DynaVox Uses Web and Video Technology to Deliver New Training and Support Resources
Pittsburgh, PA – December 18, 2008 – DynaVox has introduced a web-based tool containing more than 300 resources designed to promote successful communication for those using augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) solutions. An extension of the company’s Accelerated Learning program, the Implementation Toolkit meets the needs of speech-language pathologists, educators, and families supporting children and adults living with complex communication challenges. This goal of the Implementation Toolkit is to help foster the integration of speech communication technology into all areas of life.
Toolkit resources include video and print-based tools complemented by real-life examples that illustrate caregiver and professional best practices and successful communication by AAC users. Topics addressed range from skills that communication partners should use when interacting with AAC users to lesson plans focused on teaching independence in various settings. Toolkit users can find targeted resources by searching on the augmented communicator’s diagnosis (autism, cerebral palsy, ALS, etc.), age, setting (home, school, etc.), and many other criteria.
Learning Paths present information in manageable bundles and also make it easy to find resources quickly:
- Opening the Box – A great starting point for those just receiving a communication device, this Learning Path details how to introduce a new AAC device to the user.
- Communication Partner Techniques – This Learning Path presents strategies that communication partners can use to enhance independent communication by the AAC user and encourage the use of increasingly complex language skills.
- Tools for AAC Users – Resources found in this Learning Path foster successful communication by helping AAC users prepare for communication events such as holidays, birthdays and other special occasions, and encouraging the use of multiple communication methods.
- Basic Operational Skills – This Learning Path highlights important information about teaching independence in turning the device on, charging, carrying the device and positioning it, as well as how to navigate through communication screens so that the device is always ready for the AAC user to communicate.
There is currently no charge to access or use the Implementation Toolkit, and the resources can be used by individuals or for group trainings.
“At ECHO, our special education cooperative, we have found the trainings and materials in the Implementation Toolkit to be very powerful,” said Lee Burklund, principal of ECHO Focus Programs in South Holland, IL. “We were able to radically improve the classroom experience for children who have complex communication needs by training the staff with video clips and collaborating with them about their practices. We used the Toolkit with classes in both regular education and special education settings, and with students with a variety of educational challenges.
“The classrooms were already engaging in many positive practices, but the trainings and techniques taught in the Implementation Toolkit uniquely captured the pieces of the puzzle for best outcomes for our students. We had many direct benefits to students which translated into more measured communicative success, more active and initializing communicators and better focus on language and communication in academic content areas.”
DynaVox Systems pioneers speech communication technology, giving an opportunity for a better life to the millions of adults and children around the world challenged by significant speech, language and learning disabilities caused by conditions such as amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS or Lou Gehrig’s Disease), stroke, traumatic brain injury, cerebral palsy, Parkinson’s Disease, autism and mental retardation. Driving by a strong entrepreneurial culture, the company applies proprietary and third-party technologies, and applied research efforts to deliver a broad range of speech communication hardware and software tools, and offers an extensive customer support program, which enables individuals and their families to access the latest technology and reimbursement counsel regarding the company’s suite of products. For more information about DynaVox, visit www.dynavoxtech.com.