Wednesday, September 19, 2018

Back to School Sale

Hey Tek-Ninjas! Tobii-Dynavox is having a back-to-school sale on the Speech Case, the Indi and the Indi-7. Using a Speech Case, you can make an iPad a dedicated, functional dedicated AAC device. The Speech Case is for iPad 9.7" (6th and 5th generation only) and Speech Case Pro for iPad Pro 12.9" (2nd generation only).
From now until October 31st, receive a FREE durable case with your Indi/Indi 7 purchase or take 15% off Speech Case/Speech Case Pro.

Shop Indi - http://fal.cn/VosO

Shop Speech Case - http://fal.cn/VosR

Happy therapy!


Tuesday, September 18, 2018

AAC Disaster Relief

Hey Tek-Ninjas! Especially those of you in the Carolinas!

USSAAC's Disaster Relief Committee is poised to assist individuals who use AAC (or who should be using AAC) affected by Hurricane Florence and associated flooding, if they have lost or damaged AAC. Please encourage people to communicate their needs by registering at aacdisasterrelief@recovers.org. If you are a practitioner and are able to assist with recovery needs, please sign up at aacdisasterrelief@recovers.org as well! You will also find resources and current information regarding people with disabilities affected by disaster at the site. For example: CMD has issued the following waiver:

Allows the authority to suppliers of Durable Medical Equipment, Prosthetics, Orthotics, and Supplies (DMEPOS) where DMEPOS is lost, destroyed, irreparably damaged, or otherwise rendered unusable. Under this waiver, the face-to-face requirement, a new physician's order, and new medical necessity documentation are not required for replacement. Suppliers must still include a narrative description on the claim explaining the reason why the equipment must be replaced and are reminded to maintain documentation indicating that the DMEPOS was lost, destroyed, irreparably damaged or otherwise rendered unusable as a result of the disaster or emergency.

If you need or working with someone who needs access to AAC consider information above!

Friday, September 14, 2018

Grid 3 Trial

Hey Tek-Ninjas!

As you may have heard, Tobii Dynavox and Smartbox will be one on October 1st. Smartbox's
flagship software is called Grid 3, and I have to say it is super user friendly! Currently its available for a free fully functioning 60 day trial. You can download it here.

Grid 3 offers communication options for Emergent, Symbol-based, and Literate communicators. Grid 3 supports multiple access modalities including touch, scanning, and eye-gaze.

Grid 3 is available for Windows and some iterations on iOS.

I'm sure I'll be blogging about Grid 3 more, as Tobii Dynavox irons out more of the details.

Happy Therapy!


Wednesday, September 12, 2018

Durham, NC In-service: Integrating Positive Behavior Supports with AAC

Hey Tek-Ninjas! We still have some open seats at this in-service, and I would love to see you there!

Tobii Dynavox is offering an in-service in Durham, NC on September 26th. It's free, but will certainly be top-notch! The title is "Integrating Positive Behavior Supports with AAC".

If you are in the area, consider attending!

Course Description:
Behavior is Communication. This workshop will discuss the relationship between challenging behaviors such as running away or hitting, and the communication needs of the individual using AAC (Augmentative and Alternative Communication). We will explore strategies to target positive behaviors using both visual and vocabulary supports integrated in the Snap + Core First software. Attendees will have the opportunity to learn how to customize, create and share supports within the software to help implement these strategies successfully in a variety of settings.

Learning Objectives:

Upon completion, participants will be able to:

• Name one functional behavioral assessment tool.
• Name two vocabulary strategies that provide replacement to a challenging behavior
• List three behavior supports that can be integrated into a high tech AAC device.


This course will be offered for 0.25 ASHA CEUs (Introductory level, Professional Area)

Location Durham Public Schools Department of Assistive Technology 808 Bacon Street Durham, NC 27703

Date and Time

September 26, 2018 8:30 am – 11:15 am

Follow this link to register. 

Presenter: Leigh Cooley

Lee joined Tobii Dynavox after spending eight years specializing in the implementation of AAC within a school setting. She has prior experience as an educator assistant in elementary and intermediate special education. While at Tobii Dynavox, Leigh spent two years as a regional Sales consultant, working with clients ranging in age from infant to geriatric. Currently, Leigh is a Learning Consultant on the Learning Services team at Tobii Dynavox.

Disclosures:
Financial Disclosure: Leigh is a full-time employee of Tobii-Dynavox. Non-financial Disclosure: Leigh has no relevant non-financial relationships. Content Disclosure: Because of the unique characteristics of our product, this presentation will focus exclusively on the Tobii Dynavox product line and will not include information about other communication or educational products.





Friday, August 31, 2018

Welcome back!

Hey Tek-Ninjas! In the state of North Carolina school has been in session for at least a week . I'm
thinking about all of my colleagues who have returned to work after what was hopefully a restful summer vacation.

In my 18 years working for school districts, the first week or 2 back was generally chaotic, but not too painful. However, I found that the month of September felt as though it was unending! 

So this post is simply a shout out to our school based colleagues! Consider this encouragement to hang in there. You'll get through the month of September, October will run its normal course, and then the next 2 months will fly by like a rocket!

Thank you all for the work you do with our little ones! 

Wednesday, August 22, 2018

The Times They Are A Changing...

Hey Tek-Ninjas! On Monday morning many of us at learned some exciting news (In the AAC world
at least):Tobii Dynavox and Smartbox of the UK announced that they will be joining forces. As of October 1, 2018, Smartbox will join the Tobii Dynavox family and will soon operate under the Tobii Dynavox brand.

By coming together, the companies will be better positioned to help more people with disabilities around the world, to communicate and realize their full potential.

Customers will immediately benefit from the combined portfolio of Tobii Dynavox and Smartbox products, which will include Snap + Core First, Grid software, and devices from both companies. This will be a powerful pairing.

Software changes will include the following: 

Grid & Snap + Core First
There will be a focus on building new features and functionalities on Grid and Snap + Core First. The goal is to create transition software from Communicator 5, Compass and Series 5 to Grid. 



Communicator 5, Windows Control 2 and Classic Tobii Gaze Interaction Software (TGIS)
Still for sale: Communicator 5, Windows Control 2 and TGIS. Tobii Dynavox states they will support all users to the commitments made for at least the coming five years. They will however not develop any new features and functionalities on these titles. The message to me: start thinking about porting over to a newer more modern AAC software title like Snap + Core First or Grid 3.

Compass
You will no longer be able to purchase Compass. Tobii Dynavox states that they will
continue to support all users to the commitments made for at least the coming five years. For those of you who have been dedicated to Compass because of the PODD offering, I want to direct you to the Grid 3 PODD offering which is very robust. It should meet all of your needs. 

It should be exciting to see the opportunities that come from this significant merger. 

Happy therapy!


Tuesday, August 14, 2018

ECU Greenville In-service: Solutions for Adults with Complex Communication Needs

Hey Tek-Ninjas! The trifecta of in-services! Yes, Tobii Dynavox is offering a third training in September. The title of the training is "Solutions for Adults with Complex Communication Needs".

We are of course offering training on September 25th in Greensboro, and September 26th in Durham also.

Course Description:
Using lecture and case studies, participants will learn about augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) solutions for adults with complex communication needs. The workshop will also focus on access and independence solutions and strategies. Following the workshop, Tobii Dynavox Solutions Consultants will be available for guided exploration with devices and software.

Learning Objective: Upon completion, participants will be able to:
Describe the unique communication challenges of adults with complex communication needs.
• List three communication tools that provide support for adults with complex communication needs.
• Identify various access methods that support communication solutions across a diverse group of adult communicators.

This course will be offered for 2.25 Certification Maintenance Hours (CMH)

Attention: Attendees are responsible for reaching out to their professional associations and organizations to determine whether CMH contact hours from this event will be accepted toward licensure or certification maintenance requirements.

Location: East Carolina University Health Sciences Campus, Room HSC 202 600 Moye Blvd Greenville, NC 27834

Date: September 27th, 2018 Time: 8:30 am – 11:00 am

Questions? Contact Jim Tignor. Email: jim.tignor@tobiidynavox.com

Presenter: Leigh Cooley joined Tobii Dynavox after spending eight years specializing in the implementation of AAC within a school setting. She has prior experience as an educator assistant in elementary and intermediate special education. While at Tobii Dynavox, Leigh spent two years as a regional Sales consultant, working with clients ranging in age from infant to geriatric. Currently, Leigh is a Learning Consultant on the Learning Services team at Tobii Dynavox.

Follow this link to Pre-register.

I hope to see you at one or more of these in-services! Come say hi to me if you make it!