Creating Communication Competence for People with Severe Impairments

Wednesday, April 19, 2017 3:30 - 4:30 PM Eastern Time Zone

Webinar Type: Archive
Webinar Code: AT17-WEB04-AR
Webinar Fee: $39

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Working with individuals with complex physical, cognitive, and visual needs can be daunting. This webinar will walk you through starting with single switch activation for non-communicative means (i.e. cause and effect skills) and building upon single switch activation to create robust communication experiences. This single switch activation can lead to many levels of communication on low and high tech AAC systems, especially when auditory scanning methodologies are applied. This webinar will also discuss these varying levels of communication and the importance of multidisciplinary treatment to make this possible.

Learning Objectives

  1. Participants will describe the hierarchy of moving from using a switch for cause and effect, to single message communication, to a more robust scanning methodology on low tech and high tech AAC devices.
  2. Participants will be able to explain 3 reasons participating in multidisciplinary treatment will improve communication competence for people with complex communication needs.
  3. Participants will be able to explain when and how to use auditory scanning with low and high tech AAC options.


Amy Sonntag

SLP, Clinical Assistant Professor
The Ohio State University
Amy Miller Sonntag, M.A., CCC-SLP is currently employed at The Ohio State University as a Clinical Assistant Professor. Sonntag has worked extensively for 20 years in the Augmentative Alternative Communication (AAC) field in Ohio and North Carolina providing evaluation, therapy, and consultative services to people with complex communication needs (CCN). She has also served a diverse population of people ages 18 months to adult with a variety of medical diagnoses to aid in enhancing their communication abilities. Prior to her appointment at OSU she was the coordinator of the AAC program at Akron Children’s Hospital. Additionally, she served patients with a variety of speech-language disorders including childhood apraxia of speech, autism, cerebral palsy, and developmental disorders. She has presented at numerous state and national conferences including the ASHA (American Speech-Language-Hearing Association) Convention, ATIA (Assistive Technology Industry Association), Closing the Gap, North Carolina Assistive Technology Expo, Ohio Speech Language Hearing Association, Ohio School Speech Pathology and Educational Audiology Coalition (OSSPEAC), regional schools, clinics, and parent groups. Sonntag served on the board of OSSPEAC in a variety of positions including president and was a member of the Board of USSAAC (United States Society for Augmentative and Alternative Communication).
Speaker Financial Relationship Disclosure: Yes
Speaker Non-Financial Relationship Disclosure: Yes


Augmentative and Alternative Communication

Target Audience

AT Professionals, OTs

Experience Level


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