International AAC Awareness Month 2021

AAC Awareness Month October 2021, #AACaware21, Get out, speak up and break through the screen in a recovering world

The current pandemic fueled by COVID-19 has created a greater reliance on technology for everyone, and it brought on new ways to work. Communicating with the assistance of technology for many social interactions has changed the way people value alternative forms of communication. Using a combination of video, text chat, and audio voice calls simultaneously in one conversation has become commonplace in today’s society. Quickly making accommodations for people’s available mode of communication often occurs without much interruption of the conversation. Many people now use apps and non-spontaneous communication to interact with businesses for basic daily tasks such as ordering food and shopping for goods.

It’s time to launch your activities, resources, and events in celebration of International AAC Awareness Month in October 2021!  Send us your news and we’ll start posting your submissions. Contact us by email at feedback@isaac-online.org 

Thank you!

ISAAC International

Bruce Baker AAC Globalization Initiative NEW

In celebration of International AAC Awareness Month, PRC-Saltillo and ISAAC International are thrilled to jointly announce the establishment of the Bruce Baker AAC Globalization Initiative. Submissions for the inaugural award are due March 14, 2022 and will be announced at ISAAC Cancún.

PRC-Saltillo, company logo

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“This Is Not About Me”: A New Film about Autism 

A groundbreaking new film has been released in celebration of International AAC Awareness Month.

This Is Not About Me tells the story of Jordyn Zimmerman, a young woman with non-speaking autism who now uses AAC to communicate. As a child, Jordyn dreamt of becoming a teacher. She started out eager to learn at school, but she was soon separated from the other children. Unable to communicate, teachers thought she was also unable to understand or learn. Year after year her behaviour worsened. She was restrained and placed in seclusion. Jordyn found herself caught in a system that unintentionally turned her life into a living nightmare. Finally, at the age of 18, with the help of educators who saw her differently, she managed to turn her fate and flourish.

Please share the film trailer to promote AAC awareness during the month of October (and beyond!).

The full 57-minute film can be rented here for $9.99 USD ($11.99 CAN). Watch this story of one autistic woman who fought hard to be recognized and trusted. “This Is Not About Me” is captioned in English and Spanish.

All proceeds from the film go to the Autistic Self-Advocacy Network (ASAN), CommunicationFIRST, and Thinking Person’s Guide to Autism to support them in their missions.

AssistiveWare logo

ISAAC Webinars for International AAC Awareness Month

See our line-up of ISAAC webinars scheduled for October 2021. You will find registration information at the link.

Awareness Month Deals

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EyeTech Digital Systems Giveaway

EyeTech is celebrating AAC Awareness Month by giving away an EyeOn Go! To enter:

1) Follow @EyeTechDS on Instagram
2) Like the official giveaway image and tag 3 friends in the comments
3) Fill out the official entry form at www.EyeTechDs.com/Giveaway
4) Stay tuned as the winner is announced on Nov 4th 2021

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Watch for these sales….

Several AAC and AT app developers are offering sales during AAC Awareness Month. Thank you to Lauren S. Enders, MA, CCC – SLP for providing this infographic, with the following description: “In celebration of AAC Awareness Month October 2021, a number of app developers are once again offering deep discounts! Date ranges and sale details vary, so check the graphic carefully! I have included information from all developers who provided me with sale details.”

W = sale is worldwide
VPP = additional discounts apply when 20 or more copies
are purchased via Apple’s Volume Purchase Program

AAC awareness month October 2021, AAC & Educational app sales

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ISAAC-Brazil

ISAAC-Brazil is preparing a super event for AAC Awareness Month! First National Meeting of Alternative Communication. Book the date: October 29 – 30, 2021. More information here.

Save the Date: 29 E 30 Outubro/2021

ISAAC-Denmark

On October 25th, ISAAC (in collaboration with the National Association for Autism) invites you to a one-day seminar. In Denmark, having no COVID-19 restrictions, this will be an in-person meeting on the subject of AAC and autism. Listen to presentations from Simon Felskov, (member of the main board of the National Association Autism) and Marianne Rosenkvist (sociologist with professional experience in evaluating social efforts). Joanne Cafiero will also be with us virtually, but the rest of the presentations will be taking place in real-life. Register here

– submitted by Ida Mundt and Margit Grønkjær

ISAAC-Israel

ISAAC Israel Bringing AAC To the World Wide Web

ISAAC-Israel has consulted with the World Wide Web Consortium on an exciting new standard that promises to bring AAC to the World Wide Web. Dr. Lionel Wolberger, co-chairman of a World Wide Web standards committee (called the W3C personalization task force), reached out to ISAAC-Israel last week. Dr. Wolberger is part of the Accessible Platform Architectures Working Group within the Web Accessibility Initiative of the World Wide Web Consortium. This is the community of engineers that creates the standards that power every web page you see on the internet, including the WCAG standard that currently specifies how screen readers work with web pages, and which videos require closed captioning. Personalization is a new standard extending accessibility to the symbols space. Web page authors will be able to use this method to specify which symbol would best relate to any given word on a web page. The specification is now ready for candidate review status. Dr. Wolberger and Isaac-Israel’s Dr. Adi Neeman consulted on details of how best to implement this concept. We are excited that this specification will reach the public in the future, enabling people who rely on symbols to access more web content more easily. As with curb cuts, and captions, this is the kind of accessibility initiative that, in the end, will help all of us use the internet more easily.

submitted by Lionel Wolberger

ISAAC-US

USSAAC is holding a virtual auction as part of International AAC Month in October to fund their AAC Speaker Connection. Items found here. Auction opens October 1st.

USSAAC, Amplifying AAC Voices, Join us USSAAC Virtual Auction, October 1 - 15, 2021. Register to bid.

At Pines Lake Elementary School in Wayne, NJ, all seven general education/integrated 4th and 5th grades will participate in presentations about AAC, including  showing them how to make an e-tran and allowing everyone an opportunity to try some robust communication apps on iPads.  They will also watch a Chris Klein video on YouTube.

These classes will also be reviewing the ASHA Communication Bill of Rights and discussing them in their individual classroom with their teachers. The focus is to be on how these rights are accommodated within our school community. We also have a brochure to share: What is AAC and When is it Appropriate?

– submitted by Catherine Fredericks, MA, CCC-SLP/L, ATP, CAS 

South Africa

AAC Awareness Month 31-Day Challenge

This project was initiated by final year Masters in AAC students at the Centre for AAC, University of Pretoria, under the supervision of Prof. Juan Bornman: Jess Bartram, Pauline Prinsloo, Jodi Zimmerman, Liné Kruger, Gonda Olivier, and Malikah Parker. They have asked 31 people (many South Africans as well as a few international AAC people) to make 1- to 2-minute videos about their work to create awareness on a variety of AAC-relevant topics.  A new video will be launched every day during the month of October on the Centre for Augmentative and Alternative Communication Facebook Page. The students have made some videos and have also asked former students, teachers and clinicians, parents of children who use AAC, and persons who use AAC to make videos for this challenge. Other students around the world are invited to join in!

submitted by Juan Bornman

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