A goal for many of our AAC users is full, active, and meaningful participation in the general education classroom. While the Clicker Communicator Core Vocabulary Sets contain many of the core and fringe vocabulary words students need to talk about various topics throughout the school day, another option is to search Crick Software’s LearningGrids activities, available within the app, for topic boards based on specific academic content that might quickly and easily enhance a student’s ability to participate in a classroom discussion.
One thing we know for certain is that teachers and therapists do not have a lot of extra time in the day for programming AAC devices. Recently, an SLP asked for my assistance programming the vocabulary her first grade student would need for an upcoming math lesson on shapes and their characteristics. We looked around and located most of the vocabulary spread out on multiple pages within the Clicker Communicator Core 2 Vocabulary Set, however the SLP was concerned this would slow the student down and serve as a barrier to her participating in the same time frame as her peers. Before we began programming a new shapes page from scratch, we navigated to the LearningGrids site through the app. Upon searching, we were pleasantly surprised to find an activity called “Guess the Shape” for Clicker Communicator PCS.
In addition to the core and fringe vocabulary in Clicker Communicator, this premade activity would serve as a supplement to give the student the specific vocabulary she needed to be able to participate in class conversations describing various shapes more independently than if she were to navigate between multiple pages to say, “A triangle has 3 sides.” With just a few simple clicks we downloaded the activity from LearningGrids, and in moments we had that activity linked to a button on the student’s math page.
The student was able to participate in a shape describing activity with her peers, and afterwards the classroom teacher commented on how well she did making her statements quickly with fewer prompts from staff. As AAC practitioners, we need to remember that while having access to robust core vocabulary is very important, so is being able to say what you need to say quickly and efficiently, particularly in general education classes where the topics are specific and the pace is quick. The activities on LearningGrids are important tools that can help Clicker Communicator users make strides toward their goals of independence and classroom success with less programming demands for educators, and I see that as a win-win all the way around.