be improved, funding permitting,over the coming months. For example, we hope to create a formatthat will allow you to go back to the previous selection rather than thehome page and we hope to develop a training course in the use of thetools that enable you to assess your school’s use of AAC. Choose the home page square to begin.
  • 3. Check-list AAC explained Check-list classes individualsAAC assessments Access to AAC Using AAC to progress learningUsing AAC to AAC resources Useful contactsprogresscommunication
  • 4. Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC)AAC is about communication and learning support for people who„sspeech is hard to understand, those who have little speech and forpeople who do not use speech at all. Many will also have difficulty withmovement and some will have difficulty understanding what is said tothem. Choose the pictures below for more information. Life stories
  • 5. Who needs AAC? Augmentative means as well as speech Alternative means instead of speech.There are many people who have some speech who can still benefit fromAAC. Using AAC may help them to say more than they can with speechalone. People who have no speech all need some form of AAC to supportthem to communicate.AAC can be used to support receptive as well as expressivecommunication. Expressive Communication is giving information to others. Receptive communication is receiving and understanding what others are telling us. Choose the pictures below for more information.
  • 6. Different kinds of AAC AAC can mean many thingsNo tech from movement and gesture Access to AAC through to pointing to options on boards or in books to pointing to voice output machines. Choose a picture to find out more about AAC devices and vocabularies and how to access AAC. Basic high tech Choose the picture below to find out Total Communication about over 100 communication aids, software and vocabularies.
  • 7. Total CommunicationTotal Communication is the idea that a person who uses AAC will needto have a range of communication approaches and resources at theirdisposal. For example, a person might sign for some of the time, use alow tech communication book at other times, have a high tech devicewith voice output and perhaps a waterproof board for swimming.The links below will take you to examples of school policies which expand on the use of TotalCommunication. This link takes you to a page where you can find local authority and school policies.
  • 8. No tech is AAC without equipment of any kind Expression alsoWe all use gesture but when a person is unable to becomes veryspeak, gesture becomes an important part of their important if acommunication. person is unableChoose the picture for more information. to speak. Signing is a formal kind of no tech. Choose the signing picture on the left to find out about the different kinds of sign language. Intensive Interaction is a way of communicating and making contact with people who are hard to reach by ordinary communicative means. Choose the picture or link on the left to find out more.
  • 9. Choose the logo to visit the websites about five forms of signing. ster&PAGE_user_op=view_page&PAGE_id=5&MMN_position=18:18
  • 10. Low tech communicationRefers to any option thatinvolves paper basedsupport. It might involvethe person pointing withtheir finger or using othermeans to isolate a choice.
  • 11. Communication BooksA Communication book is a book, often in an A5 or A4 ring binder or display book,which has options on the pages for the person to point to for making choices. It iscommon to organise books into categories so that the person goes to the index pageand then point to he category they want. They might then need support to get tothe chosen page. Communication books can be produced in many different ways. Youmight design a book for the person to use their finger or eye for pointing or theymight eye point or use assisted scanning. You can find out more about access bychoosing this picture: Access to AAC Choose the “commercial” button to find out where you can purchase ready made communication books and templates. Choose the “do it yourself” button for guidance on making communication books yourself
  • 12. Symbolising the environment Widgit have worked in a number of community situations to symbolise environments. Choose the links to look at some case studies. James Rennie School have symbolised their public information.
  • 13. Commercially Produced Communication Books Choose the picture or the link to find out more about communication books you can buy. Choosing the link above or picture on the left will take you to an interesting talk outline on communication books. veloping-and-using-a- communication-book-p2063
  • 14. Do it Yourself Communication BooksThe basic kit you need to make your own communication books is a ring binder ofthe correct size and some paper or card to print your communication choices on to.The most important issue is to consider how the person will access the book beforeyou begin to design it. It is quite common to make books that have an index pagewhich then signals the need to go to a topic page. Sometimes, basic core vocabularyis placed on each page or there is a page with basic core vocabulary near thebeginning of the book.Below is a link to examples from books families and/or teachers or therapists have designed themselvesand a link to a product you can buy containing advice.
  • 15. Communication BoardsThere may be times when an individual communication board might bepreferable to a communication book. Examples might include boards forspecial events or activities or spelling boards for those who have enoughliteracy to use them. A person doesn‟t have to be fully literate to benefitfrom a spelling board. People who only know the first letter of a word canuse a spelling board to supplement their communication.
  • 16. Spelling Boards These are two spelling boards that have been designed using Grid 2 or Boardmaker software. Choose the picture to open a full size version that you can enlarge, save, print off and laminate. Choosing the picture below will take you to the CandLE website where you can find out about the CandLE The links below will take you to some on-line spelling spelling board. boards you can print off and laminate. Choosing the picture below will take you to the FAB website where you can find out about the Frenchay spelling board. Choose this for useful advice on making spelling boards.
  • 17. Communication CardsChat Cards are a CandLEinnovation originallydesigned to support adultswith learning difficulties inthe process of consultationabout the services theyneed. The cards are laid onthe table to stimulateinterest and when the Choose the link to seeperson picks up a card the a sample.assistant talks about itsmeaning and teases out Talking Mats is a wonderful approach towhat interests the person decision making that has been developed atabout the topic. the AAC Research Unit at Stirling University. It is an easy to use tool that has been found to support people who have significant communication difficulties. Find out more at or by choosing the picture above.
  • 18. Picture ExchangePicture Exchange involves the person giving a symbol card, or sentencemade from symbol cards, in exchange for the item that is on the card.The idea of picture exchange is that the person who is communicatingneeds to initiate contact with their communication partner and engage incommunicative behaviour with them. Picture Exchange was devised to helppeople who have difficulty with initiating communication and withmaintaining interaction. The most widely known Picture Exchange systemis PECS(Picture Exchange Communication System).In PECS the child learns to give a single card or a whole sentence askingfor something which is then exchanged for the card or sentence strip. Choose the link or picture on the left below to find out more about PECS. The picture below will take you to examples of Picture Exchange in James Rennie School.
  • 19. Picture Exchange at James Rennie School Using Picture ExchangeCard storage in the context of play Picture Exchange schedule Using a reward system Using Picture Exchange to encourage students to to support singing participate
  • 20. Communication ProfilesA communication profile is a way of identifying what we think behavioursmean and what we should do when a person displays the behaviours. Acommunication profile recognises that all behaviour has some form ofcommunicative intent and aims to enable the people around a person who hascommunication difficulty to interpret behaviours and respond to the person‟sneeds and wishes. Communication profiles can be particularly useful tools forpeople who are wishing to help those whose level of understanding has not yetbeen established and who do not appear to have a formal way ofcommunicating.Find out more about communication profiles by choosing the links below or the picture.
  • 21. Communication PassportsA communication passport describes the way a person communicates for people who are meeting him or her for the first time. Choose the links and pictures below to look at guidelines and examples. George Hastwell School has developed this passport.
  • 22. Basic High TechBasic High Tech (sometimes referred to light tech) is the use of devicesthat have a limited set of options and usually require that you record thewords and phrases yourself. Basic High Tech can be very useful for peoplewho are just starting to learn to communicate and as a tool to supportclassroom activities. Choose the pictures below for more information.
  • 23. Complex High Tech Complex High Tech usually means that you are using s sophisticated machine, often with a synthesised voice and pages that change automatically when you select a category choice. This tool-kit has been designed a little like a high tech device. Choose the pictures to find out more about complex high tech. Coding
  • 24. MAC based systemsChoose the links or pictures below to find out what MAC based assistance is available. The iPad The iPod touch
  • 25. Choose the links to get advice on iPad and iPod apps. handheld-devices-as-communication-aids.pdf Marion Stanton Flo Longhorn Jane Remington-Gurney article on apps article on apps article on I pad
  • 26. PC based devices These are just a few of the wide range that are available. Check “Speech Bubble” at the bottom of this page. .php?PHPSESSID=74fcb677b1a1875 50734cd48e7dea2c6 Choose the picture above to find out about over 100 communication aids.
  • 27. Devices that use Coding Choose the links and/or the pictures to find out more about coding. Eco 2 LAMP Unity and Minspeak. co2.html Vantage Lite Spring Board Lite
  • 28. High Tech Eye Gaze Technology now enables sophisticated use of technology with eye gaze alone. Find out more at: Choose the picture to look at some of the eye pointing devices that are available. -with-ecopoint.html products/eyemax/
  • 29. Making music Signing choirs: Both James Rennie and George Hastwell have vibrant signing choirs. You can find out more about signing choirs at:
  • 30. Life StoriesHere are some stories aboutthe lives of some people inCumbria who use AAC.Choose the picture to go toeach person’s story.
  • 31. Single Message Devices. Choose the pictures for advice on how to use a single message device. Although written for Big Macks the advice holds well for all single message devices. Choose the picture or link below to see a range of single message and other basic high tech devices.
  • 32. Basic High Tech Devices.These are devices that might have anything from one to a few dozen options. Usually a voice is recorded to create the choices. Choose the picture or link below to see a range of basicThe Proxtalker was designed to high tech devices.give a High Tech voice to people who use PECS. Choose this picture to see examples of Basic High Tech at:
  • 33. Basic high tech spellingThe Megabee offers an opportunity for the person who needs toeye point to spell and write. Choose the picture or the link to find out more.
  • 34. Examples of Basic high tech AAC used in: Choosing at snack time.Learning earlycounting. This device is very cheap Joining in at Choosing the and has several buttons on story time. colour . it as well as a nice display area. These are all available from:
  • 35. Check list for classes Choosing this link will take you to an observation schedule that you can use in the classroom to examine your use of AAC.
  • 36. More about observing AAC in the classroomChoose the pictures for more advice aboutobserving AAC in the classroom. The linkstake you to advice sheets that give otherexamples of ways in which you can observe inthe classroom.
  • 37. Deciding whether a young person would benefit from an AAC assessment.This is one of the key tools in the self assessment tool kit. Read the instructionsfirst and then look at the Individual Assessment tool. This should help you tothink about your individual students and whether they might benefit from andAAC assessment. Choose this link to go to an assessment eligibility criteria form to help you decide whether a student would benefit from and AAC assessment. Instructions are on this link.
  • 38. More about assessment.Choose the picture or link for information about assessment that has been produced by a number of centres. Dynamic assessment is an interactive approach to conducting assessments within the domains of psychology, speech/language, or education, that focuses on the ability of the learner to respond to intervention. This approach lends itself well to AAC assessments.
  • 39. AAC AssessmentsChoose the pictures below to find out more about AAC assessments. Choose this picture to find out more about what Communication Matters is doing about AAC assessments.
  • 40. Different kinds of assessment Choose the picture or link to find out more about assessment. /Quick-Guides/Assessment/
  • 41. Where to go for HelpIn the first instance contact your local speech and language therapy department. Choose the picture to find local PCTs. They might involve a communication aid centre in assessments and support. Click on the picture below:
  • 42. Access to AACAccess is about how you use the communication device. You might pointwith a finger or a fist. You might use your eyes or an alternative mouselike a joystick or a roller ball. Some students need to use switcheswhich can be set up in very many different ways. Some students needphysical support to develop accuracy. Click on the boxes below to find out more about access.
  • 43. Direct AccessDirect access means that you point at your target directly. You might use a finger or a fist, a head pointer or your eyes but you go straight to the choice you want to make. CandLE are working with QED Cogain is a leading research Choose the picture above and MERU in the hope of organisation in the sphere of for advice on developing developing a simple head eye pointing. hand function. pointer. Choose their logo to find out more. Choose the picture above to see the prototype. Choose the picture to find out about high tech eye gaze.
  • 44. Indirect Access Indirect access means that you need to use a switch or some other indirect means(such as indicating YES or NO to options) to let a person know what your choices are. Choose the pictures to find out more. 4
  • 45. Physical SupportPhysical support suggests that we might need to give someone our hand orsteady them in some way. This has always been a natural way to support aperson who cannot access a communication aid.Choose the pictures below to find out more about three kinds of physical support that can be used to help people who have difficulty with accurate pointing.
  • 46. Using AAC to progress learningCommunication and learning go hand in hand so it is advised that you readthis section in conjunction with “Using AAC to progress communication” asthere will be many overlaps.You need communication to show what you have learnt and you needlearning skills to be able to use AAC. Choose this link to open a useful set of modules on the use of AAC including its use in the classroom.
  • 47. Differentiating the curriculumDifferentiating the curriculum means that you change it so that it meets the needs ofindividual learners. The topic may stay the same but the level of difficulty or the way inwhich it is presented may be adapted. Choose the pictures below for information on using AAC to differentiate the curriculum.
  • 48. Using Technology to access the mainstream curriculum These are just a very few examples of ways in which the mainstream secondary curriculum is being differentiated so that Using Widgit Communicate students who use AAC can Ideas to plan an essay. Using the Grid 2 attend their localdocument reader to mainstream schools, access literature. Choose the picture on the right to download picture Using Grid 2 to support for GCSE Geography made in replicate the text book word. for the student to independently access.
  • 49. Commercial Products Mayfield School have been using the Boardmaker activity pad. Widgit have created many low tech resources that are ready to use in the classroom. Choose the link or the pictures.
  • 50. AAC in special curriculaChoose the pictures or logos for suggestions and support for the learningexperience of those with Severe Learning Difficulties (SLD) and who haveProfound and Multiple Learning Difficulties (PMLD).
  • 51. sensory curriculumMany practitioners believe that students who have difficulty understandingthe world around them benefit from accessing the world and communicatingwith the world by using activities that stimulate the senses. Choose thepictures for more information.
  • 52. Supporting the senses Not everyone agrees about the usefulness of sensory rooms. A sensory room is a space where all of the senses are stimulated through lights, sounds and sometimes smells and touch. Choose the picture pictures on the left to see all sides of the story.
  • 53. Objects of Reference Sandgate School have developed an Objects of Reference board forObjects of reference work on the various school activities. Even thoughprinciple that students with severe the students may not understandlearning difficulties may have them now the symbols are there todifficulty making sense of symbols or support but may understandconcrete objects. Choose the picture to see guidelines. Choose the picture below to read an article by Keith Park about Objects of Reference. http://www.ace- 7290-FE7DEA7A0060EF46
  • 54. Stimulating the sense of touch – examples from Sandgate School.Some students find tactile very calming and le-stimulation_.htmlengaging. Here are a couple ofexamples links to information abouttactile stimulation. usyma/pdf,4c286feae9f9 f,streichelspiel Home made texture board from Sandgate School.
  • 55. LiteracyAAC users often experience difficulties with literacy. This might be because of specificlearning difficulties or it could be down to physical and/or sensory issues. Click on the logos or links below to get some useful information about literacy and AAC. ies_for_students_using_aac.html -and-Literacy/ Choose the picture for http://www.esc- articles on cation/AAC%20and%20Literacy%202- 10%20Handout.pdf literacy and AAC
  • 56. Articles on Literacy and AAC This is an article on Activity at Sandgate School. Using literacy in nursery for picture support with object developing pre- support, symbol support and voice reading skills output. Choose the picture for and article by Penny Lacy about this kind of literacy activity. This is an article using AAC in story telling This is an article on AAC and literacy. itstream/1983/1188/1/I%20wa nt%20to%20choose%20too.p df
  • 57. Using the LadderThe ladder is an adaptation of an assessment tool CandLE Limiteduses in Motor Planning Training. The idea is that materials at anycognitive level can be adapted so that a range of students withlearning and or access difficulties can participate in lessons. You can download the Learning Ladder for differentiation here. You can download examples of differentiation using the Learning Ladder here.
  • 58. Stimulating learning and interaction through musicChoose the pictures to find out aboutsome great resources for helpingstudents to engage in musicalactivities.
  • 59. Schedules Schedules are visual reminders for This is a combination of a students of what is planned for the schedule and a basic day to help them keep track. There communication board from George might be a whole class schedule or Hastwell School. individual students might have their own. It is common for the student to remove the symbol for the activity once it is finished.This is a whole schedule from JamesRennie School. Choose the picture or link above for advice on using schedules.
  • 60. Using AAC to progress CommunicationEffective communication is an outcome rather than a process. The process ofdeveloping an AAC based communication system for someone requires attentionto many elements including the following:•How will the person access the device?•What device will be best?•What vocabulary will they need?•What level of literacy skill do they currently have?•What level of literacy skills might they be able to develop?It is advisable to have a range of AAC options available to a person rather thanrelying on just one so they might use simple signs, gestures, low tech boards, alow tech book, a single message button and a high tech device each with theirown specific purpose. Total Communication Choose this Choose the link for more picture to find information: out more about devices.
  • 61. What device will be best?Choosing the right device depends on many factors including the person‟sunderstanding of language, ability to point and the circumstances theyneed to use the device in. If the person needs to use the device forcommunication only then there may be a different solution than if theyneed to use the device to learn as well as communicate.Choose the pictures below to be directed to advice about device choice. Choose the picture to find out more about access.
  • 62. How will the person access the device?Accessing the device is fundamental to device choice. You need to find outhow a person will point before you start to choose devices. Choose the pictures below for more information. Choose this picture to find out more about vocabularies.
  • 63. What vocabulary will they need?The vocabulary you use will depend on what you understand and how you access the communication aid. Choose the pictures for more information. Choose this picture to find out more about literacy.
  • 64. What level of literacy skill do they currently have?What level of literacy skills might they be able to develop? Learning ability underpins the ability to use AAC to communicate. Choose the pictures for more information.
  • 65. ResourcesChoose a picture totake you to links to awide range ofresources that arerelevant to the user ofAAC.
  • 66. Articles Marion Flo Longhorn Jane Remington Article on using Stanton article on -Gurney article on AAC throughout thearticle on IPad IPad apps IPad day. apps Sally Millar guide to Really useful set using symbols and of AAC handouts pictures.
  • 67. Person Centred Planning Person Centred Planning helps us to support a person with their views and aspirations at the centre of the process. Choose the logos or links below to find out more about Person Centred Planning. / / ationsandstatistics/Publication http://www.partnersinpolicyma s/PublicationsPolicyAndGuida nce/DH_115175 /
  • 68. Disability RightsChoose the logo’s or links below to find out more about some organisations that are concerned with disability rights. http://www.partnersinpolicyma http://www.inclusion- /
  • 69. WebsitesClick on the picture for a document with a range of useful websites which you can access by holding down your control button and right clicking you mouse.
  • 70. TrainingChoose the company logos or links to find out about the training related to AAC that they offer. Choose the picture below to go to a set of self evaluation sheets so that you can consider the training needs unication_and_Learning_for_All_cours grammes/cpd/courses/learning_diffic of your staff. e.htm ulties_and_disabilities.shtml http://www.pmld urces/ m http://www.ace- 2006.asp / http://www.ace- =8C758C77-3048-7290- FE8B9BF79E84F514 http://www.communi http://www.cityandguilds.c page/conference om/46559.html
  • 71. Family Run Groups1 Voice is the main UK family rungroup supporting young people whouse AAC. They have particularlycreated the idea of older rolemodels supporting younger peoplejust starting out in AAC. CandLE isdeveloping the support of rolemodels for young people who useAAC in mainstream schools. Netbuddy is an award- winning site for swapping practical tips and information on all aspects of supporting people with learning disabilities.
  • 72. Useful contactsChoose the pictures to find useful contacts.
  • 73. AAC Centres A fuller list can be found by choosing the picture or the link below: age/resources/aac-assessment-services