Happy to report that Augcomm New Jersey attracted 50 attendees and that there were lots of good take-aways for both the parents and professionals in attendance. One of my personal “to do’s” is to add more conversation starters to MJ’s device. He has shown an interest in being more social and we want to give him the opportunity to approach his classmates and others.
Lots of good suggestions for future events from attendees who represented districts including Bernards Township, Lawrence Township, Elizabeth, Berkeley Heights, Bridgewater-Raritan, Piscataway, Middlesex Regional Educational Services Commission and South Plainfield among others.
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This year, I will be shifting the focus of my company, SpeakerSelect Inc. to serve the needs of the autism community. Instead of producing business conferences as I have for the past 15 years, I will use proven research and production strategies to develop programs to serve educators, parents and others with an interest in autism.
The first program, Augcomm New Jersey, is scheduled for September 26, 2011 at the Holiday Inn in Somerset, NJ. As the parent of non-verbal 9-year old, I am surprised and disappointed to see that there are many non-verbal children who are not making use of tools that are available to facilitate communication. It has become clear to me that this situation is a direct result of a scarcity of information on available options.
I am thankful to the speech language pathologists, assistive technology experts, AAC advocates, special education law experts, AAC equipment vendors, parents and others who have offered advice on topic matter for this important forum. Augcomm New Jersey will offer a process-oriented overview of the steps necessary to create a person-first strategy for the use of AAC tools. Speakers and panelists will provide participants with practical advice and perspectives on:
-The effective use of AAC in the provision of a free and appropriate education
-The elements of a thorough, professionally-conducted AAC evaluation and the importance of an evaluation in making informed decisions
-The increasing availability of mobile AAC applications and its effect on our ability to select and implement effective AAC solutions
-How parents and professionals can collaborate to enhance a child’s communication ability in the short- and long-term
I’ll post additional information on the agenda and speakers, so check back for updates or visit our Facebook events page.
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