Tuesday, 1 March 2011

I can...see spring coming!


We’ve had a long cold snowy winter, but Spring must be just around the corner. March will hopefully bring warmer weather and that will allow us all to get outside and enjoy some fresh air. Take a walk, ride a bike, visit the park. Here are some events and suggestions for activities that everyone can enjoy. 

Mud, bugs, planting seeds and butterflies…lots of things to think about in Spring. Check for ready-made activities for your students on manufacturer’s websites. Ablenet shares lots of ideas through the Wiz for students to develop literacy and communication skills, using tools that are readily available. For example “Who is in the Mud?” is an art activity, reading activity and just good messy fun, resulting in the development of a book for the classroom.
Just go to www.ablenetinc.com and click on “Spring” as your activity theme in the Wiz.

Special Education Technology (SET) BC has picture sets for Spring.  Check out http://www.setbc.org/pictureset/resource.aspx?id=321.

TVCC Bike Clinic: Thursday, March 10, 2011
Time to get your bike out!! Bike Clinics will be offered on March 10th from 4:30 – 7:30 pm. A great opportunity for families to explore bike adaptations, specialized bikes and tips and tricks to make bike riding fun and successful. Appointments are required. For info contact Rachel Ireland at x 53464 or rachel.Ireland@tvcc.on.ca.

Talking of getting outside…We need you!!
Don’t forget to sign up for I Can…Walk & Talk!  during the 1 km Fun Run of the Forest City Road Races on Sunday May 1st 2011. Let your ACS clinicians know that you’ll be participating and register at: http://forestcityroadraces.com/register 

And even though it’s maybe not quite as much fun as biking, planting seeds and walking in the Road Races… March is a time to start thinking about Taxes! Check online or with your accountant about AAC items listed as allowable medical expenses, for example: 
“Voice recognition software used by a person who has an impairment in physical functions. A medical practitioner must certify in writing that the expense is necessary because of that impairment”.
“Bliss symbol boards or similar devices used by a person who has a speech impairment to help the person communicate by selecting the symbols or spelling out words - prescription required”.

Little Bytes:
No-Tech Ideas
  • It’s time to register your child for summer programs/camps. If you want to arrange some communication training for the counselors, start talking to your ACS clinicians now about possibilities. We’d love to see you at Setting the Stage and On With the Show – drama camps specifically for individuals who use AAC. Contact us if you need more information!

Light Tech Ideas

High Tech Ideas

Do you have an iPad/iPod with Proloquo2go and don’t know where to start? Come to our workshop on Wednesday, April 6th 1:00 – 4:00 OR Thursday, April 7th 9:00 – 12:00.  Free for parents and caregivers, $15.00 for community partners. See the attached flyer and register by March 30th.

I Can…be a Star!
Congratulations to Hunter King, Victoria Oke and Usborne Public School in Exeter. The entire school participated in an AAC Awareness presentation. Everyone had great ideas about how to talk with and listen to someone who uses different ways to communicate.  
Breaking the Ice “Embracing Life” is a conference designed to bring people who use AAC together to share ideas and learn from each other. June 3-5, 2011 in Toronto - see the attached flyer or website for conference info. Registration deadline April 5, 2011 and reduced rates for ISAAC Canada members (membership form attached). http://www.breakingtheiceconference.ca/ 

Uploading Independence: Getting Connected: March 26, 2011
John Paul II Catholic High School.
Youth 11 - 15 yrs old with special needs and their parents are invited to a day of connection, celebration & creation in interactive, youth facilitated sessions.

Resources:
·    http://www.assistiveware.com/pictello.php create talking photo albums with this new app, to share your holiday memories with others on your iPod or iPad.
·    Find out how plans are shaping up in the Kilometres for Communication event and how you can join in at http://kilometresforcommunication.com/participate Support Skye’s endeavor to cycle across Canada to meet with alternative communicators, raise awareness and funds. Starting in May through August, 2011, Skye will cycle from coast to coast, accompanied by his brother Kerr (an artist, activist and presenter who speaks with AAC) in a bike trailer for some parts of the journey when it’s safe and possible.