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Dr. Caroline Ramsey Musselwhite

Sunday, December 11, 2016

The Case for a Good Case

 by Deanna K. Wagner, MS/CCC-SLP                  October 23, 2016 (last updated 12/11/16)

This year we have had reason to discuss pros and cons of various cases based on requests from our funding source, so thought I should share some of what we found out.

First of all, vendors who need to protect their AAC devices carefully research cases, and often end up having them made specially to meet their standards.  When we recommend a communication device that already has a case, then replacing or adding parts is so much easier.  Just call the vendor!  This is the case (pun intended) for the following devices:

Accent devices by Prentke Romich Company
Chat Fusion by Saltillo Corporation
NOVA chat devices by Saltillo Corporation
T10, T15, i12, i15 by TobiiDynavox 

Some companies have bundled iPad-based devices for Medicare funding.  The one like this to come already configured and dedicated (locked) was the ComLink ProSlate by FRS Solutions, and the individual components are not sold separately.  These devices are also warrantied by the vendor, just like other AAC devices.  They come in 10" iPad and 8" iPad mini sizes.

ComLink ProSlate by FRS Solutions
PRiO by Prentke Romich Company
TouchChat Express by Saltillo Corporation

The PRiO and TouchChat Express come in a case called the ChatWrap, which can be purchased without an iPad.  This is not a cheap case, but it includes a bluetooth amplifier, handle and stand as well as 2 switch ports and keyguard options.  The keyguards have guides that slip under the boot at the edges of the case and can flip up when not needed.  The amplifier has a battery that can be replaced by the family or removed and sent in for technical assistance.

The battery in the iAdapter by AMDi cannot be replaced in the field.  This vendor requires the family to send in the case to replace the battery after a couple of years.  The keyguards must be purchased from another vendor.

Other cases do not have built-in amplification, and varying degrees of durability.  I often refer to the Pinterest by Lauren Enders before making a recommendation.  Daedalus sells a couple of these cases (Ballistic, Survivor) with a device plate for wheelchair mounts attached, including options to twist from landscape to portrait mode.

A few other observations...  The amplifier and keyguards are attached to the ProSlate (from FRS- see link above) with really strong magnets and are high quality; keyguards are custom fabricated by this vendor in their shop and can have holes that are round or square and of varying thickness.

Keyguards by Beyond Adaptive are much thinner and are held on by straps.

Keyguards by LaseredPics also have options for straps, but also offer others with tabs that slip under the case or use suction cups/tape.  Order first based on the app, then options for suction cups or straps based on the case you are using.

Many cases that have stands that fold up or pop open get broken quickly by the students we work with (e.g., GumDrop Hideaway cases).  Trident cases have an option to attach a stand that also functions as a handle.

Carefully consider the difference between suction bases (e.g., Tabletop Suction Mount by Ablenet) and vacuum bases (e.g., Naked Flex Mount by Seasucker).  Vacuum bases are much stronger.

If you need a water-resistant option, consider the LifeProof Nuud cases.  There is also an option for the 12.7" iPad Pro, which means the amplifier is louder than an iPad Air.  In the past, this case was designed with a top cover.  I haven't ordered the latest version to see whether it still seals well with a screen protector in place.  Another nice option for this case is the handle/shoulder strap.  The suction option does not have a vacuum seal.  To add another layer of protection, you can consider the extra LifeJacket option, which actually floats!

Thursday, December 8, 2016

AAC in the Desert Conference 2017

AAC In the Desert 2017

WHO:  Speakers include:  Dr. Caroline Ramsey Musselwhite, Dr. Gretchen Hanser, and Erin Sheldon, MS.;  This conference is open to parents, teachers, therapists, and others interested in supporting communication and early literacy for students with significant disabilities.

Download the flyer here:  AAC in the Desert Flyer

Register here:  AAC in the Desert Registration 

Mini Adventures Apps - Great Photos and Videos!

What:  New Reviews of old apps!  These three apps are free or very inexpensive ($ .99), and include hundreds of photos and videos on three topics, sorted alphabetically:
- Mini Adventures - Let's Go (Transportation)
- Mini Adventures - ABC Animals
- Mini Adventures - Music

Where:  Look for the reviews at the Spedapps2 wiki:

Reviews for these apps are posted under:
  Letter Names
 Ideas for using these apps for letter exploration,, and beginning to use Alternative Pencils

Social Skills / Pragmatics 
Ideas for using these photos & videos to support commenting

Inspiring Writing
Strategies for using these photos and videos as writing prompts

Saturday, November 19, 2016

Julia & Gene's First Thanksgiving - A Funny Story!

This powerpoint tells about a very fun family story.  I used it as an opportunity for students to predict, then write a response. 



Julia and Gene's First Thanksgiving

Here is a sample story response from 2 of my students, using PicCollage

Thanksgiving - Shift of Perspective!


Fun Thanksgiving activity.

I had students watch 2 videos, and read a poem.  All looked at Thanksgiving from different perspectives:

1) Mary Chilton, Young Girl from Plymouth Colony:

2) Plymouth Rock (yes, the actual rock tells the story)

3) Point of View Poem by Shel Silverstein (From the turkey's perspective!)

It would be great to add the perspective of Native Americans re: the 1st Thanksgiving - please share with me, if you find a good one.


Thursday, October 20, 2016

Monday, September 12, 2016

Sound Deletion Fun - T is Terribly Important!!

Jane Farrall started what I hope will be a great trend when she wrote R is Really Important.

Find it at Tarheel Reader:
R is Really Important

The book uses 'phoneme deletion' (sometimes called sound deletion), where one phoneme is removed, leaving a different word.  The classic test is: What is left when you take /s/ from 'smile'?  Answer?  'mile'

Jane made this a fun activity, and I've been exploring it with students.  We finally published our first sound deletion book.

T is Terribly Important 


Wednesday, September 7, 2016

Book Reaction: Wheeling by Reed A Booke

WHAT:  This book reaction is from a newly developed Communication Circle supporting individuals who use Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC).  The group responded to the  Tarheel Reader book Wheeling by Reed A Booke.

To find this book, go to www.tarheelreader.org 

NOTE:  This book is rated C for Caution, so be sure to change the rating to 'Any Rating'.  Then type in the title, Wheeling, and it will show up!

WHERE:  Courtney's Place is a day center for adults with disabilities.  It has a great location in Scottsdale, AZ, and  a very active calendar,   The staff was very supportive in starting a Communication Circle.

WHO:  Today's circle included three young adults who use AAC via direct selection, eye gaze, and auditory scanning with 2 switches.  Two individuals use Unity software on a Prentke Romich device and one uses Touch Chat on an iPad.    Two speaking young adults also participated, helping to provide verbal models.

HOW:  1) First we started by showing a 'Tic Tac Talk; (from Musselwhite's Communication Circle CD).  The sample vocabulary set includes 8 comments.  We tried to find these or similar comments on each student's communication system.  For example, one young woman has VERY GOOD instead of GREAT.  Another chose to use AWESOME instead of GREAT. We practiced these words for about 5 minutes. 

2) Next, we used a cube with Post-Its such as Feelings, Positive Comments, Describing Words, Colors, etc.   When we rolled the cube, each person had to find a word on the communication system to match that category.  Speaking partners helped call out ideas for their peers.  For example, when we rolled 'Describing Words' one woman called out "pretty" and all device users found that word on their system.

3)  Next, we read the book Wheeling.  I paused often to see if the adults wanted to call out responses.  Below are some of their comments.  You can see that there was a big mix of positive and negative comments, descriptions, and feelings among the group, and they were very excited to participate!
I used the PicCollage app to visually share their responses to three of the pages.

Try this.  It's fun.


Monday, September 5, 2016

ZOYO's Frozen Yogurt:  AAC in the Community

We had so much fun at Out & About last week.

First, some of us planned ahead and came dressed in pajama's for discounts.  Awesome way for us to practice giving compliments!

Next, we met new people and practiced our social pages:  telling "about me" and asking "about you." We met a new 3 year old who is just learning to use his device.  We all agree, he is so cute!

Then, we talked about yogurt.  Katie looked up the difference on the internet and shared some notes with us.  Most interestingly, yogurt is better for your tummy and has less milk fat than ice cream.  There was no ice cream at this place!  They did have sherbet for people who cannot have milk.  We also looked this up and found out that sherbet is made from ice and fruit puree.  Not quite sure how they came up with a chocolate sherbet, so of course we had to taste that.

Everybody had a chance to taste or touch the yogurt.  Our new little guy looked and put his fingers in to share his thoughts.  Each person wrote a descriptive post-it note (just a few words, everyone with a different message depending on level of device sophistication).  The tasting cups were tiny, so we talked about sizes and how to ask for help to get a big cup with a preferred flavor in it.  That led to a discussion of toppings!

The toppings at this place were varied, from cookies and candies to fruit and nuts.  There was also a note on the wall above the gummy treats indicating "this section not Kosher."  Another opportunity to talk about choices and listening when parents (or clergy) say you can't eat something that looks good.

Finally, we ate our treats and each of us had a chance to share what we think about the choices we made for yogurt (or sherbet) and toppings.  We looked at pictures and reviews on Yelp!  I suppose I should get an official account and write up our reviews when we do these activities.  We enjoyed looking at what others had to say.  I am hoping to see a post on Sidney's blog:  http://sidneydaswick.blogspot.com

Sunday, September 4, 2016

Workshops in Alberta Canada, September 28, Red Deer; October 3, Edmonton, & October 5, Lethbridge!

WHAT:  Three workshops in Alberta, Canada, sponsored by
Alberta Regional Professional Development Consortia (ARPDC)

WHO:  Dr. Caroline Ramsey Musselwhite

Alberta Musselwhite Flyer 

Wednesday, September 28 at CrossRoads Church, Red Deer County
AAC Language Learning: Make it Fun, Make it Interactive! K-12 (https://goo.gl/7xf05Y)
This quick-paced, interactive session will support students in using core vocabulary for authentic purposes, with peers, and using repetition with variation. Strategies include: barrier communication games, combining core vocabulary and literacy, and determining authentic purposes for all practice.

Monday, October 3 at Fantasyland Hotel, Edmonton
Communication Circles: Supporting Communicative Competence for AAC Users (http://goo.gl/neKVj1)
This learning opportunity will include lecture, demonstration, brainstorming, and case studies focusing on
‘Communication Circles’ or circles of peers who support AAC users in learning and practicing skills. These circles work with students weekly, keeping data and anecdotal notes.
Wednesday, October 5 in Lethbridge
Communication all day long! Communication Circles, Topic Setting, AAC Language and More This quick-paced, interactive session will support students in using core vocabulary for authentic purposes, with peers, and using repetition with variation. Strategies include: using RPM-GO (Rehearse, Practice, Model, Generalize), combining core vocabulary and literacy, and determining authentic purposes for all intervention. This session will also support setting up Communication Circles with peer supports, and scaffolding topic setting. 

Friday, August 26, 2016

VIdeo Reaction: Funny Movie Maker

 WHAT:  Evelyn got to pick whether to do a 'mini-review' of a book, video, or poem.  She picked a video, then chose to watch a funny cat video. 

HOW:  We watched it several times, stopping for me to model  comments (ex:  FUNNY;  SO SILLY;  HE JUMP;  LOOK;  WHERE GO?) and Evelyn to make her own comments.
BESIDE (the cat was BESIDE the mirror)
STUCK (the cat was stuck in one place)
PRETTY (very pretty cat!)

Publishing:  We then made sure the words BESIDE STUCK PRETTY (Ev's words) were in the message window, then I used the app Funny Movie Maker to celebrate her writing.
Funny Movie Maker app link

Watch the video using the link below!  Yes, you see Evelyn's mouth where the cat's mouth should be, and you hear the words from her device.  
Cat Funny Movie Maker

Book Review: Pic Collage!

WHAT:  I read a book to Evelyn, and we talked about it, modeling on her communication device.  Then she reacted to various pages using her device, and we shared the results with friends and family.

1) Read the Book:  Is Apatosaurus Okay?  A Smithsonian app from Oceanhouse Media.
Is Apatasaurus Okay app

2) Took screenshots of selected pages (stored in iPad Photo Library)

3) Showed the pages and invited Evelyn to comment
(Note:  I started the first one by finding APATOSAURUS on her device)
 All other parts are self-generated.
The comment BLEEDS refers to other dinosaurs fighting her.  FALL IN refers to apatosaurus at the river.  STUCK refers to how mucky and marshy the ground was, and STOMP FAST tells how she's trying to get away.  FEELINGS indicates that there was lots of drama and high emotion in this story!
Finally, I  asked how many stars, and she picked 5.

4) Added her comments on the pictures, using fun colors and fonts for engagement.

5) E-mailed the final product to myself and her family


Comprehension Instruction Preconference Closing the Gap

WHAT:  Full day preconference workshop

WHERE:  Closing the Gap Conference, Minneapolis, MN

WHEN:  October 18, 2016

HOW TO REGISTER:  Click on the link below for more information

Comprehension Preconference

Emergent Writing Preconference: Closing the Gap

WHAT:  Full day preconference workshop

WHERE:  Closing the Gap Conference, Minneapolis, MN

WHEN:  Monday, October 17, 2016

HOW TO REGISTER:  Click on the link below for more information

Comprehension Preconference

Saturday, August 6, 2016

Balanced Literacy Club FREE Overview Workshop: September 22, 2016, Phoenix, AZ

The prospect of teaching students with significant disabilities to read with comprehension and write generatively may seem daunting. This presentation will review a Balanced Literacy Club approach, working as a team to support all teachers, therapists, and aides.  This project included:  a full-day presentation, short monthly presentations including make-it projects, in-class modeling and coaching, and team celebration of successes.  So far, the clubs have spanned a dozen school districts and 100 + classrooms, and include a range of students include a range of students (with cognitive impairments, autism spectrum disorders, physical impairments, and using AAC devices).  We will share:  assessment ideas, videos, data, specific strategies for all parts of balanced literacy (word study, guided reading, writing, and self-selected reading), and tips for getting EVERYONE onboard and excited about pushing for quality, research-based literacy instruction. For each area, you will see several apps and how to use those apps interactively.

WHERE:  Southwest Human Development
2850 N 24th Street, Phoenix, AZ  85340. 

WHO:  Presenters include:
Dr. Caroline Ramsey Musselwhite
Deanna K. Wagner

HOW:  This workshop if FREE but you must preregister as space is limited. 
Fill out the form below.

Friday, August 5, 2016

Ready, Set, Write! Alternative Pencils and Writing for Students with the Most Significant Needs

WHAT:  Handout for a presentation at ISAAC in Toronto, August 8, 2016

WHERE:  Download the handout below

Download Ready Set Write

Saturday, June 4, 2016

Burning Man: The World's Biggest Playground - A great book!

WHAT:  Burning Man - The World's Biggest Playground, by Peter Armenia
This book tells about Burning Man, ". . . a temporary metropolis dedicated to community, art, self-expression, and self-reliance." http://burningman.org/event/
This book is created by Peter Armenia, who is clearly:
- A gifted photographer (truly fantastic photos of all elements of Black Rock City)
- A loving father, as this book was written for his daughter Veronica
- A person with an ear for child-friendly text (possibly showing some influence from his wife, Dr. Gretchen Hanser of emergent literacy fame)
- A master of design, making text POP via use of color, size, placement, and more
- An aficionado of the Burning Man event

WHY:  Burning Man - The World's Biggest Playground is a great book to support students who are emergent or early conventional readers because:
- The text and photos make it highly engaging
- It is age respectful for student of all ages
- The attention to text features and patterns make it a book that students can connect to

WHERE:  Find out more and order the book here:

Saturday, May 21, 2016

Constructing Simple Eye-Gaze Frame with CPVC Pipe

WHAT:  This 33-page booklet by Dr. Carol Goossens, gives step-by-step instructions for constructing an eye gaze frame. 

This resource provides information on how to:

1) construct a simple eye-gaze frame using CPVC tubing and fittings;
2) construct a horseshoe communication display using clear PETG plastic;
3) construct 'permanent communication displays' for high frequency sets /activities;
4) construct displays with detachable symbols;
5) store detachable symbols in a format that promotes long range use by the entire school/agency.

Download the booklet for $5 at the link below:
Constructing an Eye Gaze Frame 


TPT Can We Chat: Co-Planned Sequenced Social Scripts

WHAT:  This book by Dr. Caroline Ramsey Musselwhite and Linda J. Burkhart describes strategies for developing co-planned sequenced social scripts for students who use Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC) . Items covered include: WHO should use social scripts; WHAT topics are best; HOW to help students co-plan and deliver scripts; and WHEN to deliver scripts. Sample scripts are included.

WHERE:  Download this book for $5.99 from Teachers Pay Teachers at the link below:
Can We Chat Book

TPT: Out & About Book FREE

What:  Bookette describing how to set up a community outing program for students who use Augmentative and Alternative Communication, including:
• WHO should be included in outings
• WHERE outings might take place
• WHAT activities can provide AAC support

Where:  Buy the bookette for $3.99 from Teachers Pay Teachers, using the link below:
Out & About Bookette

TPT: Communication Circles Book

Communication Circles:  With a Little Help From My Friends

What:  Bookette outlining setting up a Communication Circle to support students who use Augmentative and Augmentative Communication (AAC).  Gives ideas for setting up a peer circle to support target students in rehearsing, practicing, modeling, and using AAC with unfamiliar partners. 

Where:  Buy the bookette for $3.99 from Teachers Pay Teachers, using the link below:
Communication Circle Book

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Predictable Chart Writing Webinar

What:  This webinar is part of the Angelman Communication Training Series.  Erin Sheldon did an amazing job sharing strategies for using Predictable Chart Writing for students with complex communication needs who are emergent writers.

View the Webinar Here:

Download the Handout Here

Who Can: Core Set 9 Book

Who Can Book

Books are always a fun way to explore core language.

But REMEMBER - just enjoy reading the book, pointing at and talking about the text, THEN use light or high tech communication sets to talk about the books, pointing out the core words.  This should not be a test, but a fun social interaction!!

• Uses carrier phrase: WHO + CAN VERB

• Uses pronouns:  I, YOU, HE, SHE, IT, THEY

• Silly ending (Who can cancan)

Link Below:

Who Can Book 

Tips for Extending This Book!

• After you read this book multiple times, start referring to it in real life.  Examples:
•  <Bowling alley, baseball field, playing frisbee) WHO CAN PLAY?  I CAN!
• <Listening to music in the car>  WHO CAN SING?  WE CAN!
• <Looking at your child's artwork> WHO CAN DRAW?  YOU CAN!
• <Playing a card game>  WHO CAN GO?  I CAN!!

Thursday, May 5, 2016

When Can We Go? Core Set 9 Book

Books are always a fun way to explore core language.

But REMEMBER - just enjoy reading the book, pointing at and talking about the text, THEN use light or high tech communication sets to talk about the books, pointing out the core words.  This should not be a test, but a fun social interaction!!

Book for Core 9:  WHEN  FINISHED  CAN  HERE

The Challenge:  To create a book highlighting target core words, but to keep in:
a) Engaging (so that students will want to read it multiple times)
b) Connected to Life (so that we can make text to self connections) 

The Book:  When Can We Go

Target Audience: 
- Students who are emergent or transitional readers (including older students); 
- Any age student who is working on learning core vocabulary on an AAC system 

When Can We Go Link

Tips for Extending This Book!

• After you read this book multiple times, start referring to it in real life.  Examples:
• WHEN CAN WE GO to the park?
• Hey!  DAD is HERE.  WE CAN GO!
• WHEN I FINISH my e-mail we CAN GO
• WHEN CAN WE GO?  WHEN  I find my purse / keys / coat.
• WHEN CAN WE GO?  WHEN YOU get dressed / brush your teeth / etc.
• WHERE IS my purse / keys / scarf?
Most Important?  Make it FUN!!!

Sunday, April 10, 2016

Books for Core 8 Set: DON'T THAT GO DO

Books are always a fun way to explore core language.

But REMEMBER - just enjoy reading the book, pointing at and talking about the text, THEN use light or high tech communication sets to talk about the books, pointing out the core words.  This should not be a test, but a fun social interaction!!

Tarheel Reader:  Existing Books

Search for the core words to find books that use the target words that will be engaging to your students!  For example, my middle school Communication Circle enjoyed the book, 'Should I Stay or Should I Go' by the Suite Kids.  Link to the book below:
Should I Stay Book

The Circle used their devices to comment on the pages, such as:

New Books for Tarheel Reader

I didn't find a book that I loved for DON'T, so I wrote a few, with special consideration of older students, who might want their books to include humor or edginess.  These books were co-written with a student, Ev, who shared ideas via her device, and also used Yes and No to choose her favorite topics to add (or remove!)

Don't Do That.  This book highlights things that annoy Ev (landscaper making loud noises, dog chasing her cat, cat eating her artwork), and ends up telling what she loves, saying DO THAT!  MORE, MORE, MORE!!
This would be a terrific book to download as a powerpoint, then change the pictures and text.  You could use:
- PowerPoint on your computer
Keynote, Explain Everything, or Pictello on your iPad
Link to the book on Tarheel Reader below:

Don't Do That book

Don't Go There.  This book is a play on words, with Don't Go There meaning:
a) not to go to specific places that might be dangerous (busy street)
b) places that are personal or private (backpack, room),
c) also the more subtle, teenager meaning of 'Don't talk about that' (boyfriends, homework), 
d) and finally the meaning of don't go (pee!) there!!
Link to the book on Tarheel Reader below:

Saturday, April 9, 2016

Direct Selection Light Tech Alphabets

WHAT:  Direct selection light tech alphabets simply refer to paper version of the entire alphabet.  Many teachers provide a strip across the top of the desk for beginning writers, so that they can be reminded of the forms of each letter.  Other students might need more supports.  This post shares two very simple alphabet charts. 
• Alphabet Order:  In this chart letters are presented from A - Z, with vowels on the left side of the chart in red   

Download  ABC AlphaBoard Below:
ABC AlphaBoard
• Qwerty Order:  This chart presents letters in the format of a computer keyboard.

For each alphabet, it is recommend that lower case be on one side, with upper case on the flip side.

Download Qwerty AlphaBoard Below:
Qwerty AlphaBoard

WHO:   Light tech alphabets can offer great support to students who are unable to write using traditional pencils, but also for students who struggle with traditional pencils (or markers, crayons, etc).  When students are struggling to form letters, they are using much of their cognitive energy on what should be the simple sensorimotor act of letter formation.  That means that they will have less ability to engage in the cognitive-linguistic processes of generative writing!  So, while many students will continue to engage in handwriting instruction and practice, for the purpose of generative writing, using an alternative pencil - including a simple direct selection light tech alpahabet - might be helpful.

Download  ABC AlphaBoard Below:
ABC AlphaBoard

MegaBee Eye Gaze Support

WHAT:  The MegaBee is a mid-tech AAC (augmentative and alternative communication device).  This is a partner-assisted device.  That is, when the individual looks at a letter cluster, the partner presses a button, lighting up a LED.  Text characters can be seen on a screen, to keep track of a message.

WHY:  This is a great device for:
• Teaching individuals how to use eye gaze with the alphabet
• Provide a highly portable backup system for a person who uses eye gaze with the alphabet

WHERE:  This device was developed in the UK, but is available in many places including:

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

100 Animated Step by Steps (by Dr. Carol Goossens)

It’s official …. There are now 100 different Animated Step-by-Step titles available for purchase in the Bloom Where You're Planted Store on the Teachers Pay Teachers site!!

WHAT:  Animated Step-by-Steps are designed to address literacy, language and AAC across a broad range of classroom activities: food preparation, arts & crafts, songs, poems, science projects, and stories. Available in three formats: Regular (no symbols), SymbolStix (n2y) and Picture Communication Symbols (Mayer-Johnson/Dynavox).



Use this link to purchase titles, individually or in small theme-related bundles  http://teacherspayteachers.com/Store/Bloom 

 Use this link to learn more about these great animated activities!  http://animatedstepbysteps.blogspot.com

WHO:  These animated step-by-steps are the creation of Dr. Carol Goossens, who is an internationally recognized expert in the areas of AAC and early childhood education.  Dr. Goossens is also a gifted artist, as is evident in the graphics on each set.

Saturday, March 26, 2016

AAC in the Desert 2017 - Hold the Date!!

WHEN:  February 22 - 24, 2017

WHERE:  Nina Pulliam Conference Center, Disability360 Center, Phoenix, AZ

HOW:  Key speakers are Dr. Caroline Musselwhite and Dr. Gretchen Hanser

Sessions will include:
                       • Emergent Writing & Alternative Pencils
            • Phonemic Awareness & Alphabet Instruction
            • Shared Reading & Self Selected Reading
            • Finding, Adapting and Writing Books
            • Social Scripts & Communication Circles
            • Informal Assessments & IEP Goals
            • Vendor hall and social event on Wednesday afternoon

AAC and apps will be woven throughout all sessions.  Through lectures, demonstrations, videos, hands on opportunities, and group brainstorming, participants will leave with a long list of things to try Monday morning!
MORE INFO:  Contact Caroline:  carolinemusselwhite1@me.com 

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

The Balanced Literacy Club: Emergent Literacy for Students with Disabilities - FREE! San Francisco, April 26, 2016

WHAT:  Sponsored by Support for Families of Children with Disabilities
 The prospect of teaching students ages birth to ten with significant disabilities to read and write can seem overwhelming. All students can learn and this workshop will cover shared reading (developing a love of reading, and supporting language through reading), emergent writing (beginning to write with symbols, words, and the alphabet), self-selected story listening (listening to a range of engaging, age-respectful books), and an introduction to phonics (developing letter-sound connections) and phonemic awareness (understanding spoken language at the word, syllable, and letter level).

WHERE:  San Francisco
1663 Mission Street
Suite 700
San Francisco, CA 94103

WHO:  This workshop is for families and professionals of students with moderate to significant disabilities.
Presenter:  Dr. Caroline Ramsey Musselwhite

HOW MUCH:  This workshop is FREE and includes a light lunch!!  If you sign up at least one week in advance, they also offer free childcare and accommodation services!!

Download Flyer Below:
SFO Balanced Lit Flyer 

Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Text Comprehension Supports - Resource Links from Dynamic Learning Maps

I just finished a webinar on teaching text comprehension for students with disabilities.

Below are some of the Dynamic Learning Maps resources that I mentioned.  These links should make it very easy to find the resources.

What:  This document presents side by side CCSS and DLM Essential Elements for all grade levels for:  Reading (Literature, Informational Text, & Foundational Skills), Writing, Speaking and Listening and Language.
A sample is shown below:

DLM Essential Elements Link

What:  This webinar is available as a self-directed module, which is great for individual teachers, therapists, or parents, and is eligible for a continuing education certificate.  You can also download all materials (video, powerpoint, agenda, script, activities) to facilitate a training on this topic, which is ideal for people in a Trainer-of-Trainers position.

Generating Purposes Self-Directed Online Webinar


What:  his webinar is available as a self-directed module, which is great for individual teachers, therapists, or parents, and is eligible for a continuing education certificate.  You can also download all materials (video, powerpoint, agenda, script, activities) to facilitate a training on this topic, which is ideal for people in a Trainer-of-Trainers position.

Anchor-Read-Apply Self-Directed Webinar

Anchor-Read-Apply Facilitated Module

Sunday, March 6, 2016

What's To Read FREE Workshop - Chico, CA, April 27, 2016

WHAT:  What's to Read?  Locating, Analyzing, and Adapting Appropriate Literacy Materials for Emergent Readers

WHERE:  Chico, CA
Neighborhood Church
Fellowship Hall
2801 Notre Dame
Blvd. Chico, Ca 95928

WHEN:  Wednesday, April 27, 2016, 8 am - 4 pm
Bring your own lunch!!

WHO:  Speaker:  Dr. Caroline Ramsey Musselwhite
This workshop is targeted for teachers, therapists, and family members of students with significant disabilities.  We will talk about strategies for working students who are emergent readers of any age.  We will be engaging in hands on activities, including using apps to quickly create accessible literacy materials.

HOW MUCH:  This workshop is FREE!!

 Download the flyer below:
What's To Read Flyer


Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Emergent Literacy Workshops - Portland, OR, April 12 & 13, 2016

Where:  Clackamus ESD, Clackamus, OR

When:  Tuesday, April 12 & Wednesday, April 13, 8:30 - 3:30

Who:  The presenter is Dr. Caroline Ramsey Musselwhite
This workshop is open to  public school educators.

What:  The prospect of teaching students with significant disabilities to begin to read with comprehension and begin to write generatively can seem overwhelming. On day one, Dr. Musselwhite will review literacy instruction for pre-K and early elementary students with an emphasis on assessment, shared reading, emergent writing, self-selected story listening, alphabet interaction and phonemic awareness. On day two, Dr. Musselwhite will focus on a similar set of topics with an emphasis upon upper elementary through high school students. Throughout both presentations, participants will see student samples, videos, and creative use of apps.

Download Flyer Here:
Portland Flyer 


Thursday, February 25, 2016

ISAAC Conference Hold the Date - Toronto, August 2016

What:  International Society for Augmentative and Alternative Communication (ISAAC) Conference

Where:  Toronto, Ontario, Canada

When:  Key Dates:
Pre-conference Workshops:
August 6 – 7, 2016
AAC Camp:
August 6 – 7, 2016
Main Conference:
August 8 – 11, 2016
Social Event:
August 9, 2016 (evening)
Research Symposium:
August 12- 13, 2016


 More Info?  Use the link below:   

ISAAC Hold The Date 

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Social Scripts for Students with Angelman Syndrome: FREE Webinar!

FREE Webinar - Social Scripts for Students with Angelman Syndrome

Watch This Webinar at the Link Below!

Saturday, February 13, 2016

Clicker 7 - Great New Features!

WHAT:  Clicker 7 is a writing software (version 7, as you might have figured!)  A number of new features are worth mentioning!

WHERE:  For more information, click below:
Clicker 7 Info

Audio Notes:  Now you can add audio note planning into your draft.  Remember that you can prepare a note in the message window of your AAC device, then press record and speak the message.


Built In Webs:  Webs for brainstorming can also be built into Clicker 7.  This means that planning and drafting can be integrated for students who are struggling writers. 

SuperKeys:  The wonderful SuperKeys is now integrated with Clicker 7!  This means that students can select a group (ex:  the yellow keys), then that group (i.e., r, t, y, u, f, g, h) enlarges for selection.

Eye Gaze!!  I saved the most exciting feature for last!  All of these wonderful features are now available for individuals who use eye gaze as an access method.  The writing section of the screen is a 'resting place' and they have integrated the 'wobble distance feature' into their eye gaze.  What a great collaboration between Crick Software and Inclusive TLC!