Implementing Augmentative and Alternative Communication in the Classroom: Descriptive Teaching (aka Using Different Ways to Learn Words at School)

An additional training opportunity provided by the Diagnostic Center North (DCN).

The focus on core words within augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) systems gives communicators more bang for their buck but doesn't always align with academic vocabulary. So how do we ensure students who use AAC have access to curricular material? We could try to program every tier 3 word into each AAC device, but who has time for that? Also, when is the last time you said "isosceles" or "epidermis"?? A more efficient and sustainable option is the descriptive teaching model - no extra programming necessary! With this strategy, educators use core vocabulary to describe the context-specific words they are teaching, allowing students to participate and demonstrate their knowledge with their existing tools. This presentation will cover the ins and outs of descriptive teaching, including a summary of different types of vocabulary (core/fringe, tier 1/2/3), ways to use the model for teaching and testing, and a variety of examples across subjects, grades, and AAC systems.


Wednesday, May 18, from 2:30-4:00pm

Intended Audience:

Anybody who works in classrooms with students who use AAC, particularly teachers and Speech-Language Pathologists (SLPs). No background knowledge in AAC required.