Courses & Tutorials

Online Tutorials

Communication Training Series Webinars — Angelman Syndrome Foundation. At least ten sets of recorded webinars on communication topics such as goals, apps, communication supports, aided language stimulation, assessment, literacy, nondirective language, writing, shared reading, progress monitoring, writing predictive charts, reading, curriculum, writing social scripts, connecting communication to the curriculum, partner-assisted scanning, video feedback, getting started with apps (Proloquo2Go, PODD, Quick Chat)

Educational webinars (includes some focusing on communication):

The Power of Communication. "This DVD has been produced by Communication Matters to provide an introductory presentation on Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC). The film (running time 15 minutes) delivers a powerful message that communication really does matter." Preview the entire DVD here:

AAC 101: A Crash Course for Beginners. A general overview from Alternatively Speaking online.

Self Study on AAC available free on-line from AAC Institute. Courses available: Language-Based Approach to AAC Assessment and Intervention. This course provides information on a structured approach to AAC assessment and intervention that focuses on language issues rather than technology features. AAC Performance Report: Definition, Generalization, and Use. This course identifies and defines the 17 quantitative summary measures of communication performance contained in the AAC Performance Report, how to generate the report, and how to use it in guiding clinical practice.

AAC-RERC Webcasts are free and viewable on any browser. Topics include AAC and literacy, college, transition to adult life, language development, funding, seating and positioning, aphasia, ALS, and more.

AAC for Aphasia webcast: A Review of Visual Scenes Display Project - David R. Beukelman, Ph.D., with Karen Hux, Ph.D., Kristy Weissling, MA, CCC, Aimee Dietz, MS, CCC, Miechelle McKelvey, MA, CCC. Webcast, slides, handouts, transcript.

Autism and Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC): Research-Based Practices with Joanne M. Cafiero, Ph.D. "Dr. Cafiero discusses the features & types of AAC that best correlate with ASD processing styles, lists evidence-based and promising practices in aided AAC & ASD, and demonstrates effective AAC interventions."

Augmentative and Alternative Communication Supports for Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder, Presenters: Melissa Subock, M.S., CCC-SLP; Sharon Conty, M.S., CCC-SLP, Date: April 14, 2015 (archived). STAR Trainings at Kennedy Krieger: Augmentative and Alternative Communication Supports, Kennedy Krieger Institute: Link to PowerPoint:

Don't Wait to Communicate: Why Your Child Needs AAC (Dana Nieder), Center on Technology and Disability. "Led by Dana Nieder, author of the popular special needs blog Uncommon Sense, this webinar will teach parents and professionals the importance of presuming competence in a child's communicative abilities as well as tips for how to plan and build a rich vocabulary for a child using AAC."

Getting Started with Alternative and Augmentative Communication (AAC) for Your Child, Presenter: Dana Nieder, author of the award winning special needs blog Uncommon Sense; Center on Technology and Disability. "Webinar participants will learn the skills needed to locate the right AAC technology for their child, including how to look for the best system, advocate for AAC, select vocabulary, learn to use an AAC device, and learn how to interact with a child using AAC." Includes link to PowerPoint presentation. Direct link to video on YouTube:

NCSC Communication Tool Kit for Students with Severe Disabilities, Human Development, University of Kentucky. (free online) Course Contents: Welcome and Introductions - Lessons: Start Here: Communication Toolkit, Overview & Call to Action; Part 1 - Lessons: Identifying Communication, Considering Sensory & Motor Factors, Selecting Communication Targets, Selecting AAC; Part 2 – Lessons: Teaching Communication, Embedding Communication into Academic Content, Monitoring Progress; Wrap Up – Lessons: Last Steps in Completing Toolkit, Final Assessment

Self Study AAC Course — Communication Disabilities Across Canada. The Self-Study AAC Course is an online course for adults over 18 years of age who use augmentative and alternative communication (AAC). It is available to any adult who uses AAC and who wants information about: Supporting a young person who uses AAC, Supporting a parent of a child who uses AAC, Communication access rights, Participating on a committee, Making a presentation. Click on "Start Here" or "Lessons".

Social Justice: Accessibility Includes Communication — ISAAC International / USSAAC Webinar Series. Barbara Collier, Executive Director of Communication Disabilities Access Canada. "This webinar, part of the USSAAC Webinar Series supported by ISAAC, provides an overview of the accessibility requirements of people with communication disabilities when using community businesses and services. It discusses implications for policy makers, legislators, businesses, organizations, and people who have communication disabilities, including people who use augmentative and alternative communication." Learning Outcomes: Participants learned about communication access as a social justice issue within human rights legislation; implications for policy makers and legislators, businesses and organizations, and the AAC community; an ongoing Canadian strategy to promote awareness of communication access; available resources and networking opportunities

Supporting Communication of Individuals with Minimal Movement, Susan Faber and David Beukelman. Free online webinar. As with others who rely on AAC, these people are multi-modal communicators in that they use high and low technology options depending upon the situation and the listener. High technology options include commercially available devices as well as technology under development.

Communication Access in the United States: Issues related to Education, Healthcare and Justice by India Ochs, Esq., and Barbara Collier, SLP, with facilitator Sarah Blackstone; sponsored by ISAAC (International Society for Augmentative and Alternative Communication) (Webinar run time 1:05:40) "People with speech and language disabilities have the same rights to communication accommodations as, for example, people who are deaf or blind. However, they rarely can access the accommodations they need in public or private sectors. This webinar will increase awareness about the current lack of accommodations for people with speech and language disabilities in the U.S. and offer strategies to assist individuals who use AAC and their families to access needed communication accommodations. The webinar is the second in a two-part series. Participants are encouraged to watch Part I (November 2015) Social Justice: Access includes Communication at prior to this webinar."

Working Without Words: AAC and Technology in the Workplace – "This webinar is designed to provide self-advocates, caregivers, professionals, and potential employers with an overview of Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC) and its applicability in the workforce. The webinar will briefly define AAC, discuss AAC modalities, and provide examples of different AAC classifications (low/high tech). Access methods (direct selection, switch access, eye gaze, etc.) will be discussed. Communication and the use of AAC in the work place, including strategies for supporting AAC users, will be presented. The webinar will highlight profiles and feedback from several users of AAC in the workforce. Video demonstrations of AAC in use will be shown." NOTE: This webinar will be archived and can be viewed following the event on FCIC's WEBINAR LIBRARY (see link on web page)

Webinar: Augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) for children with Autism. "Some individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorders experience severe speech and language difficulties. Augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) is an area of specialty for speech and language pathologists that deals with identifying and implementing strategies to support the communication of people with such difficulties. This webinar introduced how a wide range of interventionists can use AAC to support current and future communication needs of learners with autism, with a focus on aided AAC (e.g., communication boards, speech generating devices). Methods to help interventionists identify the most suitable AAC technologies based on learner's needs and strengths, and essential strategies to successfully implement AAC were also be discussed." Includes link to Webinar documents.

Training Manuals and Books

Assistive Technology Training Online — Free tutorials on Assistive Techology including AAC (see left side bar on the site to find these topics): Module on Communication Needs. An introduction to augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) for students 5-10 years old. Overview, Where to Begin, Considering AAC, Vocabulary Selection, Vocabulary Presentation, Representing Vocabulary, Visual Environments, Finding Pictures, Ideas for Students, Social Skills, Training, Using Devices & Systems.

Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC) 101: What Teachers Need to Know. Handout adapted from a presentation by Delva Culp, MA, CCC With Graduate Clinicians: Megan Flanigan, Laura Loveless, Alexandra Neuhaus, Randi Thomas.

The Good Practice Guide for support workers and personal assistants working with disabled people with communication impairments, Written by disabled people using Scope services in Essex, and in partnership with consultants from the Essex Coalition of Disabled People. Chapters on communication, rights, being understood, seeing communication strengths, hi-tech communication aids, low-tech communication aids, experiences of poor communication facilitation, tips for facilitating communication, experienced personal assistant/support worker's view, useful references.

Perspectives on Adults with AAC from the CALL Centre – online 33-page book includes issues for users, families, and partners; AAC in hospital setting; and more. "... it has become increasingly apparent that ongoing support is required if AAC users are going to learn and continue to use their AAC systems correctly."

Vermont Communication Initiative – "The Vermont Communication Task Force (VCTF) was established in the spring of 2000 so that adults with developmental disabilities who live in Vermont can communicate more effectively to participate fully in community life, make decisions and better advocate for themselves." Publications include a report on statewide training programs, a Resource Guide, and a Funding Guide.

California Department of Developmental Services, Direct Support Personnel Training site. The Teacher and Student Resource Guides for the Direct Support Professional Training include extensive information related to each training session, in-class activities, homework assignments, session review questions/answers, reference and resource materials. Includes chapters on Communication (verbal and nonverbal) (Year 1 Resource Guides, Chapter 10), and Making Choices (Year 2 Resource Guides, Chapter 1.)