Communication looks different for everyone. Some may communicate using words, gestures, behaviors, sounds, refusals, and more. It can be different for each learner. Analyzing the form of expressive communication your student uses, can assist educational staff in designing a communication system with and for the student (Downing, Hanreddy, & Peckham-Hardin, 2015, pp. 60-61). Project Core, a Stepping-Up Technology Implementation Grant directed by the Center for Literacy and Disability Studies at UNC Chapel Hill, provides professional development modules to assist teachers and therapists in learning how to select and use a universal core communication system with their students. Supporting Individual Access to the Universal Core Vocabulary module reviews how to select a universal core communication system and how to use partner assisted scanning to help learners identify their selection.
More Professional Development (PD) modules can be found on the Project Core PD webpage.
- Assessing Communication Abilities
- Teaching and Modeling the Universal Core
- Shared Reading: An Instructional Routine that Promotes Communication
- Independent Reading
The modules are free and take about 30 minutes to complete. With 14 modules to choose from, one can easily design a PD activity of 5 hours on the topic of Communication, Universal Core Vocabulary, and Literacy to address the guidelines in the new Virginia Licensure Renewal Manual. If desired, a Certificate of Completion can be obtained for each module viewed, by selecting to take a short test.
Downing, J., Hanreddy, A., & Peckham-Hardin, K. D. (2015). Teaching communication skills to students with severe disabilities. Baltimore: Paul H. Brookes Publishing.