Event Details

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2024 Augmentative & Alternative Communication (AAC) In-Person Workshop

Date: March 01, 2024

Time: 8:00AM to 3:00PM

Location: Room 233, Vanderbilt Commons, Vanderbilt University

2024 AAC Workshop: Core Vocabulary Learning: Make It Fun, Make It Interactive!
Friday, March 1, 2024
8:00 a.m.-3:00 p.m. CT

Location: Room 233, Vanderbilt Commons, Vanderbilt University

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:

How often to you observe AAC users who perform beautifully in therapy, only to sit passively in classrooms and social situations? This quick-paced, interactive session will support students in using core vocabulary for authentic purposes, with peers, and using repetition with variation. Strategies include: barrier communication games, combining core vocabulary and literacy, and determining authentic purposes for all practice. Participants will engage in multiple ‘try-it’ activities to help learning generalize, just as we hope to make core vocabulary generalize for our AAC users! Participants will receive a Link to a Dropbox with sample activities and forms.

Learning Objectives:

  • Participants will review several key apps including multiple applications of each to support language.
  • Participants will summarize the Rehearse-Practice-Model-GO strategy to teach and generalize language skills.
  • Participants will describe at least three social communication games for teaching interactive communication.
  • Optional Materials Fee: Participants can receive a link to the Core Language Fun Dropbox Link including the Core Language Fun digital book for an additional $5 materials fee.

    Presenter Information: Caroline Musselwhite, Ph.D.

    Dr. Caroline Musselwhite is an assistive technology specialist with more than 30 years of experience working with children and adolescents with severe disabilities, in a variety of settings, including Head Start, developmental day programs, and the public schools. She has also taught courses at several universities, including West Virginia University, and Western Carolina University.

    Dr. Musselwhite has authored a number of textbooks and “how-to” books on a range of topics, including Emergent Literacy Success, Communication Programming for Persons with Severe Handicaps, and Reading Activities Project for Older Students (RAPS). She has also authored a number of software programs (Write to Talk, Social Scripts) and books (Learning to Work) for youth with disabilities. She has presented thousands of workshops throughout the world, and is a founding member of the Board of Directors for the International Society for Augmentative and Alternative Communication (ISAAC).

    Honors include: Foundation Fellowship (West Virginia University), Honors of the Association, (North Carolina Augmentative Communication Association), and DiCarlo Outstanding Clinician Award (North Carolina Speech-Language-Hearing Association), and ISAAC Fellow.

    NOTE: Parking on Vanderbilt University is very limited. Please consider carpooling if there are multiple attendees from your institution. Parking spots may be requested for $20 per spot.

    Registration Fees -- Registration closes Friday, February 16, 2024

  • Parents and Students: $50
  • Professionals: $150 Early Bird rate through January 15; $200 through February 16
  • 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).