Presenter: Joy McGowan, MS, CCC-SLP
– S.D., prior course participant
This course will aid participants in the decision-making process, including five critical components to consider when selecting an augmentative communication system. Considered will be the functional implications of cognitive, speech and language development, vision, and gross/fine motor skills on communication interactions in children.
Presented will be guidelines for participants to use in determining the optimal AAC system to ensure successful communication across environments. Both high- and low-tech communication options will be examined, including communication boards, the Picture Exchange Communication System (PECS), switches, eye-gaze, mobile technology, and speech-generating devices featuring static and dynamic displays on dedicated augmentative communication devices.
Participants will also learn to formulate appropriate goals and objectives based on data collection procedures specifically designed for monitoring a child's use of the features of his or her AAC system. Case studies will be presented to illustrate these technological advances and recommended strategies.
Course is offered for 0.3 ASHA CEUs – 3 Contact Hours.
Course Overview – Run Time: 3:08:02
– S.C., prior course participant
The content of this online CE course does not focus exclusively on any specific proprietary product or service. Presenter financial and non-financial disclosures may be found in the Presenter & Disclosures area.
Video PowerPoint presentation with author narration & downloadable handout. Stop and re-start the course at any point. Learners retain access to course content after completion for ongoing reference and review.
"It was helpful to see different communication systems/apps and factors to consider when choosing the most appropriate one. I liked the emphasis on how to introduce AAC and the steps needed before pushing for message expansion." S.M. (Sep. 2023)
"Learning about teaching eye gaze was beneficial." J.V. (Sep. 2023)
"I found the topic of choosing the right AAC method to be the most useful and practical. I liked the presenter's outstanding skills and was able to maintain my attention throughout the entirety of the course." D.M. (Aug. 2023)
"Very thorough. Great video clips. Went back to very early levels. Good overview of PECS." R.R. (Jul. 2023)
"Helpful for implementing AAC. Easy to follow course." J.H. (Jul. 2023)
"I liked the hierarchy of communications and devices explained so that I can better assess the selection of a device for potential students. I also liked the reasoning for what is needed to be successful with a device. I loved the handout provided and also the way that this course was laid out in an easy-to-follow way." T.K. (May 2023)
"I liked every single topic." K.C. (May 2023)
"Discussion on PECS was beneficial." L.A. (Apr. 2023)
"Clear discussion regarding training/implementation of AAC devices. I found the discussion regarding specific skills to target and strategies for teaching AAC to be the most beneficial." E.W. (Mar. 2023)
"PECS information was beneficial. I liked this presentation." B.R. (Jan. 2023)
"Course offered broad knowledge and intro to SGDs. I appreciated the terms introduced that label specific topics and concepts when educating a family using a SGD." A.W. (Dec. 2022)
"The presenter was very knowledgeable of the content." R.L. (Dec. 2022)
"Good details on various devices and programs. I liked the different software programs for the IPAD, the tote idea, yes/no bracelet idea." M.A. (Dec. 2022)
"I liked that presenter discussed various AAC systems." B.C. (Nov. 2022)
"Clear explanations and video examples. Evaluating, training and initiating eye gaze access method was beneficial." C.P. Nov. 2022)
"I liked all of the content. I liked the pace of the course, the speaker and the videos." S.T. (Oct. 2022)
"I will benefit from this course content." S.K. (Sept. 2022)
"I would recommend this course." J.S. (Aug. 2022)
"Good overview of types of AAC, good use of video examples." A.M. (July 2022)
"The in-depth overview of the PECS teaching format as well as the overall application of this system into practice was a helpful reminder of the process for teaching and implementing the strategies to the fullest extent. There were so many examples and application demonstrations that aided to support comprehension." A.R. (July 2022)
"The course format was excellent! Understanding the vocabulary that should be used and how AAC should be used." J.M. (July 2022)
"Lots of specific examples of types of AAC. I liked the lower tech options." D.G. (June 2022)
"Gained a lot of information pertaining to the selection process, implementation, and use of AAC evaluation application. I liked the various examples used with detailed information." D.M. (June 2022)
"Good factors to consider for assessment." H.S. (June 2022)
"I enjoyed the videos of the kids utilizing their AAC's." C.C. (May 2022)
"The information about eye gaze systems and how to evaluate for it was beneficial. The case studies illustrated the information well." S.F. (Apr. 2022)
"I liked the types of AAC devices shown – Information was clear." N.P. (Apr. 2022)
"Very well organized. Topic was presented in an easy to follow format. I like the idea of using arm bracelets to help elicit a Yes/No response. I will try out the Choice Board Creator as part of my AAC assessments. The information presented was very useful." N.W. (Apr. 2022)
"I liked the strategies to progress language with AAC. The course was easy to follow." J.U. (Mar. 2022)
"I liked the info about core vocabulary." D.B. (Mar. 2022)
"The course information was quick, easy, and applicable – selecting vocabulary and evaluating effectiveness." T.B. (Feb. 2022)
"The videos were helpful to see AAC devices in use." L.K. (Jan. 2022)
"Presentation was easy to follow. The information is very pertinent to working with children with communication challenges." S.E. (Jan. 2022)
"Identifying children who are ready to begin using AAC - very clear presentation of the information." B.W. (Dec. 2021)
"This was an excellent presentation from beginning to end. Basic principles of determining benefits and choices for a child were discussed. A wide variety of AAC were presented with some methodology for effective training. Presentation of the AAC in use for a child were very good. Ms. McGowan spoke at a very good rate and was most clear." S.C. (Dec. 2021)
"A great review of the PECs protocol, transitioning to SGD, and different programs available for devices." L.L. (Dec. 2021)
"I liked the review of PEC's, switches, and how different devices organize vocabulary." J.J. (Nov. 2021)
"Specific methods to prepare a child for learning an AAC device. Videos of actual users gave support to the lecture." M.T. (Nov. 2021)
"I liked the entire course. Great content!" T.E. (Nov. 2021)
"I found the presentation of different AAC devices both low tech and high tech beneficial." M.K. (Nov. 2021)
“The different ways to describe/discuss the device with parents was helpful.” C.H. (Sep. 2021)
“I thought it was a very good explanation of the different systems, with examples of who it would best fit. I also liked that you were able to work at your own pace and able to repeat important points.” T.L. (Aug. 2021)
“I found the evaluation of patients who require AAC to communicate to be very helpful. The examples of patients and what worked/what did not work for them was insightful.” K.D. (Jul. 2021)
"Discussion regarding AAC options and considerations for pre-intentional communicators and/or individuals with cognitive deficits will benefit my daily practice. I liked the videos, clinical examples." L.M. (Jul. 2021)
"The entire course was very helpful. It provided a comprehensive overview of AAC. The presenter was very knowledgeable about all aspects of AAC." P.G. (May 2021)
How to train early AAC users, how to include caregivers, and how to determine the best form of system. Information was presented clear and with wonderful video examples." M.S. (May 2021)
"I appreciated the discussion of various AAC devices and their pros and cons. I liked the inclusion of videos to demonstrate concepts and strategies. I expected more details regarding how to evaluate level of symbol recognition." J.M. (Apr. 2021)
"Learned more about the assessment process and what types of AAC are available, including how to transition from PECs to a SGD. The information was laid out in a logical manner." M.A. (Apr. 2021)
"The detailed discussion on criteria for selection, PECS, and transitioning from PECS to speech generating devices was most beneficial. Very thorough and helpful. Comprehensive and detailed course." T.A. (Mar. 2021)
"It was helpful just to review the types of systems and options available. Also, learning the kinds of skills kids need to use some of the systems was helpful." A.M. (Feb. 2021)
"This was a great overview of AAC and what to consider when selecting devices. I liked the incorporation of videos and pictures of devices. I would have liked a little bit more information on implementing devices with new AAC users." T.K. (Feb. 2021)
"I've recently become the AAC point SLP for our district, and it was great to have the in depth look into eye gaze. Lots of good information." K.W. (Jan. 2021)
"I enjoyed the many complex considerations in choosing an AAC system and the strategies for implementing effective systems. This course was easy to follow with a comprehensive overview of AAC systems from simple to complex and from assessment to implementation." S.D. (Jan. 2021)
“It was very thorough but also provided a very good overview of the different options available. The short video clips were also helpful.” L.G. (Jan. 2021)
Northern Speech Services is an AOTA Approved Provider of professional development. Course
approval #22842. This eCourse is
offered at 0.3 CEUs, educational level
Intermediate, 1. Domain of OT: Client Factors: Body functions and structures; Activity Demands: Objects used and their properties, Sequence and timing, required actions, required body function, required body structures; Performance Skills: Sensory perceptual, motor and praxis, cognitive, communication
2. OT Process: Evaluation: Analysis of occupational performance. The assignment of AOTA CEUs does not
imply endorsement of specific course content, products, or clinical procedures by AOTA.
Northern Speech Services is an AOTA Approved Provider of professional development. Course approval #22842. This eCourse is offered at 0.3 CEUs, educational level Intermediate, 1. Domain of OT: Client Factors: Body functions and structures; Activity Demands: Objects used and their properties, Sequence and timing, required actions, required body function, required body structures; Performance Skills: Sensory perceptual, motor and praxis, cognitive, communication 2. OT Process: Evaluation: Analysis of occupational performance. The assignment of AOTA CEUs does not imply endorsement of specific course content, products, or clinical procedures by AOTA.
Joy Silverman McGowan, MS, CCC-SLP, is the Speech, Language, and Augmentative Communication Specialist at Easter Seals of Southeastern Pennsylvania. She has worked in the field of AAC for over 30 years providing consultation in a variety of educational, medical, and community settings. She has lectured and published several papers on the topic of AAC and children with complex communication needs. Joy teaches the graduate level course "Foundations and Management of Augmentative and Alternative Communication" in the Department of Communication Disorders and Sciences at Temple University. Together with Lori Frost, she published two articles in the ASHA Perspectives Journal (Division 12) on the topic of transitioning from PECS to SGD.
Financial — Joy McGowan is the presenter of online CEU courses offered by Northern Speech Services; receives royalties.
Nonfinancial — Joy McGowan has no relevant nonfinancial relationships to disclose.
This program is offered for 0.3 ASHA CEUs (Intermediate Level; Professional Area).
ASHA CEUs: NSS online courses are registered with ASHA and are offered for ASHA CEUs. The number of ASHA CEUs is noted above. Note that 0.1 ASHA CEU = 1 contact hour = equals 1 CEE.
ASHA CE Registry: During the enrollment process, if you select to receive ASHA credit for this course and if you provide your ASHA number, NSS will automatically submit your CEU information to the ASHA CE Registry after successful course completion (80% on post test). This submission happens once per month, during the first week of the month. For example, if you complete your course on November 7th, NSS will submit all November online course CEUs to ASHA during the first week of December. When ASHA inputs the information into their database, they will mark the course as completed on the last day of the month in which it was completed, so November 30th using this example. The certificate of completion available for you to print immediately, however, will reflect the actual completion date, November 7th in this example. Due to ASHA processing procedures please allow 2-3 weeks, from the submission date, for the course to appear on your ASHA transcript.
ASHA CEUs: Attendees must meet at least one of the following conditions in order to be eligible to earn ASHA CEUs:
If an attendee is not an ASHA member or CCC holder but meets any of the above criteria, they may inform the ASHA CE Registry of their eligibility by visiting this site.
Licensing Boards: Most state licensing boards DO accept CEUs earned online (usually classified as home-study credits). Some state boards do, however, place a limit to the number of credits that can be earned via home study/online courses. For the most current information, we suggest that you contact your licensing board or agency to verify acceptance policies and/or any credit limits related to home-study courses prior to registering for this course.
Additional accrediting agencies by which Northern Speech is an approved CE provider:
Course Completion Timeframe:
You have unlimited time to complete our online courses. You may log off and log on as often as you’d like to in order to complete all sections of a course.
However, completion dates are based on Eastern Standard Time. Therefore, if you need your CEUs by a certain date, be sure to complete the course test before 11:59pm EST on that date. For example, if you need CEUs before January 1st, you will need to complete the course test before 11:59pm EST on December 31st.
Access to course materials and content does not expire, even after completing the post test. You may continue to review course material by logging into your NSS account, clicking the My Online Courses tab, and then viewing your desired course.
Certificate of Completion:
On successful completion of the post test (80%), a certificate will be immediately available for download and/or printing. This certificate will include your name, date of completion (based on Eastern Time Zone, USA/Canada), and number of contact hours (CEUs / CEEs). Please note that CEUs are awarded on the date of successful test completion, not the date of course enrollment. Please ensure that you successfully complete the post test prior to any licensure renewal dates.
ASHA CE Registry Submission:
During the enrollment process, if you select to receive ASHA credit for this course and if you provide your ASHA number, NSS will automatically submit your CEU information to the ASHA CE Registry after successful course completion (80% on post test). This submission happens once per month, during the first week of the month. For example, if you complete your course on November 7th, NSS will submit all November online course CEUs to ASHA during the first week of December. When ASHA inputs the information into their database, they will mark the course as completed on the last day of the month in which it was completed, so November 30th using this example. The certificate of completion available for you to print immediately, however, will reflect the actual completion date, November 7th in this example. Due to ASHA processing procedures please allow 2-3 weeks, from the submission date, for the course to appear on your ASHA transcript.
Purchase orders are currently not accepted for online orders, if you wish to submit a purchase order please do so at email@example.com or fax to 888-696-9655.
What is an Online Course?
Our Online Courses consist of video, audio, and/or text content and are offered for ASHA CEUs. Unlike a webinar, which requires participants to be logged on and at a computer at specific times, our Online Courses are available to you at any time, from any device, via your NorthernSpeech.com online account. You may work at your own pace and start and stop your course as you wish. Your course will conclude with a short post test. On successful completion of the post test (>80%), a printable certificate of completion is presented to you.
Northern Speech is an ASHA CE Provider and our online courses are registered with ASHA and offered for ASHA CEUs. Please note that successful completion of the online post test is required prior to the awarding of CEUs. Please contact your state licensing board for acceptance policies related to CEUs earned online. Please note that courses offered for university students are not applicable for CEUs.
Registering for an online course:
You may browse all online courses by clicking the Continuing Education tab above, then Online Courses. Once you find a course, click Enroll Now, and you will be asked to either log into your existing Northern Speech account or create a new online account. Once you’ve entered your account information and provided your credit card payment, your course will be immediately available to you.
Accessing your purchased course or returning to a purchased course:
You will be able to access your online course by logging into your Northern Speech account and then clicking the My Online Courses tab on your profile screen. Click the course you would like to start or to resume. From there, proceed through the course sections until you are ready to complete the post test. You do not have to complete your course all at once. You may log on and off as you wish.
Each online course concludes with a post test consisting of multiple choice or true & false questions. Scores of 80% or greater are required for successful course completion and awarding of CEUs. You may revisit course materials and retest as needed to achieve a passing score.
Number of CEUs offered:
We offer courses from 1 to 21 contact hours. Each course will note the number of CEUs offered. Please note that 0.1 CEU = 1 contact hour = 1 CEE.
State licensing boards and online CEUs:
NSS is an ASHA CE Provider and most state licensing boards DO accept ASHA CEUs earned online (usually classified as home-study credits). Some boards do, however, place a limit to the number of CEUs that can be earned via home study/online courses. For the most current information, we suggest that you contact your licensing board or agency to verify acceptance policies and/or any CEU limits related to home-study courses prior to enrolling in an online course.
Our course formats include: text, audio, video, and PowerPoint with author narration. Each course will note the format on the course description page. Most courses include closed captioning.
Most of our online courses provide a link to download the accompanying handout as a PDF file.
Groups of 3 or more are eligible for a 20% discount on each registration on most of our online courses. To receive this discount, registrations need to be processed together via the "Group Rates" tab on the Online Course of your choice.
For our online courses to function best, we recommend that you update your computer to include the newest version of your Internet browser (Safari, Chrome, Firefox, Edge, Internet Explorer, etc.) and newest version of your computer's operating system. Also a high-speed Internet connection is recommended (cable or DSL). Speakers or headphones will be required for many of our courses as many contain audio components.
Course Cancellation Policy:
A purchased online course can be exchanged, refunded, or transferred to another individual if contact is made with NSS (via phone or email) within 30 days of purchase and the course materials have not been viewed or downloaded.
Please click here for any special needs requests, and we will do our best to accommodate them.
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