Training the Trainers: How to Teach the Minspeak Language System


December 8-10, 2020, Virtual


This focus of this 3-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 present on strategies to train trainers to use and teach the Minspeak® language system.  As the scope of the field of speech-language pathology keeps expanding, limited time is spent on teaching topics such as AAC; although AAC systems and strategies are used with a large population of individuals with a variety of speech-language disorders across the life span.  Speech-language pathologists therefore are graduating with a cursory or limited knowledge of AAC and even less of language representation systems such as Minspeak.  Concerns repeatedly are expressed by instructors (both at the university level and while providing in-service workshops/training to practicing speech-language pathologists) that due to the ever-changing field of AAC it is difficult to stay current in the latest trends and research/evidenced based practices.  In the busy world of the practicing SLP, it is difficult to attract and keep the attention of adults and practicing speech-language.

This presentation will focus on how to teach the Minspeak® language representational method using adult learning strategies at the pre-service and in-service level.  Resources for the development of teaching strategies and materials, (such as use of Pecha Kucha) will be demonstrated.  In addition to providing pre-service teaching it is as important to maintain and to further develop skills in AAC particularly Minspeak.  Mentorship therefore plays an important role in maintaining and further developing this expertise in AAC and Minspeak.  This presentation will further discuss the possibility of developing a mentorship program for collaboration between special and general education teachers as well as speech-language therapists, paraprofessionals and parents. 

Generalization also is difficult to the community setting.  Procedures (such as use of functional homework assignments) for embedding high and low tech Minspeak systems within community will be discussed. 


Deborah Laurent Witkowski, MA, CCC-SLP

Tracy M. Kovach, PhD, CCC-SLP

Russell Cross

Meher Banajee, PhD, CCC-SLP

Learning Outcomes:

Explain why core vocabulary, not extended vocabulary, should be emphasized in AAC intervention.

Describe the relationship between the use of core vocabulary and normal language development.

Describe the difference between a needs-based communication display and a language-based communication display.

Discuss the impact of motor automaticity in the successful use of AAC devices.

Describe how to use adult learning principles to teach different paradigms within a Minspeak® system.

Learn how to generalize and collaborate with other professionals, therapist, and parents (e.g. functional homework) to support their client in the community.

Learn how to apply the principles of Telepractice to the teaching of Minspeak® paradigms.

Identify two key differences between referential and descriptive teaching strategies.

Discuss strategies that enable students who use AAC to demonstrate learning to demonstrate learning within the components of Bloom’s Taxonomy.


CEUs This activity is offered for up to 1.9 CEUs (18.5 hours of instruction). To register for CEUs:  

Download and complete the following forms.

Save the files names: 201210_SCS_Lastname_Firstname

Send both files to

Upon completion of the two forms and passing the quiz, a CEU certificate will be sent

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