Teachers -- Activity #7 -- Classroom or online
Teach about AAC Features instead of Devices
Suggestions for Educators:
It is impossible for any teacher to keep up to date on
every device or even low tech strategy. It will be just as difficult
for the clinicians you are teaching to keep up after they graduate.
So, don't teach about specific devices; teach students the FEATURES
or characteristics of all of the devices. This will arm them with the
ability to quickly evaluate anything new on the market in the future.
Step 1. Assign online reading
about features at UW Augcomm
Step 2. Give students a "Feature
1. Assign online reading about features
Have your students visit the UW
Augcomm web site. On that site, there is an overview of the features
of AAC devices and strategies entitled "Understanding
AAC Features". Students should read through all of the following
sections on this site:
1. Output Features
2. Access Features
3. Selection Set Features
4. Message Composition Features
5. Other Features
2. Give students a "Feature Review"
Have students review AAC devices (or even low-tech strategies) with
these features in mind. This assignment could be homework, using the
information available on the Internet, or it could be something they
do during a hands on lab. The purpose of the assignment is to have the
student write down the features that are available on the device. For
Output Features: The Pathfinder has auditory, visual
and electronic output. The auditory output options include both text-to-speech
(synthesized speech) and digitized speech. The visual output options
include a transient screen display with printed text. There is no
hard copy print out for the partner. The Pathfinder can be used to
control electronic devices or the computer.....[etc]
Here are some ways to do this:
- Assign a device or allow students to select from a list. The more
complex devices offer a greater challenge in terms of a features analysis.
The small devices with digitized speech are much simpler to describe.
- Design a format for the student to use for each device to be reviewed.
You can use this Features
Summary to design this worksheet.
- If you have advanced students doing a homework assignment, you
might have them describe all of the features. Be sure to ask them
to indicate the sources of information they used, and give them
permission to write DNK next to a feature that is not described
on the manufacturer's web site.
- If you have less advanced students, or your students will be
working in a lab with limited time, make up a worksheet with only
the features of most interest to you or most relevant to that