Tools for Life Training Series: Sharpening Your Assistive Technology Skills

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Join Us for a 2-Day Training featuring:

Debby McBride and Therese Willkomm

Georgia World Congress Center

Thursday, February 7 and 8, 2013


Evaluating for AAC Apps and Devices: Tools and Resources with Debby McBride

The field of augmentative communication (AAC) is growing and expanding rapidly with the introduction of mobile devices and Apps. SLPs are being faced with the new challenge of dealing with this technology and the effect that the presence of this technology is having on the field of AAC cannot be understated. In addition, t here are many new stakeholders who are participating in the decision-making process and communication solutions (especially iPad and Apps) may be provided without adequate consideration of an individual’s language skills or communication needs.

This workshop will provide support for the decision-making process when determining a communication solution for an individual that benefits from AAC. It will provide some basic framework for assessment while also considering variables of the environment and perceived needs from a variety of stakeholders.

Specific tools and resources will be provided to assist in the following ways along with demonstrations of their use:

  • A review of communicator’s needs and skills and then matching them to the features required in the AAC App or AAC device.
  • Forms/templates provided to assist in the evaluation process.
  • Examples of AAC Apps and devices to be demonstrated focusing on the language/linguistic components as well as features.

Participants will leave with tools and resources to effectively and efficiently navigate their way through the many options offered today in the AAC world. The result can then be AAC solutions that best match a communicator’s skills and needs so everyone can hear what that individual really has to say!

Creating Low Tech Solutions in a High Tech World with Therese Willkomm

There will always be a need for low-tech solutions in a high-tech world. Did you know that 80% of assistive technology solutions used by individuals with disabilities cost less than $100? We live in a fast food fast information world. We want solutions to everyday challenges and we want it now. Children and adults with disabilities can't wait days, weeks, or months for solutions. They need these solutions right now. This workshop empowers everyone to become spontaneous creative problem solvers and and not to sit back and wait for someone else to come up with the solution.

This amazing hands-on interactive workshop will demonstrates hundreds of five minute solutions that can be made "on-the-fly" using everyday materials. Learn: 20 different uses for a flagpole bracket; 20 ways to adapt an iPad for physical, sensory, or cognitive limitations; how to create hundreds of solutions using Loc-line, Lok-Lift, Dual Lock, CPVC, Model Magic, Pink Board, Corner Guard, and Magnum Steel; how to score, snap, debur, heat and bend acrylic in 10 seconds; over 30 solutions that can be made with corrugated plastic; 10 amazing specialty tapes; 20 incredible solutions that can be made with a 17 inch padded industrial twist tie; amazing uses for new products such as UGlu, Velcro One-Wrap, Removable Clear NoteTabs and so much more. This is guaranteed to be one of the most incredible workshops that you have ever attended.

Speaker Bios

Debby McBride

Debby McBride, MS., CCC-SLP, has 27 years experience working in most areas of augmentative communication. Her broad and unique perspective comes from her clinical experience in both educational and medical settings as an AAC specialist, as a clinical tools developer, a national trainer, and previously an AAC device representative.