Friday, 1 January 2010

I can... share information!

January 2010
January is a time of new beginnings – who knows what is in store for each of us in the months to come? For some, the year will bring changes in the places that we go and the people who we meet. Perhaps we will start a new class or school. Whenever we meet new people it is good to share information with them, to let them know who we are and what is important to us. This newsletter contains suggestions around how individuals who use augmentative and alternative communication can share this kind of information.

Vocabulary Suggestions
  • Here’s some cool stuff you may not know about me…
  • Tell me 3 things about you.
  • My favourite things to do are…
  • I have an All About Me book – check it out in my backpack.
  • Do you want to know more?
  • Do you want to hear my speech?
  • I can answer yes/no questions.
  • I can’t wait to say my speech!
  • Thanks for listening.
Ability Connections is a group of young people with disabilities who, through public speaking, aim to increase awareness of "Abilities" and "Possibilities". They share their stories and experiences with students, teachers, parents and other community groups. Disability issues discussed can include Inclusion, Attitudes and Behaviours, Accessibility, Living Independently, Education, Employment/Voluntarism, Relationships, Leisure & Recreation, Transportation, and Government funding. 

You can either have someone from Ability Connections come and speak to your group OR if you are 12 years or older, you can become a member of Ability Connections and learn how to make presentations yourself.  This group meets on the first Monday of each month from 7-8:30 pm at TVCC to learn the skills involved in making a speech. 

For more information, contact Linda Baldwin at Thames Valley Children's Centre - 685-8680 extension 53706, E-mail: linda@tvcc.on.ca.


Kids On the Block is a troupe of puppets with and without disabilities designed to teach children what it is like to be different. Presentations are geared towards children up to the age of 12.  They are performed by a group of dedicated and trained volunteer puppeteers that bring the “kids” to life.


Kids on the Block performances are:
• available to daycares, schools, sporting groups, community organizations in London, Middlesex, Oxford, and Elgin, and by special arrangement, in communities beyond.
• 2-3 scripts chosen from a list of 12 topics on ability awareness (see attached brochure or http://www.tvcc.on.ca/kids-on-the-block.htm for list of topics).
• customized from 30 to 60 minutes in length and include audience participation.
• provided at the nominal fee of $50.00 (subsidies available) and supported by donations to TVCC.


No-Tech Ideas

  • To share information with unfamiliar partners create a Communication Dictionary with specific information about how your child communicates.  See the attached handout for an example. Include strategies for the communication partner to promote successful interactions.
  • Create an All About Me book to allow your child to share details about themselves with others.   Talk with your community speech language pathologist about creating this type of book.

Light Tech Ideas

  • Digital photo frames are a great way to allow kids to share information about fun events or activities.
  • Talking photo albums allow you to record a message to correspond with a photo.  Check out: www.augcominc.com/index.cfm/talking_photo_album.ht 
High Tech Ideas

  • Some devices are capable of projecting their display onto a Smart Board or a projector screen.  Your child could prepare their materials and use these tools to present to the whole class. 
  • Speakers can be attached to most devices to ensure that presentations can be heard.

FUN-tastic Community Celebration of Family Literacy
Saturday, 30 Jan 2010
                                                                    10:00am-2:00pm
Central Library
Bring the whole family to this fun-filled community celebration of Family Literacy Day! Crafts, activities, stories, music, face painting, pizza, draw prizes and more! There will also be a special theatrical presentation of "Darkness and the Butterfly" by Little Red Theatre, at 11 am in the Wolf Performance Hall


ISAAC Biennial Conference
                                                        July 24-29, 2010 Barcelona Spain


This conference includes success stories, exciting breakthroughs, social activities, presentations, and equipment demonstrations. Families, therapists, professionals, children and adults with complex communication needs come and learn the latest AAC information.
                                 For further information: http://www.isaac2010.org/index.php

Resources:
·       As your child is transitioning into a new environment (e.g. school, community group), it can be useful to create a video detailing information important to your child (e.g. strategies for successful communication, personal care routines).

·      Check out this inspiring video about kids who use AAC: www.youtube.com/watch?v=9Cw2Fp_TIfc