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2023 Augmentative & Alternative Communication (AAC) In-Person Workshop

Date: March 31, 2023

Time: 8:00AM to 3:00PM

Location: Room 241, Vanderbilt Kennedy Center/One Magnolia Circle Building

2023 AAC Workshop: Fostering Social Closeness in Adolescents and Young Adults Through AAC and Now Boarding Flight AAC
Friday, March 31, 2023
8:00 a.m.-3:00 p.m. CT

Location: Room 241, Vanderbilt Kennedy Center/One Magnolia Circle Building, 110 Magnolia Blvd., Nashville, TN 37203

IMPORTANT: Construction has recently begun on the front steps of One Magnolia Circle Building. As a result, the entire front entrance, including the accessibility ramp, has been cordoned off until further notice. Faculty, staff, students, and guests can use the doors on either side of the building for entrance and egress, and individuals with accessibility needs are advised to use the bottom-floor Susan Gray School entrance to access the OMC bank of elevators.

For speech-language pathologists, special educators, other professionals in related fields, students, parents, and family members. This workshop will be offered for 0.6 ASHA CEUs (intermediate level; professional area). Credit will only be offered for those individuals who participate in the entire workshop.

This annual workshop will discuss various forms of augmentative and alternative (AAC) devices and how to program them (or teach others to program them) to get the most effective use from each.

Presentation Information:

Morning Presentation: Fostering Social Closeness in Adolescents and Young Adults Through AAC
Keely McMahan, M.S., CCC-SLP

Teens and young adults who are AAC users face unique barriers to developing friendships and close peer groups. This lecture will discuss those barriers and the importance of overcoming them, both at school and in social settings. Topics will include vocabulary as a means to revealing competence, voice banking and age appropriate voice selection vs. synthesized speech, and social media pros and cons.

Afternoon Presentation: Now Boarding Flight AAC
Kim Lapidus M.S., CCC-SLP, and Rita Pfeiffer M.S., CCC-SLP

Communication is a journey, not a destination, and that's especially the case for people who use augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) and for those who support them. Learn how to use your professional expertise to shape your AAC users into functional communication partners. Fly with us through the four core areas of learning in AAC. We will review cases (including some of your cases in real time, so come prepared to share). Together, we will explore examples of purposeful and meaningful communication, obstacles to progress, and learn how to create unique opportunities for your users to have simple, yet meaningful, interactions (based on the user's needs). We will explore different functions of language and build opportunities around them. Remember, each of us has a role to play in helping their journey be as smooth (and fun!) as possible. Welcome aboard!

Registration for this all-day in-person training is $50 for parents, students, and trainees and $100 for professionals.

Register by Wednesday, Mar. 22 (DEADLINE EXTENDED). For information on paying by check or purchase order, contact Kate Carney.

Co-sponsored by:

  • Department of Special Education, Vanderbilt Peabody College
  • Department of Hearing and Speech Sciences, Vanderbilt Bill Wilkerson Center
  • Vanderbilt Consortium Leadership Education in Neurodevelopmental Disabilities Training Program
  • Vanderbilt Kennedy Center for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities


For more information, call (615) 322-8240.

For accessibility information or to request an accommodation

Contact kc@vumc.org or 615-322-8240 for disability access information; 2 weeks advance notice is recommended for some accommodations (e.g., Braille, signing).