Getting On Board
ACC Implementation in Sea To Sky
Signal Hill Elementary gives every child support and acceptance. When Jolene received a SET-BC loan for an iPad with TD Snap AAC app, Signal Hill’s SLP, Cleo Donnelly, focused on only on helping the student learn how to use her talker, but also on providing strong school support. An important aspect of learning how to use AAC is to have friends and family model AAC. Alison Hahn, classroom teacher, Ms. Jodie, CEA, and Cleo collaborated to have all the students in the class learn about ACC and communication via symbols. Every student was given a low-tech communication board based on the TD Snap home page and they were curious about the mix of concrete and abstract symbols. One strategy was for students to use the low-tech board to model AAC by pointing to core words when speaking with their classmates. The whole class participated in activities such as Word of Week, and other activities that taught everyone the building blocks of language and the parts of speech. Students also learned about the difference between core and fringe words. One of the learning activities was for each student to write a list of their personal school fringe, practicing spelling, and drawing their own symbols.
Cleo also helped Jolene learn TD Snap through kinesthetic-tactile experiences. Cleo cut out the symbols from the Home page and created a matching puzzle. This strategy helped Jolene develop the motor pathway for finding words.
Finally, it was important for the school to provide communication supports in all environments. The iPad may not be practical in the rain or out in the bright sun. Thus, installing playground communication boards ensured that AAC was always available. Cleo worked hard to design a custom board, and collaborated with SLP colleagues across the province, notably, Debra Woodland from Vancouver Island. The playground communication had the added benefit of expanding all children’s’ communication options. For example, learners who are new to English or kids who are upset or hurt, can point to a symbol to express themselves. As more children inadvertently point to the words and model on the playground board, Jolene will continuously improve communication with her talker.
Given so many opportunities to see AAC in use, we expect Jolene to continue to grow and thrive in Signal Hill Elementary.
Tools & Technologies