Fast Access, Fast Language, Fast Friends: A Camp Designed for Adults to Communicate About Things That Really MatterBy Mbangamoh, Erica; Perry, Peggy; Powers, Elizabeth; Stickley, Wendy; Closing the Gap, Vol. 26, No. 3, pp. 10-12
Publication Date: August/September 2008
Article features the Young Adult Augmentative and Alternative Kommunication Kamp (YAAAKK), a camp for adults who use synthesized speech generating devices (SGDs) to communicate. The annual week-long camp is limited to 12 campers, based on the individualized attention required. Devices used by campers mentioned are Vmax, Palmtop Impact, and DV-4 by DynaVox; ECO-14 and Pathfinder by Prentke Romich; Assistve Technology’s Mini Merc; and the Blink Twice Tango! Daily activities include a two-hour morning curriculum session addressing topics including the anatomy of a conversation, building reciprocal conversation, increasing communication rate, conversational rules, storytelling, and self-advocacy. After lunch, campers participate in camp activities such as horseback riding, swimming, and arts and crafts, during which staff are called on to reinforce curriculum with support from speech and occupational therapists. The evening program is designed to facilitate maximum SGD use by providing structured social activities such as “Fast Friends,” an activity similar to speed dating. YAAAKK emphasizes the creation of novel messages using a camper’s language system, into which staff integrates vocabulary that is functional across environments rather than limited to camp. To monitor progress, campers are videotaped the first day of camp with a trained conversational partner asking questions; then, similar questions are asked and videotaped on the last day of camp. The article includes illustrative case histories of three campers, relating their progress in communicating with their SGDs.
Assistive Products Discussed: TABLET XL IMPACT & TABLET XL IMPACT-D
PALMTOP PORTABLE IMPACT
Published by: Closing the Gap, Inc. (Website:http://www.closingthegap.com)