My Introduction

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scarney

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Mar 6, 2014, 1:07:45 PM3/6/14
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Hello to Everyone,

 

My name is Shannon and I am the new administrator for the AAC Parent Google Group.  I have just moved to Pittsburgh from Vermont where I lived for 10 years.  I was active in a group known as the Vermont Family Network.  I was a parent support person and had my own support group for the town where I lived.  I am currently the office manager for the AAC Institute/ICAN Talk Clinic, too. 

 

My daughter has cerebral palsy as well as other diagnoses.  She is currently in her second year of college studying Human Services.  She would like to be an advocate some day.  She has developed my passion for helping those who may need help finding their own voice.

                                                                                                       

I would like to get some feedback as to how you would like to see this group move forward. Are you happy the way it is?  What kinds of things would you like posted to keep you  informed?  What type of information do you find most valuable to support your child using AAC?  Are you in need of someone to talk to?

 

You may have noticed already that we launched our new ICAN Talk Clinic website, and the AAC Institute has started the process to update our primary website.   Some parent requested information has been made available at www.icantalkclinic.com as we as we start redesigning our new site, resources and services.  In the meantime, I will be sharing information about our AAC summer camp for those of you already asking how to register for the full parent group to have access.

 

I look forward to “meeting” all of you in conversation.

 

Best regards,

 

Shannon

 

Gayle Rich

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Mar 6, 2014, 5:04:01 PM3/6/14
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Hi Shannon,
Welcome to the group. My name is Gayle and I have been a nominal member for years - my daughter Sarah is 31 years old with severe quadriplegic cerebral palsy and is now living in a facility with many other young adult disabled folks. She has always been just a functional communicator with her Dynavox (v-max) but since she is at her new home (almost 2 years), she has virtually stopped using it altogether. She has the capability, but not the motivation.

She has an iPad and they are investigating communication programs on it as she seems much more interested in using it than her vmax. I would be interested in information on people using the iPad as a communication device and what has been successful for others, as well as strategies for encouraging use of communication tools in general. She seems perfectly happy to drive around, smile and wave to both staff and other residents when her life could be so much richer if she would communicate with them.

Look forward to more conversation from the group,
Gayle

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Terry Street

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Mar 6, 2014, 5:30:24 PM3/6/14
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Gayle,

My 8 year old uses Touch Chat on the iPad. It is a fabulous communication device and is super for her to use in her daily school work as well.  I homeschool and am very pleased with the app. She is beginning to make more complex sentences with Touch Chat.

Terry

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Gayle Rich

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Mar 12, 2014, 11:58:53 AM3/12/14
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Thanks Terry for the recommendation.
Do you have any comments on a complaint I've heard about volume. Does your daughter use any speakers or anything to enhance the volume?
Thanks,
Gayle

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Terry Street

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Mar 12, 2014, 12:18:47 PM3/12/14
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Hi Gayle,
 
    No we haven’t had any issues with the volume.  Although, she is using it at home since I homeschool, it’s much quieter than a classroom situation.  But even using it in public, she’s been okay.  I’m guessing you could hook up a speaker system, but that would involve tech support from Apple.  Actually, my grandson was recently dx with autism, and my daughter is getting ready to purchase the Touch Chat app for him.  He used my daughter’s yesterday and was so excited!
 
Good luck to you, feel free to email with any other questions.
 
Terry

Eleanor Agnew

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Mar 13, 2014, 10:16:36 AM3/13/14
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Hi Gail,

Does you daughter have some movement in her arms?
Eleanor

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From: Terry Street <terr...@verizon.net>;
To: <aacpa...@googlegroups.com>;
Subject: Re: My Introduction
Sent: Wed, Mar 12, 2014 4:18:47 PM

Daniel Grimes

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Mar 13, 2014, 10:27:26 AM3/13/14
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Our son also uses TouchChat on an iPad with no speakers. He is in a kindergarten classroom. I'm sure it could be an issue if they ever needed to get attention when everyone is being noisy or in a lunch room environment. But it would be super easy to add either wired or wireless (bluetooth) speakers.

Our has great gross motor movement so he could use physical methods to get attention in a noisy environment and then they would know to listen to the device. But for someone with limited mobility I could see the importance of having more volume.

Dan

Gayle Rich

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Mar 13, 2014, 4:07:41 PM3/13/14
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Hi Eleanor,
Sarah has a lot of gross motor issues, including a startle reflex, but once she gets her left arm stabilized, she is pretty good fine motor - she drives her powerchair with a left hand on the joystick. They are working with her to be able to be more accurate using the stylus pen for selections. She can paint on it etc., but sometimes has difficulty accurately selecting an icon. She has a Daessy mount and the case with the mount attachment.
Gayle

Gayle Rich

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Mar 13, 2014, 5:00:09 PM3/13/14
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Terri and Dan,
Thanks for the comments on the volume. Sarah could have speakers on her wheelchair tray if need be, but it sounds as if it is not the issue I imagined, as usually she is communicating one-on-one with an attendant.
I looked at the Touch Chat program. Right now I know they are trying to test some freebies to see if it will be possible for her. If she can master it and actually use it, we may consider something more robust.
Thanks again,
Gayle

Daniel Grimes

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Mar 13, 2014, 5:03:30 PM3/13/14
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Touch Chat also has an "add-on" called Word Power that is much more layered.  We haven't got there yet (far from it) so I don't know much about it.  But from what I understand, it is well suited for conversational type dialogue.  If people can learn the Touch Chat interface and get comfortable with that, the idea is that they can add the Word Power plug-in and make it much more powerful.  Just a thought.  I also was just on their website and they actually have a case with amplified speakers build in.  But I'm sure it costs quite a bit.

Dan
Dan Grimes
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