Welcome to our training programs
Welcome to our online courses! We strive to provide high-quality and relevant trainings to all individuals that use or support a person who uses Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC). All of our course instructors are specialists in the field of AAC, with years of experience working with complex communication disorders. Whether you are a professional, a parent, or a care provider, you will find our courses to be a source of valuable, research-based and practice-oriented information.
Please find a list of the currently available courses below. We are continuously working on extending our course catalog, so make sure to check in often to learn about newly added resources. If you are interested in a particular topic that is not already covered by one of our courses or if you want to share feedback concerning our courses, we would be glad to hear from you.
This three-part course provides an introduction to the basic concepts of Augmentative and Alternative Communication. Claire Cereghino describes different forms of AAC, explains who can benefit from using AAC, discusses common AAC myths, and outlines some best practices for the implementation of AAC in therapy sessions and in the family context.
This five-part course is designed to help families set up their child’s communication device with Proloquo2Go. Robin Shobe describes the differences between Core and Fringe vocabulary and explains why it is important to give a language learner access to both vocabulary types. She outlines the basic options for customizing the application and presents a template-based approach for adding activity-specific boards to the communication device.
As a follow-up to the previous course, this three-part course offers an introduction to the use of Proloquo2Go and similar applications. Starting with a detailed look at modes, functions, and social aspects of communication, Robin Shobe shows how to integrate a child’s communication system into daily activities in a fun and engaging way. She explains why modeling the use of a communication system is indispensable for helping the child become fluent in using the system themselves. Following this course, parents and caregivers will learn how to become one of the most important communication partners and language teachers of their child.
In this five-part course, Lucas Steuber provides an overview of basic language functions and explains why some AAC users may get stuck at a specific stage of language use. To illustrate the problem, he presents three case studies that show the development of communication skills in a low-tech AAC user with autism spectrum disorder, a high-tech AAC user with autism spectrum disorder, and a teenager with Rett syndrome transitioning between different eye gaze systems. Viewers will learn about the nature of emergent communication and be able to study real-life examples of communicative barriers accompanied by a description of possible next steps in therapy.
Vocabulary target selection and modeling AAC often seem like daunting tasks when a child has a new communication device. In this course, Claire Cereghino puts her focus on the value of both Core and Fringe vocabulary and on the relation between appropriate vocabulary selection and the overall success of AAC implementation. Additionally, she provides an introduction to the method of Aided Language Stimulation and examines different suggestions for implementing this method in therapy contexts.
Is it possible to teach vocabulary and language structures in a meaningful, engaging, and effective manner without investing a lot of money or spending inordinate amounts of preparation time? Lauren S. Enders addresses this question in the present course. After a quick review of useful resources for vocabulary target selection, she develops a set of simple and versatile lesson plans for teaching AAC that require only free or inexpensive materials and can be easily reworked as target words and language structures evolve.
Understanding how children acquire language skills is an essential precondition for turning everyday activities into rich language learning experiences. In this course, Robin Shobe introduces a set of strategies that facilitate language acquisition for children who use AAC systems either as their primary mode of communication or as a way to supplement their limited verbal skills. A main interest of her discussion lies in creating awareness for informal learning opportunities that occur throughout a child’s day – at home, at school, and in the community.
In this course, Lauren S. Enders explores a variety of inexpensive and engaging iPad applications that can be used for teaching essential Core vocabulary in therapy sessions and in the family context. She explains why loading games or educational apps onto a communication device is most often problematic and describes different types of iPad applications that can serve as useful tools in teaching AAC and supporting the language development of children using AAC systems.
The technique of Aided Language Stimulation is an essential component of any AAC implementation plan. In this course, Lauren S. Enders presents and discusses examples of Aided Language Stimulation in practice, guides a series of activities that provide first-hand experiences in the use of this method, and considers the question of how to reflect the method of Aided Language Stimulation in determining IEP goals.
In this course, Lauren S. Enders reiterates the importance of teaching Core vocabulary to individuals with complex communication needs. She provides instruction on where to find research-based Core vocabulary lists that will be helpful for selecting appropriate vocabulary targets. In the second part of the course, she outlines the principles of the Core-based Descriptive Teaching Model that provides useful tools for avoiding an unnecessary focus on topic-specific low-frequency vocabulary in academic language teaching.
This course offers an in-depth look into the principles of Partner Assisted Scanning (PAS). Bethany Stanley shows how to introduce students with different communicative and cognitive skills to the use of PAS and how to best match the available access methods with the individual student. She explores functional ideas for using PAS in the classroom, focusing on ways to allow students with complex communication needs to more fully participate in the classroom framework. She also touches on scaffolding methods for increasing student independence in using PAS and for moving towards a scanning speech generating device.