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

  • Registration for each session will be $100 and includes lunch.
  • Registered participants for the Tools for Life Training Event: Sharpening Your Assistive Technology Skills will be automatically pre-registered to attend the 2013 Atlanta Abilities Expo on February 8-10, 2013 at the Georgia World Congress Center.


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.

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.

Therese Willkomm

Dr. Therese Willkomm, PhD, ATP, is an amazing Assistive Technology magician who has invented over 600 different Assistive Technology solutions including 50 different iPad solutions for people with disabilities. She is known nationally and internationally for her unique five minute approach to creating solutions using 10 basic hand tools and 30 different every day materials. She has presented in 42 states and six foreign countries. Dr. Willkomm has authored 22 publications including her famous book Assistive Technology Solutions in Minutes - Make a Difference Today. Dr. Willkomm holds a PhD in rehabilitation science and technology and is the director of New Hampshire's state wide Assistive Technology program. She is also a clinical professor in the Department of occupational therapy with the University of New Hampshire and oversees the graduate certificate program in assistive technology at UNH.