Back-to-School AAC Resources
Use AAC this week to promote inclusion in your classroom, help learners with complex communication needs to participate, or even to assist with development of literacy in younger learners.
Download: Free_BackToSchool Makaton Symbols
Use this free AAC symbol and sign resource from Makaton to talk about coming back-to-school in your classroom this week. This PDF contains symbols and instructions for signs for communicating objects and concepts related to “back to school” like uniform, lunch box and pencil case.
If you have an iPad or iPhone, download the free Ablenet Sounding Board app to use pre-made boards or create your own talking AAC communication boards.
Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC) is a broad term that refers to all communication methods used to supplement or replace speech or writing for those with complex communication needs, who have barriers to speaking or comprehending spoken or written language.
AAC symbols are used by individuals around the world to assist them to communicate. Symbols are images that represent a word, phrase or concept. Photos can also be used in AAC strategies, as can images found on the internet. Symbol Sets have usually been purposefully designed to follow a schematic structure, or set of design ‘rules’, that help the reader independently grow their own vocabulary. Makaton is an example of a symbol set. Other popular symbol sets are the Widgit symbols and PCS symbols.
Many software programmes for communication and literacy use symbols to aid understanding. Symbols can be arranged in communication boards using board making software like Matrix Maker. Clicker 6 is a universally designed for learning (UDL) literacy software uses images and symbols to help learners with reading and writing. You can even use your own photos and images into Clicker 6, allowing you to bring images of people, places and objects from your learners’ own lives into their learning and communication, or purchase a separate Clicker symbol set to use in Clicker. TextHelp Read&Write Gold includes a picture dictionary with Widgit symbols to help dyslexic students interpret words. Widgit First Keys 3 uses symbols to support the teaching of keyboard skills and literacy to early computer users. The Grid 2 is a symbol-supported communication software that is popularly used with eye gaze or head tracking access devices.
Using symbols in Class
Most of us use symbols everyday! Symbols allow us to overcome barriers to communication, bridge language divides and help us get information quickly. Bring symbols into your lessons for enhanced learning and communication.
If you have a SMART Board, look in your Gallery for special needs symbols.
If you have Clicker 6, try these free Back-to-school themed Clicker sets, or search the Learning Grids website for others
This is a Clicker 6 picture and sound matching set in which pupils listen to sentences about getting ready for school, and choose the pictures described in each statement. Within the set there are two activities – in the first, the children can only make the correct match; in the second, they can choose any picture to match the target sound.
For ages 5 to 6
Author: Crick Software
Date: August 20, 2013
This is a picture and sound matching set in which pupils listen to sentences about school activities and choose the pictures described. Within the set there are two activities – in the first, the children can only make the correct match; in the second, they can choose any picture to match the target sound.
For ages 3 to 5
Author: Crick Software
Date: August 23, 2012
Contact Edit Microsystems for more information on AAC software, communication devices and training on their implementation.
You may also be interested to read about our training on assistive technology for inclusive education.