Augmentative and Alternative Communication
Hello and welcome to the updated Jill Tullman & Associates website and blog. We are excited to have this forum to be able to communicate with you about augmentative and alternative communication (AAC). We will use our new website and blog to reach out to our community of families, other professionals, and partners to connect and exchange thoughts, ideas and knowledge with one another. We hope you will join the conversation, so please follow us, comment, and offer suggestions and feedback about what you like and don’t like when it comes to what we’re saying, thinking, doing, wanting to do, and thinking about doing when it comes to augmentative and alternative communication (AAC).
We hope to enlighten you and educate you, and we hope you will enlighten us and educate us as we all continue to travel on our journeys talking with AAC, supporting family members, students, clients, and/or friends who rely on AAC as technology changes daily and advances occur that can and will have tremendous and life-altering positive effects on those who use AAC.
Those of you who know us know we are passionate about AAC. You know we charge ourselves with staying as cutting edge as we can be so that we can continue to educate families, teams and other professionals about how to best support individuals who have complex communication needs and use AAC as naturally as possible. We plan to use this forum and others to keep you informed about new technologies and new developments related to AAC.
We want to know what you want to read about, what is important to you when it comes to supporting kids, teens, and adults who talk with technology and use AAC. For example, what is everyone thinking and doing about AAC apps for iDevices? Are some abandoning their speech generating devices? Do they want to? What AAC apps are people liking and using? Which AAC apps are people NOT liking and NOT using? What do people hope and want to see in future AAC apps? Please comment on our blog and comment honestly and frequently!
We hope to make our blog easy to read, while at the same time, educational, making all of us smarter. Speaking of becoming smarter, do you know that there is an AAC-RERC? That stands for augmentative and alternative communication Rehabilitation Engineering Research Center. On their website, www.aac-rerc.com, it states that the AAC-RERC ‘functions as a collaborative research group dedicated to the development of effective AAC technology’.
One partner of the AAC-RERC, is Dr. Howard Shane, Director of the Communication Enhancement Center at Children’s Hospital Boston. I had the privilege of studying under Howard and learning from him twenty years ago when I was a graduate student in the Communication Disorders program at Emerson College, in Boston, MA. Thanks to Howard and to John Costello, I fell in love with AAC and saw the incredible impact AAC can have on individuals who are nonspeaking and/or whose speech is not sufficient to meet their daily communication needs.
AAC applications for iDevices
This past December, Howard, along with Jessica Gosnell, David McNaughton, and Sam Sennot, posted a youtube video on ‘Mobile Devices and Communication Apps: Current Trends and Future Directions’. While it’s a little long, I encourage you to view this video. The information is exciting, and trust me when I say we must continue to teach those who use AAC language and literacy so they may use all of these incredible tools as competently and independently as possible as THEY choose which tools THEY WANT and which THEY DO NOT.