Organizing Language and Literacy Instruction for Learners Who Use AAC: Goal Driven Planning and Instruction


March 20-22, 2018, Pittsburgh


The focus of this 2.5 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.  For students who use AAC, language and literacy instruction must be explicit, systematic, and relevant. This workshop will give you a set of tools to organize your instruction to make teaching more intentional while supporting the generalization of skills across educational and communication contexts.  Participants will learn practical frameworks for designing and organizing language and literacy instruction in an AAC classroom. Personal Narrative as a platform for instruction, long term planning for communicative competence and Backwards Planning with I, WE, YOU, I lesson plan will be discussed and demonstrated.


Bruce Baker, PhD

Deborah Laurent Witkowski, MA, CCC-SLP 

Tracy M. Kovach, PhD, CCC-SLP

Russell Cross, BSc (Hons) Psych, MRCSLT

Michele Boruta, MS, Ed

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. Identify the challenges with using a page-based system in an AAC device.
  5. Discuss the impact of motor automaticity in the successful use of AAC devices.
  6. Discuss the need for an AAC scope and sequence.
  7. Discuss the role of joint encoding in developing memory and narrative skills.
  8. Understand how to start and end every lesson with a child-friendly learning target.
  9. Identify two key differences between referential and descriptive teaching strategies.
  10. Generate linguistically oriented IEP goals and objectives for students who use AAC.
  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 2.0 CEUs (19.75 hours of instruction). To register for CEUs:

Download, and complete the following forms.
1.   Attendance Form
2.   Evaluation/Learning Form

Save the files names: 180322_SCS_Lastname-Firstname
                                 1. Send both files to
                            2. CEU certificate will be sent after submitting the two forms
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