Wednesday, January 29, 2020

ATIA: First Time Attendee

Hey Tek-ninjas! So, I'm in Orlando, FL right now. And I'm really stoked! I am officially a "First Time Attendee" of ATIA. It says so on my name badge.

ATIA is billed as the conference "Where the Assistive Technology Community Meets to… Network, Learn, and Share". Right up my alley. In a few minutes, I will be going down to look at all the vending booths and see the latest and the greatest offerings.

I'll let you know what amazes me. And of course I'll post pictures. I have already gotten to take a sneak peak at the Tobii Dynavox booth as was very impressed. If you are a long time reader, you'll not be surprised by that!

If your here, and you see me, come say hello!

For those of you back in your clinics, schools, or homes... happy therapy!!

Tuesday, January 28, 2020

Help with wheelchair mounting

Hey Tek-ninjas! Here is a slightly technical offering which may be helpful to some of you. When pursuing AAC equipment for individuals, one of the most daunting aspects for many SLPs is considering wheelchair mounts.

Often, your sales representative can help you discern what mount and attachment parts you need.  Sometimes though you may need to make some decisions independently.  Typically, there are only a few variations for the mounts themselves. The issue that confounds people is finding the correct attachment piece.  In the video below, my colleague, Chris Kovach does a really great job of making this topic more manageable.

Chris highlights theses points for you to consider as you make a recommendation:
  • Eye gaze device = 20-22 inches from user’s face
  • Is the chair a “tilting chair?
  • Are there obstacles? (Cup holders, joy-stick, brake levers, etc
  • Some manufacturers include a mounting rail. Is this one?
  • Tubing size? (Tube circumference x 3.14 = diameter).

Incidentally, Chris has a very robust YouTube channel and you can find a lot of great videos on the many different software programs as well as hardware offerings from the company. Take a look at his channel and be sure to click subscribe.

Happy therapy!

Monday, January 27, 2020

2020 Core Tour here in Chapel Hill, NC!

Hey Tek-ninjas! I am so excited by this opportunity! I get to work with some incredibly smart and engaging folks. I’m always wishing more people could get an opportunity to learn from the Tobii-Dynavox Learning Team. Well, here’s your opportunity!

Join the Tobii Dynavox team in person on the 2020 Core Tour here in Chapel Hill, NC, my home town!

What’s a Core Tour? It's a free, full-day session where we will explore evidence-based approaches for supporting both communication and literacy development for children with complex communication needs. We will discuss Snap Core First communication software and associated Tobii Dynavox literacy tools to support symbol-based communicators and their communication partners. We will target specific strategies that can positively impact engagement, literacy, and growth. Following the course, you will have an opportunity to visit our AAC stations for hands-on application.

Who is this event for?
Parents/Family members, Caregivers , SLPs, OTs, PTs, & Assistants Teachers/Special educators/paraprofessionals

The Event Center at Extraordinary Ventures
200 S. Elliott Road – Great Hall
Chapel Hill, NC 27514

Thursday, February 27, 2020 
9:00am - 4:00pm

Contact: Jim Tignor
Phone: 919-260-3756

Register now! This event is going to fill up quickly, so don’t wait to register!

Registration will begin at 8:00am. Session will start promptly at 9:00am and conclude by 4:00pm. Learners may stay until 5:00pm for additional time with staff for demos, hands-on time with devices, and Q&A. Lunch will be provided.
Registration on a computer rather than a mobile device is recommended.
This course will be offered for 0.55 ASHA CEUs (Introductory level, Professional Area)

View invite in browser.

Friday, January 24, 2020

Aphasia, Text-literate, and Word List Updates!

Hey Tek-ninjas! Yesterday Tobii Dynavox rolled out a new update.

If you have Snap Core First, which incidentally retails for only $49.99 (significantly less than the competition) these updates come for free.

According to Tobii Dynavox, the Snap Core First 1.10 includes updated word lists that are more efficient to navigate. An overview of the Snap Core First word list updates, responses to key questions, instructions on how to combine existing word lists with the new words lists, and instructions on how to customize the new word lists are illustrated in these videos.

There are some considerations...

These are some pretty cool updates. If you are a current user, or supporting a current user, and you want to take advantage of these new words lists, there are some considerations:

  • What if you have not done many edits
  • What if you have done less than 75 edits to the word lists, or your edits are mainly in the Topics and QuickFires
  • What if you have done more than 75 edits to your word list vocabulary...

To find out how to address these considerations, follow this link.

But, that's not all. Tobii Dynavox rolled out a new Aphasia Pageset as well as Text-Literate Pageset, available for no extra charge. 

This video shows you how to load the different pagesets, and gives a very superficial over view.

Happy Therapy!!

Monday, January 20, 2020

37th Annual NCACA Conference

Hey Tek-Ninjas, if you are in North Carolina and have interest in Augmentative Communication, you might want to attend the annual NCACA. It's always a really great conference.

This year, my colleague, Lauren Zubow will be presenting Eye Gaze Technology for Emergent Communicators. Lauren is an excellent presenter, and not to be missed.

Per the course description:
"This conference aims to promote best practices for professionals working with people with complex communication needs. Sessions will target ways to most successfully promote augmentative and alternative communication (AAC), using innovative professional strategies based at top of the license performance with incorporation of evidenced based practice information. Both assessment and intervention topics will be discussed during this 2-day course."

Upon completion of this educational activity, participants will be able to:
· Identify specific technology tools that align with effective instruction. (Day 1)
· Describe tools used to promote language and literacy within an inclusive setting. (Day 1)
· Identify essential resources needed in the decision making and selection of an AAC system. (Day 2)
· Discuss the major components of an AAC intervention plan. (Day 1 and 2)
· Incorporate the use of AAC evidence based practices in the intervention of people with complex communication needs. (Day 1 and 2)

LOCATION WinMock Event Center
168 East Kinderton Way
Bermuda Run, NC 27006

You should be able to register at this location.

Happy Therapy!