Putting It Into Practice: Taking What You’ve Learned & Applying It Successfully


June 21-23, 2016, Pittsburgh


This 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 speakers are Pittsburgh AAC Language Seminar Series alumni and members of the Minspeak® Learning Community.  They will present strategies that they have employed at the clinical and programmatic level to integrate the use of core vocabulary, language acquisition strategies and motor planning as a means of getting better outcomes for individuals who use AAC. 


Bruce Baker, PhD

Deborah Laurent Witkowski, MA, CCC-SLP

Tracy M. Kovach, PhD, CCC-SLP

Russell Cross, BSc. (Hons.) DipSCT, MRCSLT

Sara Barnhill, M.S., CCC-SLP

Krystie Yeo, B.A., ATP

Megan Brazas, M.A., CCC-SLP

Megan Jones, M.S.

Barbara Lent, M. Ed., CCC-SLP

Jennifer Ro, M.A., CCC-SLP

Amy Thomsen, 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. Identify key components in rolling out a core vocabulary initiative.
  6. Develop a plan for implementing core vocabulary with their students.
  7. Identify the three stages of communication.
  8. Identify where vocabulary supports fall within the RTI tiers for instruction.
  9. Discuss how to create and implement original core vocabulary materials.
  10. Identify barriers to successful AT training for caregivers and clinicians.
  11. Discuss opportunities for programmatic change related to AT training in clinical settings .
  12. Describe ways in which caregiver training can promote generalization of skills for individuals who use Minspeak®.
  13. Discuss the concepts of communicative intent and functional communication.
  14. Describe the features and functions of the Core Vocabulary Exchange System™, including its benefits and how to integrate it into therapy and daily routines.
  15. Describe two ways to develop semantic networking and support vocabulary learning when using a Minspeak® MAP.
  16. Identify two key differences between referential and descriptive teaching strategies.
  17. 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 (19.33 hours of instruction). To register for CEUs:
  1. Download, and complete the following forms.
  2. Save the files names: 160623_SCS_Lastname-Firstname.xls
  3. Send both files to ceus@aacinstitute.org
  4. CEU certificate will be sent after submitting the two forms

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