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  • sessions                            
  • All skill levels                        
  • Attend on-demand            
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AAC, Literacy, & the SLP

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This 6 part course for all skill levels will lead participants through an exploration of literacy development in children, best practices in what literacy instruction looks like, why this is critical to AAC users, and how SLPs or anyone working on communication skills with AAC users can integrate these best practices into their work on language development. Why is literacy instruction important for speech-language pathologists working with AAC users? Communication is grounded in an individual's ability to have SNUG or Spontaneous Novel Utterance Generation-the ability to say exactly what you want, when you want. Literacy allows a communicator who has limited oral language to say anything at any time, regardless of what symbols or whole words are available on their communication device or system, as long as they have access to the alphabet. The delivery of comprehensive literacy instruction for learners with complex bodies and/or significant disabilities, including those who are still at the emergent literacy level is an evidence-based methodology that supports these learners in becoming readers and writers, and ultimately having access to SNUG.
Get a sneak peak of the course in this interview with Beth Poss!


  • 6 Modules
  • Participate On-Demand
  • CMH, Certificate Provided 
  • Multimedia learning experience
  • Online classroom community 
  • Loads of resources!

Learn how to support Literacy

As an SLP, literacy is well within your scope of practice but you likely got very little graduate training on the topic.  This course will get you started!

Help your students achieve 

Literacy is the key to communicative independence and your students who use AAC are counting on your to help them reach this critical milestone.  Get started now!

Learning Objectives

Upon completion of each part of this series, learners will attain the following objectives and use a combination of assessment methods to determine growth across objectives.

Session 1: Overview of Literacy Development and Assessing Literacy Skills in Students with Complex Communication Needs-The Role of the SLP

  1.  Define the 5 stages of literacy development
  2.  List four essential skills that learners need to ready for conventional literacy instruction, as opposed to emergent literacy instruction.
  3.  Identify 3 tools to assess emergent literacy skills.

Session 2: Comprehensive Emergent Literacy Instruction and the Role of the SLP

  1.  Summarize the 5 components of emergent literacy instruction.
  2.  Explain 2 strategies that support emergent literacy instruction in the context of addressing language skills.
  3.  Explain 2 reasons why symbol supported text is not a best practice in emergent literacy instruction.
  4.  Demonstrate an understanding of how to explicitly teach and embed concepts of print into instruction.

Session 3: Alphabetic Knowledge and Phonological Awareness

  1.  Explain the relationship of alphabetic knowledge to phonological processing
  2.  Identify the six cycles of teaching letters of the alphabet
  3.  Identify the 7 guiding principles of alphabet knowledge and phonological awareness
  4.  List at least 3 strategies to either explicitly teach or embed phonological awareness instruction in working with learners.

Session 4: Shared Reading: Developing Vocabulary, Background Knowledge, and Comprehension

  1.  Identify at least 2 strategies to use to integrate the use of AAC systems in Shared Reading
  2.  Utilize at least 3 situations in which core and fringe vocabulary can be supported during Shared Reading
  3.  Identify at least 2 strategies for students to develop and use background knowledge and new vocabulary during Shared Reading.

Session 5: Writing

  1.  Identify the developmental stages of writing
  2.  Identify at least 3 strategies to address written language development for learners with complex communication needs.
  3.  Describe 4 options for alternative pencils for learners with complex bodies.

Session 6: Putting it All Together

  1.  Identify at least 10 resources SLPs can use to facilitate emergent literacy
  2.  Describe how these resources can be integrated into speech language therapy sessions in a variety of settings
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Continuing Education Credit

This series offers eligible students a total of
 6 certification maintenance hours (CMH)

Learn more about CMH/PDH (versus CEU's or continuing education units) on your course syllabus and on our CEU Page. All learners are encouraged to confirm that this course meets the requirements of their licensing board before purchasing.  
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Meet the instructor

Beth Poss

Beth Poss is a speech/language pathologist, educational and technology consultant, accessibility advocate, and former assistant principal.  She is currently the Director of Educational Programs for LessonPix.  Beth is passionate about designing educational environments that support all students in accessing a rigorous curriculum and meeting educational outcomes. In her work with school districts, universities and national and state level organizations she focuses on how Universal Design for Learning (UDL) is an essential component in designing equitable and inclusive learning environments. Areas of special interest include Augmentative and Alternative Communication(AAC), Coaching to Build Educational Success, the Use of Technology in Early Childhood, Designing Inclusive Learning Environments, Supporting Social-Emotional Learning to Promote Academic Success, and Culturally Responsive Teaching. She is one of the authors of Inclusive Learning 365: EdTech Strategies for Every Day of the Year, due out in June 2021.  Beth is also the professional development director at AACcessible.  

Learn more about Beth here.
Patrick Jones - Course author

Want to geek out even more?

AAC, Literacy, & the SLP is a great foundational course for anyone supporting emergent readers! If you want to add to this magic, consider taking Beth Poss' sister series-Creating Resources to Support Emergent Literacy.  This hands-on, follow up dives deeper into creating engaging, literacy materials for emergent readers, using digital tools you are likely already a pro at! 

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