February 23, 2016

Kennedy Center's Augmentative & Alternative Communication workshop set for March 3-4

For children with severe communication impairments who are unable to communicate using natural speech, augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) can open up other ways to express themselves and connect with families, teachers and friends. The seventh annual Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC) Workshop will be held over two nights, Thursday and Friday, March 3-4.

The AAC Workshop will kick off with a free event on Thursday, Mar. 3, from 6:30-8 p.m. in Room 241 of the Vanderbilt Kennedy Center, located at 110 Magnolia Circle, Nashville.

Speech-language pathologists Denise Bryant, M.A., CCC-SLP, Amanda Fortner, M.S., CCC-SLP, Kerry Hankins, M.A., CCC-SLP, and Kaleena Smith, M.S., CCC-SLP will speak on "Partnering with Families and Caregivers to Develop Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC) Competencies in Children." This event is designed for parents of children with disabilities and is free and open to the public. Attendees may attend this event without attending the Friday all-day workshop. To gain an accurate count for materials and refreshments, please register by clicking here.

On Friday, March 4, from 8 a.m.-3:30 p.m., Caroline Musselwhite, Ph.D., will speak on "Emergent Balanced Literacy for Pre-K and Early Elementary – Apps Included!" This all-day workshop will take place in Rooms 235/237 of the Vanderbilt Commons and is geared toward speech-language pathologists, special educators, other professionals in related fields, students, parents and family members.

The prospect of teaching students with disabilities to begin to read with comprehension and begin to write generatively can seem overwhelming. This presentation will cover assessment for students who are difficult to assess; shared reading (developing a love of reading, and supporting language through reading); emergent writing (beginning to write with symbols, words, and the alphabet); self-selected story listening (listening to and interacting with books across a range of genre); and alphabet interaction and phonemic awareness (understanding spoken language at the word, syllable and letter level).

Attendees may participate in the Friday workshop without attending the Thursday night event.

Registration fees for the Friday workshop are $175 for professionals; $125 per person for groups of two or more from the same school or agency if they register at the same time; and $50 for students and parents. The Friday workshop fee includes lunch/breaks and instructional resources. Attendees can earn 0.6 ASHA CEUs if they attend the entire Friday workshop. Click here for more information or to register for the Friday AAC Workshop.

The 2016 AAC Workshop is co-sponsored by the Department of Special Education, Vanderbilt Peabody College; the Department of Hearing & Speech Sciences, Vanderbilt Bill Wilkerson Center; the Vanderbilt Leadership Education in Neurodevelopmental Disorders (LEND) Training Program; the Vanderbilt Kennedy Center for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities (UCEDD); the Technology Access Center; and Tobii Dynavox.

For more information, call 615-322-8240.