If you are concerned that a student does not understand your directions, ask him/her to repeat them back to you or to a peer.

This website is dedicated to promoting inclusive schooling and exploring positive ways of supporting students with autism and other disabilities. Most of my work involves collaborating with schools to create environments, lessons, and experiences that are inclusive, respectful, and accessible for all learners.

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Day 5: AAC for all

Posted on December 05, 2014 in News

How about giving the gift of communication, access, and adaptation? On Day 5, consider gifting an augmentative and alternative communication [AAC] tool that can be used by all.

A single-message communicator can be used by students needing communication support, but it can also be used by all learners in the context of daily lessons. Use it to add sound effects to your skits, to announce a “fact of the day” or to read a repeating line in a favorite storybook. These practices help students with disabilities get repeated practice using supports and provide all learners with opportunities to learn about possibilities for assistive technology.

A picture-based communication board can be used in any early elementary classroom as a storytelling tool. For instance, you can have students “write” three sentences using only options on the board and then use that story starter to create a longer narrative. Or stock your board with content-area vocabulary words and have students play a game where one student “calls out” a word and other students have to define it.

Communication Board

Keep in mind that “assistive tech for all” can work for families too. Devices can be used to sing songs (e.g., happy birthday, Christmas carols), play games (e.g., “your turn”, “my turn”), and suggest conversation topics at the dinner table.

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