Winter saw ILC Tech Team Leader Kelly Savage (pictured far left with other course attendees) rug up and fly to Melbourne to attend the intensive five-day AGOSCI winter literacy course, thanks to the 2014 ILC Scholarship she was awarded.
The ILC Scholarship aims to provide employees with the opportunity to develop in an area that will enable them to further support people with a disability and the frail aged, their carers and families.
Valued at $3,000, the scholarship enabled Kelly to further her studies and skills in Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC) and Literacy.
Communicating when you can’t speak can be a big challenge. AAC technology and voice output devices help people who cannot speak to communicate, develop language and literacy skills, decrease frustration and increase socialisation and participation.
Unfortunately, many students with complex communication needs leave school without basic literacy skills.
The intensive five-day AGOSCI winter literacy course, held in Melbourne, provided Kelly with the theoretical and practice aspects of literacy instruction for children and adults with disabilities, including complex communication needs.
“As speech pathologists, we know the critical importance of the links between language and literacy development. This course has added some new and essential information about literacy instruction to my AAC tool kit. The group that participated in the course was made up of speech pathologists, educators and parents, which really brought together different perspectives, ideas and knowledge, and enriched the learning experience for me,” said Kelly.
“Ultimately I would like to run workshops and training in this area within the WA education sector, as well as providing an AAC and literacy support service, to help improve literacy skills for people with complex communication needs in WA.”
Kelly’s recent blog article ‘Independence through Literacy – Never to early, Never too late!’shares discussion on how literacy skills impact on our lives, and how the course challenged her to review the emphasis that she places on the development of literacy skills in her AAC and assistive technology interventions, when working with children and adults.
ILC Tech provides a specialist service where people with complex communication needs can come and investigate the different types of communication aids and devices that may assist them.
ILC Tech also provides AAC training to health professionals, educators, service providers and support workers on how to support people with complex communication needs. Check out ILC’s training services here. Programs can be tailored to suit you. A range of communication resources that have been developed by ILC Tech can be found here.