Communication and Access Skills for Children with Multiple Challenges including Severe Physical Impairments
Thursday, November 9, 2017


P.G. Chambers School

Thursday, November 9, 2017 and Friday, November 10, 2017
Location: P.G. Chambers School

Children with significant physical challenges, such as, cerebral palsy, Rett syndrome or traumatic brain injury often have additional challenges when communicating, interacting, and accessing learning activities. Struggles with motor coordination, sensory processing, vision, and cognition interfere with effective communication.

  • At the completion of this course participants will develop their ability to:
  • Give practical examples and strategies to increase motivation, active engagement, and participation, based upon how the brain develops and processes information.
  • Describe AAC strategies historically used with children who have severe multiple challenges and explain what is typically missing in this approach.
  • Explain the importance of receptive language input and describe the process for creating an aided language learning environment.
  • Define the concept of pragmatic organization of vocabulary (PODD) for beginning communicators, and give examples of how this is used with multi-modal partner-assisted communication strategies.
  • Explain the concept of parallel learning using technology including the Stepping Stone to Switch Access’ (Burkhart) and eye gaze.
  • Apply creative strategies and implement software setups to motivate and teach skills in the areas of play, communication, emergent literacy, and communication utilizing two-switch step scanning.

Thursday, November 9, 2017

8:00 – Multi-Modal Communication and Learning, Learning and the Brain
9:15 – Historical AAC Strategies
PODD (Pragmatic Organization Dynamic Display)
10:00 – Break
10:15 – Students with multiple challenges including severe physical impairments
11:15 – Students with Rett Syndrome12:00 – Lunch (on your own)
1:00 – Intrinsic motivational and cognitive curiosity
1:45 – Autonomy and Sense of Self: Active Learning
2:30 – break
2:45 – Active learning and social connection
3:15 – Motor learning for partner-assisted scanning
4:00 – Conclusion

Friday, November 10, 2017

8:00 – Motor learning for partner-assisted scanning
8:30 – Creating a multi-modal language learning environment
9:15 – Children with significant visual challenges
10:00 – break
10:15 – Children with significant visual challenges
11:00 – Developing Motor Automaticity
11:30 – Motor / Cognitive Learning: Stepping Stones to Switch Access
12:00 –Lunch (on your own)
1:00 – Stepping Stones to Switch Access
2:00 – Switch Access, Vision Challenges and Literacy Learning
2:30 – Break
2:45 – Switch Access, Vision Challenges and Literacy Learning
3:00 – Developing access for eye-gaze systems
3:15 – Tips for getting started
3:30– Discussion/ Question and Answer
4:00 – Conclusion

Faculty:  Linda Burkhart

Financial: Linda owns a small business to sell her own software activities and books. These items are demonstrated at her trainings, along with other software titles from a variety of vendors. Linda consults with vendors to assess the effectiveness of features for scanning access in their software and devices. She is colleague of Gayle Porter, the creator and designer of PODD communication books in Melbourne, Australia. When presenting workshops on the topic of PODD and Communication Access Strategies Linda receives honorariums from sponsoring organizations.

Non-Financial: Linda is a member of the International Society for Augmentative and Alternative Communication (ISAAC) and the Council for Exceptional Children (CEC).


Sponsored by: P.G. Chambers School

This course is offered for 1.3 ASHA CEUs
(Intermediate level; Professional area)


Cost: $400

How to Register:  Register online below or contact Nancy Altshuler, Conference Coordinator at AltshulerN@ChambersSchool.org


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Date(s) - 11/09/2017 - 11/10/2017
8:00 am - 4:00 pm

15 Halko Drive
Cedar Knolls
07927-1380 New Jersey

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Bookings are closed for this event.

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