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Benefits of attending an AAC SIG

Once every term Polly Khushal, Meryl Bowen and Kristy McCullum organise a Special Interest Group (SIG) at the TalkLink Auckland office for people using AAC in Education and Health settings. Participants are mostly SLTs but on occasions there have been a few keen OTs, PTs and teachers who have attended some meetings. These meetings are a great chance to meet with other Speech and Language Therapists from a wide range of settings and talk about AAC. There is an opportunity to discuss best practice, feedback on recent Professional Development, keep up to date with new equipment, problem solve tricky cases and celebrate when something has worked well.

As a fresh face to the world of AAC, I was welcomed by the other attendees and even at my first meeting learnt a lot from listening to other people’s stories, watching videos and problem solving through case discussions.

Highlights from past SIGs have included listening to Sam and Lynn talk about how they have supported Aided Language Stimulation through a whole school approach at Patricia Avenue School and having the chance to ask questions to TalkLink OT’s about options for alternative access. At the last meeting of the year the room was buzzing with discussions about the most recent Linda Burkhart PD and it was great to hear what other people had taken from the course and implemented straight away with their clients.

Another great benefit to attending the SIG is the sharing of resources. This has saved many of us a lot of time in our practice and as more participants create and share new things the bank of resources keeps growing.

There are many well established AAC SIGs like this happening around the country and I would definitely recommend heading over to the NZSTA website to find out where and who to contact about attending.

Use of AAC is growing and the support and knowledge that can be gained from attending these groups is so valuable to our practice and the way we work with clients, families and the support teams around them.


Leanne Rumney

Speech Language Therapist

Arohanui School

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Paula Shennan

Paula Shennan

Speech Language Therapist at The Talklink Trust
I am a Speech and Language Therapist who joined the Talklink Auckland team in November 2011. I have an interest in the area of Assistive Technology and enabling and empowering individuals to communicate using various means.
Paula Shennan

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Permanent link to this article: http://www.talklink.org.nz/index.php/2017/01/16/benefits-of-attending-an-aac-sig/


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  1. Kristina

    Hi,I would be keen to attend such a sig meeting if possible.I am working in Gisborne.any chance to of letting me know when the next meeting is?Cheers.?

  2. liz taute

    Hi there
    Please add me to your list for invitations

  3. Melissa Delaux

    Hi there is there any chance of being able to phone or skype or face time into these SIG meetings?
    Melissa Delaux

    1. Paula Shennan
      Paula Shennan

      Hi Melissa, we have tried this in the past and it hasnt really worked well with the volume of people attending, but not to say we cant try again. I will pass your message on to those who arrange it and ask them to get in contact. Thanks, Paula

  4. melissa Delaux

    Thanks Paula, will keep my fingers crossed!

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