Presenter: Megan Brazas, MA, CCC-SLP, QOM
– M.J., prior course participant
While focusing solely on picture exchange is certainly beneficial for many children, successful outcomes using this approach still leave children unable to communicate in sentences and unable to say what they want to say, when they want to say it. Parents and educators often say things like, “he is stuck at requesting”, “she is only asking for things”, “we can’t have a conversation beyond I want or I see.” The challenge still remains on how to transition children to a more comprehensive communication system.
Recently gaining momentum is the notion that it could be beneficial to incorporate picture exchange with core vocabulary in a low-tech AAC system for non-verbal children who are not functional communicators. This course will introduce the Core Vocabulary Exchange System® (CVES™), which incorporates picture exchange with core vocabulary to teach functional communication skills. Participants will learn how to use CVES™ as a language teaching tool to help students move beyond simple requests or labeling, such as “I want” or “I see.”
This course is offered for 0.3 ASHA CEUs – 3 contact hours.
– E.C., prior course participant
Course Overview – Run Time: 3:03:35
– L.M., prior course participant
This presentation will focus exclusively on the Core Vocabulary Exchange System® (CVES™). Other approaches and devices will receive limited or no coverage during this lecture. Presenter financial and non-financial disclosures may be found in the Presenter & Disclosures area.
Video presentation with downloadable handout. Stop and re-start the course at any point. Learners retain access to course content after completion for ongoing reference and review.
"How to use the picture exchange as well as teaching the vocabulary was good." N.C. (Aug. 2022)
"Great information to utilize." M.C. (Aug. 2022)
"There was a lot of information and examples provided that allowed for application of the knowledge. I liked the demonstrations for carryover of skills for more than communication for basic statements." A.R. (July 2022)
"I liked the instruction on phrases to model using child's preferred activities." M.V. (July 2022)
"Learning how to incorporate low tech AAC into different forms of communication was beneficial. And learning how to use this form of communication with different populations." L.K. (July 2022)
"I loved the organization, the colorful slides and using the CVES pictures. I loved recording the baby’s first 10 words and analyzing what word types they are using." J.S. (July 2022)
"It was packed with an abundance of information. I liked the downloadable handouts/inventories. Also the therapy clips of the children using CVES." L.M. (June 2022)
"It was all superbly explained and pertinent to helping my youngest students who are just beginning a language journey. The Aided Language Input section was especially helpful; also showing first 10 words, and how to use masking. The presenter did a marvelous job of comprehensive coverage of CVES and all its components as well as explaining all of the what/how/why basics." K.A. (June 2022)
"I liked how it supported functional communication. The video clips showing use of the visual schedule, masking icons, SNUG and specific uses of the CVES were good. The handouts are helpful including the reinforcement assessment, etc." C.H. (June 2022)
"I liked the entire course. The instructor was great!" R.E. (June 2022)
"I liked learning to use core with the first / then and scheduling, how to use core words in their many functions, how to get started - the inventories and language acquisition, and that I was able to view course in my own time and place. Also great resources." T.P. (June 2022)
"It gave excellent explanation on how to teach core vocabulary using picture exchange. I liked the discussion on how to choose core vocabulary based on imageability." S.Z. (May 2022)
"I love that it was on demand and saved my progress!" J.F. (May 2022)
"I liked the examples for language expansion." A.S. (May 2022)
"I liked the use of core words in language acquisition and expansion. Appreciated that the presentation was divided into sections with access to print the slides." M.H. (May 2022)
"I liked the concept of parents filling out the inventory at the beginning, then again after a few weeks to assess progress and determine goals." S.F. (May 2022)
"I love the idea of pairing our daily schedule with core words (I'm currently a Pre-K teacher, though I've also been an SLP for many years). The information was very practical and very clear." R.W. (Apr. 2022)
"The use of the CVES system as a low tech AAC system for use with my low to non-verbal students will benefit my practice. I liked the course. It was a wonderful presentation." N.W. (Apr. 2022)
"The course was very easy to understand and interesting. Learning how to incorporate core vocabulary and aided language into my sessions, creating a communication loop, and using the icons to respond back to my students was beneficial for my practice." D.G. (Apr. 2022)
"I liked the availability of how to start with use of icons, then track and keep data on progress." A.B. (Mar. 2022)
"Very practical. I liked the imageability and methods to create inventories." D.G. (Mar. 2022)
"Course was engaging. I liked the ideas to mask words for students who are learning at a slower rate." J.G. (Mar. 2022)
"The course had the content and style of in-person, yet it was online. Very convenient." L.C. (Mar. 2022)
"Will definitely be utilizing this process. Very, very useful!" J.H. (Mar. 2022)
"Learning that with ASD there are connectivity deficits in the brain and their impact and how we as clinicians can connect the white fiber tracts via receptive input to reduce over-pruning." J.B. (Mar. 2022)
"I think this will benefit some of the younger kids at our school." J.W. (Mar. 2022)
"I liked the blend of best practice and research information, and learning about an exchange system highlighting core words. I liked how CVES can be a bridge to a speech generating device with robust language pages." M.J. (Mar. 2022)
"Excellent Workshop! This system is completely new to me and I'm excited to try it!" D.B. (Mar. 2022)
"I liked the importance of core vocabulary overall and how to use it with picture exchange. The presenter kept my attention throughout and it was easy to follow." K.K. (Feb. 2022)
"I liked the information on how to start choosing vocabulary and then how to build child's language going forward using the device. Sometimes choosing vocabulary can be overwhelming as there can be so many options." K.W. (Jan. 2022)
"Great conference - excellent examples - well explained and demonstrated." T.A. (Jan. 2022)
"Presenter was very easy to follow and kept my attention even though it was online." L.T. (Jan. 2022)
"I liked all of it as I continue to struggle with how to use low tech devices with nonverbal children. We do not have a system in place so I will have to order this one. Plus being able to watch tutorials on youtube is very helpful." N.M. (Jan. 2022)
"Excellent examples - well explained and demonstrated - great handouts." T.A. (Jan. 2022)
"Presenter was very easy to follow and kept my attention even though it was online." L.T. (Jan. 2022)
"She's done her research and walks the walk. Great job!" M.V. (Dec. 2021)
"I loved the incorporation of receptive and expressive language into a PECS type format. I loved the pairing of core words throughout the day and activities. I loved the discussion of brain impact when not addressing all parts of communication." L.M. (Dec. 2021)
"Love the refresher in development and also how to work with BCBA." R.B. (Dec. 2021)
"I was not familiar with the CVES but have been interested in it for use with my students. Presentation was very good and linked to numerous references. Demonstrations were also helpful." S.C. (Dec. 2021)
"It was clear and concise and used real-life examples." S.C. (Dec. 2021)
"All of this presentation will be incorporated in my daily practice." K.C. (Dec. 2021)
"I found the research about tactile input and benefits of moving pictures versus pointing to them helpful." S.B. (Dec. 2021)
"The Core Word Acquisition chart will be almost immediately utilized in my therapy session with several students." S.B. (Dec. 2021)
"I enjoyed learning how this communication system is built for a child using core words, fringe words, and how it ties to developmental milestones in language." E.C. (Nov. 2021)
"I appreciated all aspects of this course...the review, the handouts, and the wealth of information." J.S. (Oct. 2021)
"Presented in an orderly, clear, and concise manner. One of the best online courses I have done." C.M. (Oct. 2021)
"This tool seems very detailed and comprehensive but flexible. It seems to be based on both research and practical experience. I appreciate that the pre therapy data collection and the ongoing data collection tools are included." S.P. (Oct. 2021)
"How to use the checklist and how to select from there the actual target core/fringe words based on their preferences was good information. I like the manner explained, examples, visuals, material and all of the resources examples provided." S.V. (Sept. 2021)
"I appreciated having the handouts for where to start - gathering the preferences and word lists, then the explanation. Being able to have all the materials, especially the docs to implement the program and then moving at my own pace to reflect upon the student that I will be using CVES with." K.H. (Aug. 2021)
"The discussion on the CVES system and how it works for core and fringe vocabulary and reinforcing language development along established pathways was beneficial. The client videos showing us the CVES system were nice." S.M. (Aug. 2021)
"I love this system. I have grappled with many types of systems thru the years and this seems to address all of them." S.T. (Aug. 2021)
To describe the importance of Core Vocabulary, Communicative Intent, and Spontaneous Novel Utterance Generation and how they relate to typical child development and low tech AAC users.
To list the features and functions of the Core Vocabulary Exchange System (CVES)™ and determine the different communication users who will benefit from it.
To identify how to integrate the CVES™ into therapy and routines.
To illustrate functional communication skills for emergent communicators or those with complex communication needs.
To describe how to select and implement core and fringe vocabulary words in a low-tech AAC system and visual schedule.
To describe the benefits of removable and returnable icons to increase motor automaticity for language.
Megan Brazas, MA, CCC-SLP, QOM, is a speech-language pathologist, credentialed early intervention provider, and holds a State of Illinois teaching license. She has extensive experience in working with children with complex communication needs, including autism spectrum disorder, cerebral palsy, Down syndrome, rare medical conditions, and complex orthopedic impairments. Additionally, Megan has experience evaluating and treating a variety of speech and language conditions including apraxia of speech and she is PROMPT Trained.
Megan speaks locally and nationally on topics such as core vocabulary, low-tech communication systems, functional communication, supporting communication in the special education setting, curriculum adaptations, behavior management for autism spectrum disorder, and typical language development. Megan’s contributions include presentations at the Assistive Technology Industry Association (ATIA), Infintec, Northwest Suburban Special Education Organization, and local school districts. Megan is the creator of the Core Vocabulary Exchange System® (CVES™), a low-tech core vocabulary based communication system which aligns with typical language development, published by Northern Speech Services.
Financial — Megan Brazas is presenter of online CE courses sponsored by Northern Speech Services; receives royalties.
Financial — Megan Brazas is author and creator of the Core Vocabulary Exchange System® (CVES™) published by Northern Speech Services; receives royalties.
Nonfinancial — Megan Brazas 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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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.
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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.
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