ATIA

Join us at ATIA 2024, where the assistive technology community meets to learn, network and share!

Orlando, Florida
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Over the past 24 years, ATIA has been a community gathering for assistive technology practitioners, teachers, parents and caregivers, persons with disabilities and more to learn, network and share on the best in assistive technology.

Our sessions at ATIA 2024

An exploration of IrisBond Hiru and Proloquo from AssistiveWare.

Presented by Euan and Shannon (in partnership with IrisBond)

The advent of Apple’s iOS 17 has heralded a new era in accessibility of off the shelf technologies. In this collaborative and interactive workshop, we will explore the features of iOS 17 which enhance the eye gaze experience on iPad. We will examine how Proloquo, Proloquo2Go and Proloquo4Text are optimized for use with the Hiru eye-gaze device and the flexibility this affords our end users. We will look at real life examples to help you choose which app might be best for which AAC user, and explore practical activities to engage the learner with their AAC.

When and where: Thursday, Jan 25, 2024 1:00 PM - 2:30 PM EST | Chicago room

Proloquo2Go versus Proloquo: What is the difference?

Presented by David and Rachael

Most companies that have an app as popular as Proloquo2Go would think twice about creating a brand new AAC app. Why did AssistiveWare create Proloquo and how is it different from Proloquo2Go? In this session we will not only explore how each of these apps has different strengths but help you choose the right app for the AAC users you work with. As part of that comparison we will also consider the broader question of what criteria should be considered when evaluating AAC systems. Join AssistiveWare as we discuss why AAC systems are more than a set of features.

When and where: Thursday, Jan 25, 2024 2:15 PM - 3:15 PM EST | Anaheim hall

Modeling revisited: Challenge your ideas about AAC modeling

Presented by David and Erin

"Model, model, model" is the current mantra of the AAC field. Yet in practice, little modeling happens in the schools and homes of AAC users. Few communication partners have the necessary clarity on what and how to model and for what purpose. In this interactive session, we will use serious gaming to help participants explore how modeling can contribute to each core AAC competency: linguistic, operational, social, strategic, emotional, and psychosocial. We will also explore complementary or alternative strategies that might better support the development of each competency. Collaborate, discuss and have fun while deepening your understanding of modeling.

When and where: Thursday, Jan 25, 2024 4:30 PM - 5:30 PM EST | Anaheim hall

Proloquo: A new AAC app designed with teachers and teaching in mind

Presented by David and Shannon

Proloquo, AssistiveWare’s new AAC app, was designed to be easy to learn and use. That alone is great for teachers, but its real power is that it was also designed with teaching in mind. We will explore how Proloquo can save teachers time and energy and actually help them teach the curriculum. We will show how Proloquo and its Crescendo Evolution vocabulary facilitate teaching vocabulary, grammar and literacy. No longer do you need to create topic boards, add curriculum words, or use descriptive teaching because key words are missing. Learn how modelling and teaching the curriculum now come together.

When and where: Friday, Jan 26, 2024, 8:30 AM - 9:30 AM EST | Anaheim hall

A simple routine to teach AAC core vocabulary with explicit instruction

Presented by Erin and Rachael

Proloquo, AssistiveWare's new AAC app, was designed to be easy to learn and use. That alone is great for teachers, but its real power is that it was also designed with teaching in mind. We will explore how Proloquo can save teachers time and energy and actually help them teach the curriculum. We will show how Proloquo and its Crescendo Evolution vocabulary facilitate teaching vocabulary, grammar and literacy. No longer do you need to create topic boards, add curriculum words, or use descriptive teaching because key words are missing. Learn how modeling and teaching the curriculum now come together.

When and where: Friday, Jan 26, 2024 9:45 AM - 10:45 AM EST | Anaheim hall

AAC and “challenging behaviors”: New perspectives and support for AAC users

Presented by Amanda

Nonspeaking people are often described by some as having "challenging behaviors." Challenging behaviors and noncompliance are often listed as reasons why someone nonspeaking is not "ready" for AAC. For those that do get AAC, behavior is often used as the reason why AAC has failed or isn't working. Let's explore the relationship between behavior and communication.

There are many strategies and AAC tools that can be used to support all nonspeaking individuals, including those who exhibit "challenging behaviors." This presentation will focus on practical ways to build communication and connection with AAC.

When and where: Friday, Jan 26, 2024 1:00 PM - 2:00 PM EST | Anaheim hall

Aligning AAC support with long-term goals for Gestalt Language Processors

Presented by Lily

As we try to provide Gestalt Language Processors the best conditions for success, we can fail to look to the long-term. This session will involve identifying long-term goals for GLPs and how we can support (or accidentally sabotage) success when working with AAC users who are GLPs. Speech therapy strategies, parent coaching, and editing of the AAC device will all be considered. This session assumes a rudimentary knowledge of Gestalt Language Processing.

When and where: Friday, Jan 26, 2024 2:15 PM - 3:15 PM EST | Anaheim hall

A walk in the park: learning and teaching modeling skills for communication

Presented by Rachael and Euan

Explore a new way of thinking about AAC modeling in this interactive workshop. As AAC professionals we know the power of good modeling and the positive impact it can have on the communication skills of the people we support. But “modeling” is a broad term which encompasses and overlaps so many other skills. This session breaks down the broad term, offering innovative ways to teach and describe its components effectively. Gain practical skills to train others and develop thoughtful modeling skills.

When and where: Friday, Jan 26, 2024 4:30 PM - 5:30 PM EST | Anaheim hall

Coaching families to find JOY on the AAC journey

Presented by Pam

Families are often asked to take the lead in AAC. When parents sacrifice family time, self-care, or time with their partner to include AAC in their lives, it can create disruption instead of positive outcomes. This session explores five practical tips to share with families so they will understand how to protect their relationship with their child.

With that parent/child bond secure, families may be in a better mindset to find joy on the AAC journey.

When and where: Saturday, Jan 27, 2024 8:30 AM - 9:30 AM EST | Anaheim hall

Imagining AAC as a whole-class language tool

Presented by Rachael

Imagine using AAC in an entirely new way - as a classroom-wide tool to support learning! Think beyond core vocabulary boards, but instead imagine AAC as a dynamic tool that can support vocabulary, concept development, and describing curriculum with a visual language tool. What if high-quality, robust AAC can enrich the typical school classroom and support learners who otherwise would not “qualify” for personal AAC? Join this session as we think about AAC as a powerful learning tool in the classroom.

When and where: Saturday, Jan 27, 2024 9:45 AM - 10:45 AM EST | Grand Ballroom 14

Confronting opportunity barriers for nonspeaking autistic students

Presented by Meghan Ashburn

As a parent and educator, I have witnessed an unfortunate, ongoing science experiment that illustrates each of the opportunity barriers in Beukelman & Mirenda's Participation Model (2013). Both of my identical twin boys are autistic, but only one is nonspeaking. This interactive session will compare and contrast each boy's opportunity to learn and participate in school. We will consider the long-term impacts when students are denied meaningful ways to communicate and participate in their community. Finally, participants will consider their role in the system, and work collectively to dismantle the opportunity barriers faced by students who require AAC.

When and where: Saturday, Jan 27, 2024 9:45 AM - 10:45 AM EST | Anaheim hall

Boost your teaching impact: AAC through coaching for classroom success

Presented by Amanda and Shannon

As classrooms evolve with the introduction of AAC, teachers are finding themselves with additional roles to fulfill. This transformation, while beneficial, can also be challenging. In this session, we delve into the power of coaching as a tool to bolster teachers' communication partner skills and seamlessly integrate AAC into their teaching practices. The impact of a teacher's skills, knowledge, and attitudes on the success of AAC implementation cannot be overstated. Join us as we navigate this journey, sharing practical examples, innovative ideas, and valuable resources to assist teams in nurturing teachers into proficient AAC practitioners

When and where: Saturday, Jan 27, 2024 1:00 PM - 2:00 PM EST | Anaheim hall

Our team members at the event:

“Communication defines who we are and how we relate to others. I want to help enable everyone to communicate and make a difference in the world.”
David Niemeijer

Founder and CEO

“With the right AAC tools, we can build language, real communication and genuine connections.”
Amanda Hartmann

Speech Language Pathologist

“By breaking down the barriers to communication and literacy we support AAC users to build communication and make meaningful connections with those around them”
Shannon Braithwaite

Special Education Specialist

“The goal is not to create an echo, but to hear an authentic voice.”
Rachael Langley

Speech-Language Pathologist

“We can do this! Together, we can make communication and self-determination accessible to every single person.”
Erin Sheldon

Special Education Specialist

“I aspire to help my fellow AAC users say what's on their minds.”
Lily Konyn

Support Specialist / AAC Researcher

“As the mom of an AAC family, I know the struggle to accept and fit AAC into a busy family life. My focus is on coaching families to discover what works best for them. I believe all AAC families can and should experience joy on their AAC journey.”
Pam Harris

AAC Coach

“We all have the capacity to learn, and I feel fortunate to work towards maximizing everyone’s communication potential.”
Euan Robertson

Associate Speech and Language Therapist