Friday, July 27, 2012

Equality without Words

For those of you who work with people of any age who do not use spoken language, core vocabulary is critical. These are the high frequency words which may be displayed in pictures that we all use. Young children need immediate access to these. Too often we are worried about students with more significant disabilities needing to be "ready" to learn more vocabulary. We need to make language available and model in all interactions all day long. Take a look at this clip. It is about a new movement called "Equality Without Words" .  Equality without Words


  1. It is so important to incorporate a core vocabulary into the everyday experiences for the individuals we are surrounded with. We are so fortunate to live in a time where technology is so readily available to us that this should be avaiable in classrooms and communities. When children aren't exposed to this, how will we ever know when they are "ready" to learn more?

  2. I agree that technology has helped make all of this so much more readily available which means there is no excuse for core words not to be taught, available and used across every environment. Core vocabulary is important for English Language Learners, those with communication disabilities and many others.

  3. Patty, this lesson on Core Words really struck a chord with me. You have often in class heard me speak about one of my students who is mostly non-speaking, with an improperly assigned AAC device. She is so intelligent and it is so disheartening to know that she probably has never been given the opportunity to use these core words. I often wonder how my students (who are ages 19-21) have made it to this point in their lives without some of the most basic things they have the right to, such as these core words. It was also eye-opening to see just how new the field of AAC is, especially in terms of literacy, and also that we as teachers and SLPs are not well-educated in it! It is definitely an area I want to continue to educate myself in and advocate in for my students.

    1. We do need to advocate for the use of core words from a very early age (early intervention). There are so many simple ways to do this. Most AAC devices come with preprogrammed core boards which you can individualize. Sometimes people are not aware of this or do not understand the importance. Most of all we do not need to wait until we think the student is "ready". As we have discussed many times, we are born "ready". The AAC devices have to be matched correctly and the associated language system developed based on that unique user. It has to be updated constantly. With the ability to back-up these devices and also developing boards before the device even arrives, there is no excuse why our students do not have access to the language they are entitled to have. It is also never too late to start!