April 28-30 2020

PALSS Standard Content

Bruce Baker, AM, LHD, (Hons. caus.)
Debbie Witkowski, MA, CCC-SLP
Tracy Kovach, PhD, CCC-SLP
Russell Cross, BSc (Hons.), DipCST, MRCSLT

Each PALSS event regularly includes presentations of Bruce Baker’s work and presentations by Debbie Witkowski, Russell Cross, and Tracy Kovach. The seminar includes theoretical and practical information regarding vocabulary selection, language development and building competence for individuals who use AAC. In addition, the importance of building motor automaticity when using AAC systems will be discussed. Participants will also have the opportunity for hands-on practice with the UNITY® language system.


Guest Presenter Topic:

Training Leaders and Leading Trainers – Improving Language Outcomes Through Partnerships with Parents, Caregivers, and Educators

Deann O’Lenick, PhD, CCC-SLP, MBA

This day-long session will course through developmental learning theory, using adult learning theory to assist in planning and executing training for parents, caregivers, educators, and educational assistants so that they will have the tools and the skills to immerse the learner in the symbol system being learned. It is through dual-symbol immersion into the symbol system likely to be learned that language development can progress through stages and milestones consistent with verbal language development. When the goal is language, then the focus is language development, and the interventions are consistent with those implemented for all symbol systems- from verbal to sign language to picture symbols without voice output to picture symbols with voice output to 3-D symbols with or without voice output. The organization and configuration of Minspeak® systems address developmental sequences and progression and will provide a model for addressing language development through AAC. When the goal is language development, and when that language development occurs in natural activities, then equipping adults to develop their own skills in speaking in symbols becomes a priority.  Training leaders and leading trainers will be essential to equipping those responsible for language development with the skills and experiences they need to be able to develop language through AAC.