Developing Language with People Using Minspeak Systems



October 20-22, 2015, Pittsburgh


This focus of this three day seminar will be to provide learners with a theoretical and practical foundation for the use of core vocabulary as it pertains to language and vocabulary development for augmented communicators as well as how to integrate the use of core vocabulary as a primary strategy for targeting communication and language in home and academic settings. Our guest speaker will discuss practical ways to develop language, starting with a variety of low-tech strategies for building skills that support transition to a Minspeak device or app. Many of her strategies are specifically geared to the support of people with significant cognitive disabilities. The afternoon is dedicated to specific intervention strategies for individuals with Minspeak devices or apps: (1) developing icon family associations, (2) targeting core vocabulary in classroom lessons, and (3) merging Minspeak intervention with traditional SLP activities.


Bruce Baker, PhD

Deborah Laurent Witkowksi, MA, CCC-SLP

Tracy M. Kovach, PhD, CCC-SLP

Russell Cross

Gail M. Van Tatenhove, PA, M.S., CCC-SLP

Learning Outcomes:

  1. Explain why core vocabulary, not extended vocabulary, should be emphasized in AAC intervention.
  2. Describe the relationship between the use of core vocabulary and normal language development.
  3. Describe the difference between a needs-based communication display and a language-based communication display.
  4. Discuss the impact of motor automaticity in the successful use of AAC devices.
  5. Discuss the relationship between the use of a manual communication board and a speech-generating device.
  6. Describe two strategies to transition from a low tech Pixon® board to a high tech Unity®.
  7. Describe two ways to develop semantic networking and support vocabulary learning when using a Minspeak® MAP.
  8. Describe the Targeted Ten Approach for focusing on core vocabulary words in classroom lessons.
  9. Describe two ways to teach morphology and syntax when using the Unity® MAP.
  10. Identify two key differences between referential and descriptive teaching strategies.
  11. Discuss strategies that enable students who use AAC to demonstrate learning to demonstrate learning within the components of Bloom’s Taxonomy.


This activity is offered for up to 1.9 CEUs (18.75 hours of instruction). To register for CEUs:
  1. Download, and complete the following forms.
  2. Save the files names: 151022_SCS_Lastname-Firstname.xls
  3. Send both files to
  4. CEU certificate will be sent after submitting the two forms

Note: If any difficulty is encountered in using this form, write to to request an alternative file format.