Welcome to Tennessee Talks!
Partnering with Tennessee Public Schools to Support Students with Complex Communication Needs
Everyone Deserves a Voice…
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).
What is Tennessee Talks?
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.
What can Tennessee Talks do for your school?
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.
Visit the Carter School website for more information and to download the Cognitively Demanding Task Matrix.
October is AAC Awareness Month and many of our software and app developers offer great discounts.
A presentation on the best (mostly free) resources on the web for AAC, including blogs, podcasts, vendors, and professional resources.
What is Aided Language Stimulation or Aided Language Input? And how do you implement it? The best way to learn this technique is by watching others. Here are video overviews of the concept and many examples of ALS in practice using different types of communication devices and in a variety of situations.
This board is designed for communication via spelling. Some of the letters and numbers share
spaces; there are a few communication words on the board as well. Originally developed for a man with poor dexterity.
Alternative “pencils” were created for students who are unable to hold a traditional pencil or physically manipulate a standard keyboard. Alternative pencils can be used with writers of varying abilities and ages including students who are emerging writers and those who are able to write more conventionally. A student is given all the letters of the alphabet to write with, chooses the letter they want (whether they know the letter or not) and either the partner writes it down for them. Print, Cut into strips, laminate, bind (optional).
Presentation about: Types of communication displays, Reasons for communication besides requests, Suggestions to create your own communication displays
How to adapt books for easier use by children with dexterity issues.
Presentation on: reasons why building capacity around AAC is necessary in a school distric, ways to build capacity around AAC, learning objectives for a class for SLPs on learning to implement and consult to others around AAC