Whew… This year has been off to a fast and furious start. I’ve started at a new middle school, picked up where I left off at the high school, and my time on the Assistive Technology (AT) team has increased! The increase in AT time has given me an opportunity to really tackle some projects to support our AAC users (and the professionals that work with them). Here are the two major projects that have consumed most of my time:

1. AAC support group for our SLPs that work with students who are using/could benefit from AAC. It’s a great way to share information and evidence based practices, and we talk about what’s working/not working for us. We’ve had our first meeting, and have the next one in a couple of weeks. This seems to be a success and I’m going to go ahead and add it to the win column.

2. Grant writing. After the PODD roll out didn’t go so well (due to my lack of availability to train staff), I thought it was time to take a step back. At the PODD training over the summer, Gayle Porter talked about the need to establish communicative environments for our AAC users. This foundation is KEY and I realized that I skipped this step last year. So, this year I’m going to change it up and support our professionals to effectively work with AAC users. That’s where the grant writing comes in. I’m writing a grant to our Public School Foundation to purchase materials for teachers to implement with their AAC users.

I will blog more about this in detail later, but the major points are:
* Professional development on myths/misconceptions of AAC users
* Professional development on the importance of aided language input
* Core vocabulary training
* Creating core vocabulary boards for teachers to use in the classroom

It’s important for me to really support teachers and staff, instead of adding one more thing to their unending list of demands. I don’t want this to be just one more thing, but something that teachers can easily put in place and will really make a difference for our AAC kids. I’ll keep you posted on how it all turns out.

Has anyone else done training like this before? Any info is helpful!