Practical Strategies for Effective AAC Instruction


February 14-16, 2017, 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. Our guest speaker will provide practical strategies and resources to support effective AAC instruction. Participants will learn through a mix of direct instruction and hands-on activities. Topics will include vocabulary selection with a focus on core vocabulary, principles and use of Aided Language Stimulation, engaging activities for teaching language to AAC users (both traditional and using engaging iPad apps), and a discussion of AAC in the IEP.


Bruce Baker, PhD

Deborah Laurent Witkowski, MA, CCC-SLP

Lauren S. Enders, MA, CCC-SLP

Tracy M. Kovach, PhD, CCC-SLP

Russell Cross

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 three reasons why aided language stimulation is an essential AAC implementation strategy
  7. Identify three engaging lesson plan ideas that can be used to support language learning in AAC users.
  8. Identify two key differences between referential and descriptive teaching strategies.
  9. Generate linguistically oriented IEP goals and objectives for students who use AAC.
  10. 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: 170216_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.