The Kansas Deaf-Blind Project is a federally funded grant designed to provide technical assistance to educational teams and families who serve learners with deaf-blindness in Kansas. Our Project goals include:
Kansas Deaf-Blind September Tidbit of the Month:
Prepared by Dinell Smith, KS DB Family Specialist
So many of our kids that are deaf-blind also struggle with being a successful expressive communicator. So often in school, home or therapy sessions, we focus on giving the child a few choices and ask them which one they want. Example: “Do you want a cookie or a cracker?” “Do you want to read a book or listen to music?” “Do you want to go outside or sit in this chair?” etc. They can answer in a variety of ways from facial expressions, signing, or pointing or touching an object or a picture. But is choice making really communication? The answer is no. Communication is so much more than making a choice.
Here is and excellent article written on Jane Farrall’s Blog called, “What is “Beginning AAC”?” http://www.janefarrall.com/what-is-beginning-aac/#comment-15671
This article focuses on using Apps to teach AAC, but the information found here can be used with any format of AAC. As you read down to the middle of the page, make sure to explore her links to articles on “Core Vocabulary System” http://praacticalaac.org/strategy/teaching-core-vocabulary/ and “Pragmatically Organized Dynamic Display (PODD)” . http://praacticalaac.org/video/a-praactical-look-at-podd/
No matter what system you teach, it is necessary to understand the importance of using “Aided Language Input” http://praacticalaac.org/praactical/modeling-aac-style/since so many of our kids need that method of modeling and repetition before they become autonomous, or able to choose their words on their own.
For more specific ideas used with Deaf-Blind students, make sure to check out these websites:
Literacy for Children with combined Vision and Hearing Loss – http://literacy.nationaldb.org and remember that Literacy skills are what you build upon in order to learn communication. This site contains many great strategies, examples and lessons for teaching literacy skills to help build communication.
Paths to Literacy - http://www.pathstoliteracy.org/content-areas more great strategies, lessons and examples of fun activities for kids to engage in and learn literacy skills to build on their communication.
Check Out this Webinar
The Impact of Technology in the Life of a Person who is Deaf-Blind
featuring our own Dinell Smith along with Maricar Marquez and Marcia Brooks