Communication

All learners have the right to communicate, and communication is a prerequisite for teaching and learning.

Additionally, autonomous communication requires literacy, and our goal must be to allow all learners to express what they want to communicate.

Learn about:

  • language development strategies, including core vocabulary
  • more robust tools such as Pragmatic Organization Dynamic Display (PODD)
  • structuring daily literacy instruction for students with significant disabilities and complex communication needs

Quick Wins

Quick Wins are individual modules, each focused on one high leverage practice from an Alt+Shift professional learning opportunity.  Quick wins include a combination of video, text, downloadable resources, and practice opportunities.  They are designed for quick consumption, immediate implementation, and high impact.

AAC Fundamentals

Learners who have difficulty using speech to express their wants, needs, and ideas benefit from access to Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC)
Approximate Time to Complete:
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Core Vocabulary

Core vocabulary offers a way for providers to support communication both individually and as a classroom-wide Tier 1 foundational support.
Approximate Time to Complete: 15 - 20 minutes
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Shared Reading

Shared reading is an evidence-based strategy that can improve a learner’s concept of print, language, communication, and interaction skills while encouraging engagement.
Approximate Time to Complete: 15 - 20 minutes
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Partnered Learning Courses

Alt+Shift partners with intermediate school districts (ISDs) to provide training and implementation support for its professional learning opportunities. Select an option below to learn more about each professional learning opportunity and how to participate.

Building Blocks to Autonomous Communication

Building Blocks to Autonomous Communication focuses on the what, why, and how of supporting learners with complex communication needs. In this professional learning opportunity, participants will learn: 

  • How to embed evidence-informed Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC) practices with all learners
  • Tools and strategies to implement new learning and practices  
  • Create systems to support the sustainability of the effort

This professional learning opportunity is tailored to the needs of the partnering ISD.  It is composed of content from Assistive Technology (AT) Journey, Foundations of Communication, Pragmatic Organization Dynamic Display (PODD), Teaching Movements for Communication, and Comprehensive Literacy for Autonomous Communication.

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Comprehensive Literacy for Autonomous Communication

Classroom and ancillary staff are taught how to structure daily literacy instruction for learners with significant disabilities and complex communication needs. Autonomous communication requires literacy, and our goal must be to allow all learners to express what they want to communicate.  

ISDs interested in partnering with Alt+Shift for Comprehensive Literacy Instruction should refer to Building Blocks to Autonomous Communication

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Pragmatic Organization Dynamic Display

Participants in this introductory training are taught to select, customize, and use Pragmatic Organization Dynamic Display (PODD) books and aided language input to promote autonomous communication for learners with complex communication needs. PODD is an augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) tool that arranges a robust vocabulary, typically as a low-tech book, to support language development for learners with complex communication needs. Language is organized in a practical layout that requires minimal page turns to communicate.

ISDs interested in partnering with Alt+Shift for PODD training and implementation support should refer to Building Blocks to Autonomous Communication

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