25 November 2023

AAC 2023 – 25 November 2023

Plenary Talk

Prof. Kristine Stadskleiv, PhD
Supporting communication partners of children using aided communication

The talk will focus on creating an environment supporting language development for children learning to used aided communication. Results from a review of AAC interventions for children with cerebral palsy will be presented, alongside experiences from a support group for parents of children using aided language and parental reports on communication strategies.

Video is available only to conference participants for a limited time.

Aldona Mysakowska-Adamczyk
Involving parents in assessment, planning and implementing AAC in Early Intervention

Family involvement is recognized as the best practice in the field of early intervention, including early AAC service. Parents are involved in the process of gathering information, planning, implementing and evaluating intervention. Engaging families as partners in their child’s assessment includes methods and strategies for gathering information from families and promoting their participation during the assessment. In the planning process, families and professionals are working together to choose goals based on parents priorities, and to find the strategies and activities that are the best match for the child and family. Parents need ongoing professional support to implement AAC tools and strategies enhancing communication and language skills to the family daily routines and lifestyle.
This presentation will share experience from practice on promoting and supporting parents involvement in early AAC intervention center in Warsaw.

Jelena Kondratjeva
DAGG-3 – method agnostic free AAC implementation tool

Learn about the tool to help speech-language pathologists collaborate with the support team (e.g., educators, family, related services, etc.) as they design an intervention plan for individuals using augmentative and alternative communication (AAC). The DAGG-3 identifies an individual’s current communication abilities. This information guides professionals in choosing appropriate goals and a way to track their progress. It includes all ability levels – from early learners to more advanced communicators. Activities for each goal are included as well as a clear path for advancing skills. DAGG-3 is the tool developed by Tobii Dynavox in conjunction with Vicki Clarke, MS, CCC-SLP (2023) based on the original DAGG created by Clarke and Schneider, 2009. Informed by the works of Patricia Dowden, PhD (1999), and Janice Light, PhD (1989, 2014).

Video is available only to conference participants for a limited time.

Prof. Shakila Dada, PhD
Participation of children and youth with complex communication needs

The presentation will focus on participation of children and youth with complex communication needs as the focus. The first project was a multimethod study was to co-design accessible health information and education materials with and for persons with CCN, their families and healthcare providers. A needs analysis was conducted through (a) online asynchronous focus groups with 15 healthcare providers; (b) semi-structured interviews with six young adults with CCN; and (c) interviews with six parents of children with CCN. Provisional analysis of the data revealed three main themes. A variety of barriers to accessing healthcare and accessing healthcare information were identified, relating to healthcare providers (their skills, time and communication resources, and attitudes), persons with CCN (their skills, level of empowerment, and access to AAC), as well as the format of healthcare information (including level of complexity, alignment with patient’s home language, modality, and integrity). Creative strategies to overcome barriers were also mentioned, and related to strategies to enhance comprehension, expression, engagement between provider and patient during healthcare consultations, and training stakeholders. Health information and education resources that would be helpful were also identified, including relevant healthcare topics. Based on the findings, a variety of resources were co-designed with persons with CCN, their families and healthcare providers during the development phase, and have been disseminated through various avenues, accompanied by training workshops.

Materials are freely available on the web.

Anna Krasteva

For six years, Annie has been using a gaze control system to communicate, learn, play games. Annie is extremely smart and persistent and uses every free moment to study. Annie attends school classes every day with her eye control system.
She will tell the things that are interesting to her. And Diana Angelova, her grandmother, will talk about the support they receive at school. She will also share about the problems and unresolved issues so that education can be truly inclusive.

Video with English translation

Gitit Mor-Itzhakniya
AAC and the ICF model – clinical implementations and thoughts

Understanding and adopting the ICF model way of thinking, enable us, the AAC therapists, to expand the clinical reasoning processes and to set more precise goals and intervention for our clients. At this lecture we will try to match between our knowledge about AAC and the main terminology and ideas that the ICF model is based on. We will try to examine how we, as therapists who works with populations in need of AAC, can help our clients participate as much as possible in their daily lives by looking at the interrelationships between the human components (diagnosis, structure, function and performance abilities) and the human and physical environment, as the model suggests.

Video is available only to conference participants for a limited time.

Madalina Constantin, Alina Tutu
Creating AAC opportunities in all school activities for increasing participation of non-verbal students

In order to increase the participation of students with severe intellectual disabilities and of nonverbal autistic students, we constantly try to create the best communication contexts during school activities. It is a permanent challenge to stimulate their intention to communicate within various groups of students and in different situations. For this, we consider that their favorite activities become effective communicative settings in which they can use AAC for interaction. Therefore, group or individual therapeutic activities such as music therapy, sensory stories, dance therapy, basal stimulation, etc. represent very good opportunities for communication and for increasing their participation by helping them to exercise their AAC abilities in various groups and situations.

Video is available only to conference participants.

Idalie Fernandez
Unlocking Independence with TD Snap and Google Assistant

Description: Communication, individual autonomy, and independence are the primary focus of this presentation. We will explore how Google Assistant’s integration into TD Snap, a symbol-based communication software, can be a game-changer in the field of Alternative and Augmentative Communication (AAC). Google Assistant’s advanced voice recognition and home automation features offer practical opportunities that enhance environmental control and promote independent living.

Dave Gilbert
Simple Environmental Control

Just mentioning the term Environmental Control (EC) often fills AT professionals with dread. Certainly, EC can be complex, but in most cases it doesn’t need to be. Just turning on an appliance and changing channel on the TV is often enough to significantly enrich a disabled person’s life. In this presentation, Dave Gilbert from Pretorian Technologies will demonstrate just how simple elementary EC can be, with hands-on demonstrations.

Video is available only to conference participants.

Angela Pencheva
Мy confession

Angela Pencheva will present her first collection of poems “My Confession”.
It is published by Kibea publishing house and can be found here:

Angela is introduced by the actress Yana Marinova.

Video with English translation

Assoc. Prof. Beata Batorowicz, PhD
Supporting participation, involvement and peer relationships of children using AAC

Video is available only to conference participants for a limited time.

Kathy Howery, PhD
The experience of being an aided communicator

This talk will share moments of aided communication in the lived experiences of young people who use speech generating devices (SGDs) in their everyday social and sometimes not so social life. Drawing upon phenomenological methods, moments of experience speaking with, or is it though, SGDS will be reflected upon as they illustrate the meaning of these devices in the lifeworld of these young people. Themes of lived relations and lived space will be privileged in this presentation, with the themes of lived body and lived time also showing themselves to be intricately interwoven in the lived experience of being an aided communicator.

Beth Hughes
Creating Opportunities to Use AAC Beyond Requesting

Light (1988) identified four purposes communicative interactions fulfill: 1) communication of needs/wants, 2) information transfer, 3) social closeness, and 4) social etiquette. Therapy often focuses on communication of wants/needs but does not teach other purposes. This presentation will provide a brief description of information transfer, social closeness and social etiquette. Ideas for ways to create opportunities for information transfer and social closeness for those who use AAC will be provided.

Video is available only to conference participants for a limited time.

Assoc. Prof. Susan Fager, PhD
Supporting AAC for those with Minimal Movement

Individuals with acquired conditions such as brainstem stroke, severe TBI, or late-stage ALS may present with extremely limited movement capabilities making access to AAC strategies and technologies challenging. This presentation will discuss assessment considerations and introduce some low and high tech solutions for individuals with minimal movements.

Video is available only to conference participants.

Plenary Talk

Assoc. Prof. Amy Nordness, PhD
AAC Evaluation, Training, and Adaptations for Adults with Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis

Augmentative and Alternative Communication systems can meet many different communication and functional needs for adults with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). This presentation will discuss evidence-based standards for the assessment and training process for adults with ALS in order to meet multiple different communication and functional uses over the course of the disease. Extension options available within an AAC system to help adults with ALS meet additional functional uses will be reviewed.

Video is available only to conference participants for a limited time.

Panel Discussion
AAC beyond the AAC system