Teaching Movements for Communication

July 15-19, 2019

What Is Teaching Movements for Communication?

  • For some children with complex communication needs, the method of accessing the Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC) system significantly affects their development of intelligible, autonomous communication. These children, who have significant physical and/or sensory challenges, often need to learn movements to access Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC) systems.
  • This intensive five day workshop will provide participants with an in-depth opportunity to explore movement differences associated with students with complex physical and communication needs (e.g., cerebral palsy, Rett Syndrome) and severe sensory processing challenges. A range of strategies and a process to teach movements for communication will be demonstrated.
  • The workshop is presented by Gayle Porter and Claire Cotter of the Cerebral Palsy Education Center (CPEC) in Melbourne, Australia.

Who Should Attend?

  • This workshop would be beneficial for members of school teams working with children who have severe physical and sensory challenges and are struggling to access AAC systems
  • Examples of team members include: speech language pathologists, teachers, support staff, physical therapists, occupational therapists, school administrators, and/or other itinerant staff members
  • It would be helpful, but not a requirement, for at least one of the members of the team to have previously attended a 2-day Introductory PODD (Pragmatic Organization Dynamic Display) workshop
  • Though the course would be most beneficial for those serving birth-5, it provides learning, resources and strategies that can be applied by therapists and teachers working with students with significant motor and communication challenges of all ages

Participants Will Be Able To:

  • Identify the communication and cognitive assessment challenges for individuals who have sensory motor challenges and complex communication needs.
  • Describe the key movement issues that affect the development of all graded movement including that required for intelligible communication
  • Observe and analyze the movement for children whose motor and/or sensory processing challenges affect their development of intelligible communication
  • Explain how to accommodate for challenging postural control
  • Explain how to develop sensory & motor control of selective movements
  • Describe an intervention process for developing movements and operational competencies for more intelligible, independent, autonomous communication
  • Assess and teach movements for communication using gesture, non-electronic and electronic AAC systems including direct pointing, eye-gaze, scanning access.

Cost and Schedule

  • The workshop will be held July 15-19, 2019 at the Wesley School in Muskegon, MI.
  • The cost for the five day training is $125 per person.

Interested in Attending Teaching Movements for Communication?

  • Do you work with students with complex motor and communication needs? 
  • Has your district identified a need for professional learning and ongoing support regarding students with complex physical challenges and augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) strategies? 
  • Would you or your district be willing to engage with Alt+Shift and other participants to share information and address implementation of new practices? 
  • Would you or your district be willing to share artifacts (e.g., videos, narratives, etc) of how you’ve incorporated information from this training with your building and/or students? 
  • Do you have a system in place to support implementation of new practices beyond just yourself or your team who attend the training? 

Applying for Movements for Communication

  • If you answered “yes” to any of the questions, consider submitting an application to attend. Seating is limited. The first round of applications are due March 18, 2019, with accepted teams notified by March 31, 2019. 


Event Location

Wesley School
915 Wesley Ave
Muskegon, MI 49442