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."

COURSE LEARNING OBJECTIVES
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!

Monday, October 21, 2019

What can a V8 engine do for you?

What's under the hood
Hey Tek-ninjas, so I am still excited about the new i13 and i16 from Tobii Dynavox.

One of the aspects I'm excited about is the increase of power under the hood. The older models have what is needed for communication. They are capable of doing what is necessary.

That being said, a car with an eight cylinder engine is so much more fun to drive then a car with a four cylinder engine.

The i13 and the i16 are indeed faster, lighter, more powerful, and incidentally the volume output is also significantly upgraded. I included the specs in the graphic above for those of you who understand what all of that means... for the rest of us, I included a video which very simply displays how robust these new AAC systems are.


Happy Therapy!

Introducing the i13 and the i16: faster, lighter, better!




Hey Tek-ninjas! So Tobii Dynavox is introducing the I-13 and I-16, the next generation speech generating devices with a new, faster, more accurate, and precise eye tracker. These devices will replace the i12+ and the i15+.  

According to Tobii Dynavox, the new I-Series devices feature:” The lightest, fastest, and most durable integrated eye gaze device design” - the Tobii IS5. I can report first hand that even though the IS4 was the best on the market, the IS5 is significantly better. The Tobii IS5 cannot be found on any other AAC device. 

In addition the new devices feature “Partner Window” for conversation flow. Partner Window is a text display on the back of the devices designed to allow caregivers, support peeps, and friends the ability to read-along with AAC users as they write AND STILL MAINTAIN EYE CONTACT!! No more looking over someone’s shoulder to communicate (#sorude).

Finally of note, under the hood, the computer power is significantly upgraded. For now I’ll note that it boasts a powerful Intel Core i5 processor - more specs to come.

Tobii Dynavox is also releasing significant updates to Snap Core First, including minor rebranding (dropping the + in the name), a text pageset, and a Copy button allowing users to make their own messages.

There are also some very important upgrades to Communicator 5 including a Chrome pageset, and Android phone mirroring to note a few.

Finally, I’ve been blown away by the profoundly easy to use, yet super robust software called Computer Control, which allows full Windows control with eye gaze. It is unlike anything I’ve seen before... I’ll blog in depth on this in a later post.

Mosey over to www.tobiidynavox.com for more information.

#GDTBTDR!

Sunday, October 20, 2019

‘Sup fam?

 Hey Tek-ninjas! 

Y’all probably know this, but Boardmaker has several slang symbols available. They are fun, and also important. 

Young people using AAC devices like to sound like their peers. All kids want to fit in. But it turns out, offering current slang is easier said then done. I thought it would be fun to make a few slang symbols of my own... but at 52 years old, the only thing “hip” about me is my aching hip. So I went to my Cool-Consultants, my 18 and 22 year old sons. Both of whom would ridicule me for saying “Cool-Consultants”. 

Anyway... my sons gave me some phrases, and imitating the Boardmaker style I decided to get to it.  


So, for your communication pleasure please consider using “I’m dead” and “the GOAT”. 



Also checkout “and I oop-“, “gaslighting “, and “Fam”. 

Incidentally, I will not be defining these terms here. If you don’t know what they mean, go find a teenager or early 20-something, and ask them!





Thursday, October 17, 2019

GDTBTDR!

Hey Tek-Ninjas! So, today I spent the day in training with roughly 140 Solutions Consultants and other key folks from Tobii Dynavox from all of the United States. We spent the day learning about what is coming on 10-21-19.

There may have been a dance-off... and if there was, I won. There was definitely not a single employee who was not completely wowed! Not by my dancing... but by Monday.

I’m sorry to be coy... but if you are at all interested in AAC, TUNE IN ON Monday. You will NOT be disappointed.

GDTBTDR!  (GoodDayToBeATobiiDynavoxRep)


Wednesday, October 16, 2019

"Unlock your possibilities" 10-21-19

Hey Tek- ninjas!

Have you been to the Tobii Dynavox website recently?  The homepage suggests there are some big things brewing in the AAC world.

Oh my goodness!

GDTBTDR!

Friday, October 11, 2019

AAC Resources

Hey Tek-ninjas! I know in past blogs I have talked about the various and many resources available for AAC screenings and interventions, but recently I offered a webinar to a group of school-based professionals that I thought I would share here as well.

These tools could be useful for anyone working with individuals utilizing AAC systems. Regardless of what software or product you’re working with, if you are addressing core language you will find useful tools here.  Ultimately, in order to access these resources you will need to have a free account at myTobiiDynavox.com, and a free professional account. In this blog article here I share with you how to make that professional account.

I hope you enjoy the webinar, and feel free to email or comment with questions.

Happy therapy!