Sunday, 1 June 2008

I can...keep in touch!

As the school year draws to a close, students may want to keep in touch with all their friends over the summer vacation. Today there are so many ways kids can connect including e-mail, letter writing, text messaging, Facebook and using the telephone. Students who use augmentative communication may need some help to use these methods effectively.

Here are some vocabulary suggestions for talking about keeping in touch:
What’s your e-mail?
Are you on Facebook?
We’ll be BFF!
I’ll send you a postcard
Give me a call over the summer.
Write back soon!
Do we have stamps?
Do you have a cell phone?
I’ll post my vacation pictures
Help me write a letter.
What’s your Facebook status?
Keep in touch!

Get Connected!

Ability Online is a free and monitored online support community that links kids with disabilities or illness to other kids and adults who care.   It also provides information on health related issues.  You must register online and then you will be sent a password via Canada Post. 

Help students create an address book so that they can exchange e-mail addresses to keep in touch with their friends over the summer.
  • If a student has difficulty with spelling while composing an e-mail, try using symbols to help them choose which message to send to a friend. For example:
  • I Can E-mail by RJ Cooper is a simplified e-mail program available for purchase.  It breaks down the task of sending an e-mail and provides auditory prompting.  It is best suited to someone who can access a keyboard. approximately $125.

Send an E-Card
Students can send each other e-cards using Mayer Johnson’s website.  Browse by topic such as birthday, missing you etc.

No-Tech Ideas
Try creating a remnant book or journal of the summer holidays so that students can share their memories.

Light Tech Ideas
Collect vacation photos and display them in a talking photo album.

High Tech Ideas
  • Students who use voice output devices can talk on the phone too. Try programming a few phrases to let the person receiving the call know that the speaker is using a voice output device.
  • Ask your students to report on their summer vacation once they return to school. They can share their stories with the rest of the class by using their communication device.
Resources for teachers and educators: Check out the following websites for great ideas…

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