TASH Workshop Series: Increasing Communication Access and Improving Communication Support


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When

A four-part workshop series on Thursdays from May 13th to June 3rd 2021 at 4:00-5:30 PM Eastern / 3:00-4:30 PM Central / 2:00-3:30 PM Mountain / 1:00-2:30 PM Pacific.

About the workshops

In this series, Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC) users and their allies will describe different aspects of communication vulnerability and support, how these vary based on individual needs, how to become a responsive communication partner, and practical ways to support communication access in the digital age. Each workshop will include opportunities for discussion in smaller groups with a facilitator.

Learning objectives

Through participation in the four sessions, participants will:

  • Gain practical ideas for how to get started with communication support.
  • Apply strategies to their own role as a communication partner or AAC user.
  • Learn from AAC users about what it feels like to experience limited communication, and how communication vulnerability intersects with other forms of oppression.
  • Identify practical ways to make communication more accessible in virtual environments, and to support digital literacy among individuals, including those with extensive support needs.

Target audience

Individuals with limited speaking abilities, family members, educators and school staff, adult service providers, other professionals, and individuals who want to begin, change, or improve communication access.

An illustration of a flip chart with a spiral along the top and a grid of boxes on the card.

Workshop 1: Communication Access: Understanding where to start and taking the first step

Thursday, May 13, 2021 — 4:00-5:30 PM Eastern / 3:00-4:30 PM Central / 2:00-3:30 PM Mountain / 1:00-2:30 PM Pacific

Regardless of the age of the individual, communication access is critical for community involvement, connections with others, and control in one’s own life. This workshop will address key strategies for overcoming barriers and tailoring communication support to the unique needs of each individual. Presenters will share a problem-solving process for increasing communication access, and will engage with participants in smaller group discussions related to beginning steps.

Presenters

  • Pascal Cheng
  • Ryan Duncanwood
  • Grant Blasko
  • Others TBD

Register for this Session

An illustration of a flip chart with a spiral along the top and a grid of boxes on the card.

Workshop 2: Understanding Communication Vulnerability and Being an Empathetic Ally

Thursday, May 20, 2021 — 4:00-5:30 PM Eastern / 3:00-4:30 PM Central / 2:00-3:30 PM Mountain / 1:00-2:30 PM Pacific

Individuals who use augmentative and alternative forms of communication are often dismissed, discounted, and even dehumanized throughout their lives. These experiences result in trauma for the individual, and are a product of ableist thinking and systems within our culture. In this session, AAC users will share their personal experiences with communication privilege and communication vulnerability, with an emphasis on how these impact individuals and what actions we can take to address these issues. Following a presentation, smaller groups will have an opportunity for discussion.

Presenters

  • Grant Blasko
  • Bob Williams
  • Ryan Duncanwood

Register for this Session

An illustration of a flip chart with a spiral along the top and a grid of boxes on the card.

Workshop 3: Supportive and Responsive Communication Partners: How to be one and how to develop them

Thursday, May 27, 2021 — 4:00-5:30 PM Eastern / 3:00-4:30 PM Central / 2:00-3:30 PM Mountain / 1:00-2:30 PM Pacific

How do we create interactions, environments, and situations that promote trust and welcome individuals who communicate differently? In this workshop, participants will gain insights from AAC users on the qualities they need in a communication partner, whether the person is a paid support, a family member, a co-worker, or a friend. Presenters will share practical ways that communication partners can notice and address barriers to communication as well as strategies to establish mutual trust and a mindset of support.

Presenters

  • Grant Blasko
  • Ryan Duncanwood
  • Cynthia Blasko
  • Adie Buchinsky
  • Additional presenters forthcoming

Register for this Session

An illustration of a flip chart with a spiral along the top and a grid of boxes on the card.

Workshop 4: Communication Access and Support in the Digital Age

Thursday, June 3, 2021 — 4:00-5:30 PM Eastern / 3:00-4:30 PM Central / 2:00-3:30 PM Mountain / 1:00-2:30 PM Pacific

Throughout the global coronavirus pandemic, many individuals who use augmentative and alternative forms of communication have both struggled, and succeeded, in finding new ways to interact in the virtual world. In this workshop we will discuss the ways in which digital literacy is becoming critical for all individuals, and in particular for individuals with complex communication needs. AAC users will share their own access strategies, as well as ways to make online environments more accessible. Smaller breakout room discussion will provide an opportunity for discussion and problem-solving.

Presenters

  • Presenters forthcoming

Register for this Session

How to participate

This series of live workshops will be streamed over the web via Zoom. Registered participants will receive an e-mail with instructions, the link to join the webinar and any other materials on Wednesday (the day prior) and a reminder the morning of the event.

Each workshop will be an hour and a half, consisting of a discussion of the main topic of the workshop by the presenters, followed by breakout sessions in which attendees will be put into small groups with a facilitator to work on an exercise in more detail.

Attendees can register for the entire series or for single workshops. The series costs $120; individual workshops cost $40 each, but there are three great ways to save:

  1. Complete series discount: When you register for the complete series, you attend all four episodes for the price of three — that’s $120 instead of $160.
  2. Discount rate: We offer a discounted registration rate for income restricted participants, such as people with disabilities, direct support professionals and students.
  3. TASH members: You get 25 percent off, both the individual episode price and the complete series price. Individual episodes are $30 and the complete series is $90. You need to be logged in to your member account for the system to apply your member discount (if you don’t know your member account login and password, you can find instructions for resetting them here.)
Regular Rate Discount Rate
Member Non-Member Member Non-Member
Complete Series $90 $120 $30 $60
Individual Episode $30 $40 $10 $20

All the presentation will be recorded and available for purchase in the TASH Training Resource Library, or available without additional charge to applicable TASH members.

 

Not presently eligible for the membership discount? Become a member today and save.

If you have any questions or need help, you can contact Donald Taylor at dtaylor@tash.org or 202-878-6959.