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CAIU Innovation Grant winners develop alternative communication systems camp for families

by Comm Contractor | Jan 31, 2018
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Jill Bradley and Yvonne Shreffler, preschool speech pathologists at Capital Area Intermediate Unit, recently won a CAIU Innovation Grant to develop a camp for nonverbal preschoolers and their families who communicate or wish to communicate with Augmented and Alternative Communication Systems (AAC). The two-day camp, named Let’s Talk AAC, will be held April 20 and 21.

Let’s Talk AAC will provide parent education and activities for children ages two and a half years through preschool who are nonverbal and use AAC to communicate. The first day will feature a parent training session while children practice using their system in fun learning stations with trained volunteers. Parents and children will also have the opportunity to do activities together. During the second day, parents and children will go on a scavenger hunt at the Capital City Mall. During the hunt, parents will assist their children with functional use of their system to encourage children to ask questions and request items.

What is AAC?
AAC users use a variety of communication systems. Systems range from no tech to high tech and include sign language, gestures, picture exchange systems, language boards, and a variety of voice output systems that range from simple switches that say pre-programmed words or phrases to apps on tablets to specially designed computer systems with built-in language.