Tennessee Department of education. tennessee talks.  Partnering with Tennessee  Public Schools to Support  Students with Complex  Communication Needs  Tennessee Talks is a grant project  funded by the Tennessee  Department of Education. Four  regional contracts are working  collaboratively to help public  schools serve the needs of their  students with significant  communication challenges.  Tennessee Talks will work directly  with schools at no cost, to support  students, school staff, parents, and  ultimately, grow professional  learning communities.  Every child has the right to express their thoughts and  ideas, engage socially, and participate meaningfully in  their schools and communities, regardless of whether  or not they use oral speech. In fact, given the opportunity  and teaching, many children can become successful  users of alternative and augmentative communication  (AAC). For schools, navigating the assessments process,  procurement of AAC devices, and staff development  training is daunting, but should not be a barrier to a  child’s communication. This grant is designed to assist  schools in supporting these students and families, so all  children have a voice.  Susan Usery  Tennessee Department of Education  Speech-Language and Related  Services Coordinator  Phone: (615) 532-3345  Email: Susan.Usery@tn.gov

What can Tennessee Talks do for your school?

  • Assist with student communication and AT/AAC assessments

  • Identify necessary access supports (e.g., switches, mounts, etc.)

  • Match students with appropriate communication systems

  • Provide staff and parent trainings

  • Offer resources to support student AT/AAC use and learning

  • Expand participants knowledge through professional learning communities

  • Offer trials of devices and equipment

  • Support with device programming

  • Troubleshoot problems with current AT/AAC equipment or practices

  • Assist in procuring communication systems for students