Bruce Baker AAC Globalization Initiative

NEWPRC-Saltillo and ISAAC are thrilled to jointly announce the establishment of the Bruce Baker AAC Globalization Initiative. 

Bruce Baker was introduced to the world of AAC in the early 1980s. He soon became aware that existing AAC devices had significant vocabulary limitations, especially for individuals who were preliterate. As a linguist, he was familiar with approaches that various cultures used to represent language, ranging from Latin orthography to Chinese pictograms and Egyptian hieroglyphics. Bruce drew upon this knowledge to develop Minspeak®, a system of encoding language through multi-meaning icons. Bruce dedicated his career and life to serving individuals who communicate with AAC. 

Much has changed in the 40 years since Bruce became interested in AAC. Advancements in technology, research, and clinical practice have made AAC accessible to millions of people across the globe. Yet, barriers still remain. By its very nature, much of AAC is language-specific. In many areas of the world, AAC devices and apps are not available in the local language. In other areas, some technology is available, but offers only limited vocabulary and functionality. Implementation materials for clinicians, educators, and parents are often not available in the local language. 

To honour Bruce’s legacy and contributions to the field of AAC, PRC-Saltillo has established, in partnership with ISAAC International, the Bruce Baker AAC Globalization Initiative.

We are seeking applications from individuals or teams who are interested in developing vocabulary files, translating AAC systems, and creating materials in languages in which AAC is under-represented. PRC-Saltillo will provide software for creating vocabulary sets and for translating prompts and materials. We will also provide $10,000 USD to cover the recipients’ activities and expenses. Upon completion, we will integrate the vocabulary, instructions, and materials into our AAC apps and/or devices and make them available in places where the language is spoken. 

Applications for the inaugural award will be available on the PRC-Saltillo and ISAAC websites during October 2021, with a currently scheduled submission due date of March 14, 2022. Award recipients will be announced at ISAAC Cancún, currently scheduled for July/August 2022. The intent will be to offer this award every two years, to coincide with subsequent ISAAC Conferences.

Criteria for Award Recipients

  • Applicant(s) should be familiar with AAC and be native speakers of the language of concern. At least one person on the team needs to be fluent in English.
  • Applicant(s) need to have significant familiarity with the local / regional / national culture representing the language of concern.
  • After the award has been granted, the recipient will confer with PRC-Saltillo to identify activities that will be most productive in leveraging PRC-Saltillo’s materials, technology, etc., to provide the greatest benefit to the population of interest. Recipients’ activities may include:

√ Developing vocabulary lists
√ Developing communication pages
√ Translating instructional prompts and menus
√ Creating instructional or implantation materials

  • PRC-Saltillo will provide software tools to support these activities. Applicant(s) need to have access to Windows® computers and internet service.
  • Any materials, apps, software, etc., created through the initiative will become the property of PRC-Saltillo. This will enable the company to make them available to those who can benefit from them. Those who contributed to the materials’ creation will be duly acknowledged and will have free access to the materials. 

DATE FOR SUBMISSION:  March 14, 2022

Completed Team and Individual Applications to be submitted via email, to franklin(at)isaac-online.org

*Note: Please first download and save a copy of the form-fillable PDF application form to your local computer, before completing.

FOR MORE INFORMATION:  Please contact Franklin Smith, ISAAC Executive Director, franklin(at)isaac-online.org

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