ISAAC’s Vision of Communication for All
ISAAC’s vision is that augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) will be acknowledged, valued and used throughout the world. Achieving the vision of a world in which everyone has a way to communicate takes more than a village. It takes people who use AAC and their families, friends, therapists, researchers,
AAC Month Campaign 2014
High Performance Communication – Best Life Experience
Share a story…mentor…teach…advocate…lead…perform…and show the world what is possible with an effective communication method of one’s choice!
Here are the AAC Awareness Month Task Force Plans for 2012:
In 2007, ISAAC established International AAC Month to celebrate and promote access to augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) for all who need it. In October 2014, we mark the fifth year of AAC Month. We hope that you will join us to focus the world’s attention on the need for access to AAC and to literacy instruction for people who have difficulty speaking effectively.
Writings and videos by people who use augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) have been a centerpiece of the AAC Awareness Month campaign since 2008. Again this year, we invite people who use AAC to help spread the word about the importance of AAC and literacy by contributing writings, stories, videos, and multimedia entries to the online AAC Collection. Entries, submission forms and consent forms go to firstname.lastname@example.org.
This year we also encourage people who use AAC and people who support AAC to get involved in your communities, to teach and mentor on AAC, and to raise funds for communication devices and services. We ask people to tell us about their plans to hold events such as Power of Communication Relays, festivals, and fairs and other events to raise funds and to inform the public about the many ways people communicate using technology. For ideas on organizing a relay, see the video that Faye Warren posted in 2011. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ati_34FcEAs
The AAC Month task force will share information and resources on our website, on our Facebook page (International AAC Month) and on Twitter (AACawareness). The fourth annual 24-hour online AAC Chat / “Read-a-Thon” on Skype, Facebook and Twitter will be held October 22, starting at 8 a.m. Eastern Daylight Time (USA). Send inquiries or submit information on your event to email@example.com .
The AAC Month Task Force has these ideas for activities for October:
· Work together with people who use AAC to share information, to organize and conduct training and events (festival, fair, seminar, AAC book or poetry reading, Silent Tea or Coffee Break, AAC quiz, communication technology expo)
· Link new AAC users with experienced AAC users for mentoring
· Invite a speaker who uses AAC, arrange a poetry reading or AAC-led singalong
· Host a film on AAC with discussion afterward including people who use AAC
· Sponsor a public reading of the Communication Bill of Rights (and film it to share)
· Plan a Power of Communication Relay and information fair to raise funds for communication devices – See Faye Warren’s video http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ati_34FcEAs
· Visit, read, and share the online AAC Writing and Video Collections by people who use AAC to communicate in the “Sharings” at www.aacawareness.org.
· Participate in the 4th Annual 24-Hour AAC Chat on Skype, Facebook and Twitter beginning on October 22, 2014 at 8:00 a.m. Eastern Time (USA); post, read, share on International AAC Month Facebook page; post, read, share tweets on Twitter (Twitter hashtag #AACchat), listen to Justin Bergers' radio server program http://18.104.22.168:8000/listen.pls.
To take advantage of the opportunity to meet with ISAAC members and do some group planning, we will make a presentation at the conference in Pittsburgh and will ask for ideas from members on how we might all work together and support their local advocacy efforts. We invite all ideas for working to assure that everyone has a voice.
ISAAC International AAC Awareness Month Task Force
Facebook: International AAC Month
Twitter hashtag for 24 Hour Chat: #AACchat 2011 International AAC Month
For 2011, the focus of October’s AAC Month events will be on people who use AAC having a greater presence in their communities and on fundraising. Power of Communication Relays will be held around the world at high school or college tracks as a way to inform the public about the many ways in which people may communicate using technology and also to raise funds to support access to AAC. Faye Warren, Chair of the AAC Awareness Task Force, made a video describing the Power of Communication Relays to raise funds for purchasing communication devices in local communities. http://www.youtube.com/user/warrenfaye?blend=21&ob=5 Details on the Power of Communication Relays, promotional materials, and fundraising information are posted on the AAC Awareness website: www.aacawareness.org.
In addition, people who use AAC will be encouraged in October to visit schools and organizations that provide services to people with disabilities to make presentations and to serve as mentors. The third annual 24-hour online AAC Chat / “Read-a-Thon” is being planned for October 26, starting at 7 a.m. Eastern Daylight Time. See below for more information on the AAC Chat / Read-a-Thon.
The task force invites people who use AAC to contribute to the AAC Writing and Video Collection (due date was September 1 for stories to be uploaded by October 1, later entries will added at a later date). The AAC Awareness website is being redesigned and will continue to highlight the online collection and other resources. The task force welcomes ideas for additions to the website to make it more useful to all.
The ISAAC AAC Awareness Month Task Force invites you to organize a Power of Communication Relay in your community for October—or during another month—to raise funds for the purchase of AAC devices and services. It encourages everyone to promote access to AAC for all people who have difficulty with speech in your local communities: in schools, colleges, organizations, businesses, and everywhere. Send inquiries or submit information on your event to firstname.lastname@example.org . Many people continue to live days, weeks and years in silence without effective communication. This is the year to get the world--your family, organization, school, business, community and beyond--involved in AAC and the Power of Communication.
For submission and consent forms for stories and videos, submission dates, guidelines, literacy resources, and more visit: http://www.aacawareness.org/
3rd Annual 24-Hour AAC Internet Chat (also called “Read-a-Thon”)* October 26
Our goal is to get people around the world talking about, learning about, and advocating for AAC for 24 hours--and to keep building the momentum year round for communication for all.
This event will launch at 7AM Eastern Daylight Time (12 noon GMT) October 26 and will continue for 24 hours. Join hosts Judy Bailey, Justin Bergers, Terry Gibson, Veronica Montanaro, Kathy Pink, and Faye Warren for 24 hours of chatting, posting and tweeting.
Here are several ways you may join in:
· Post and follow postings on Facebook at International AAC Month
· Send and receive tweets on Twitter (hashtag #AACchat),
· Tune in to Justin Bergers' radio server on October 26 from 7 a.m.-11 a.m. Eastern Daylight Time and again from 6 p.m. overnight until 7 a.m. October 27 at http://vrnw.org:8000/jberger8014.m3u/ Once there, click on http://vrnw.org:8000/jberger8014.m3u/ in the upper left corner of the screen. (Send Justin a song request now at email@example.com and he will try to play your request).
· Read and share the stories in our online AAC Collection – “Sharings” and check the AAC and literacy resources at www.aacawareness.org
Brief History of International AAC Month
In October 2007, the world experienced a global celebration of the spirit and personality of people who have little or no speech. The International Society for Alternative Communication (ISAAC) held its inaugural AAC Awareness Month. In 2006, ISAAC was awarded NGO with consultative status to the United Nations. This means that the United Nations accepted ISAAC’s application to serve as technical experts, advisors and consultants to governments and the UN Secretariat. With such an auspicious role, ISAAC leadership determined that an annual world-wide event was needed to promote AAC. The national chapters of ISAAC joined together and led a first-time-ever worldwide event to bring attention to people who use Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC). The first AAC Awareness Month in 2007 included school and community events around the world. In 2008, the AAC Month task force expanded its work to promote AAC and literacy by setting up website resources and hosting a writing collection by people who use AAC with the theme “Many Stories, One Voice (AAC)”. Events around the world included readings from the AAC online collection, AAC fairs, workshops and seminars. The theme for 2009 was “Many Methods, One Goal: To Communicate”. The 2009 AAC Month online collection expanded to include not only writings but also videos. Events included the first international online 24-Hour Read-a-Thon, the release of an advocacy song (“If I Had a VOCA”), festivals, workshops, the launch of an AAC blog and an AAC Club, and many other events around the world.
The theme of the October 2010 Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC) Awareness Month followed the ISAAC Conference theme of “Communicating Worlds”: ”Many Cultures, One Dream: Communication Without Barriers”. All people wish to communicate, to understand, and to be understood. Many barriers can make that difficult. Many people who have difficulty speaking do not have access to AAC, are not taught how AAC works, or how to read and write. Perhaps no one around them knows how AAC could help. Once the barriers to real communication are gone, people from different worlds of experience can get to know and understand each other. We asked people who use AAC to tell the world their stories of using AAC and overcoming barriers to communication. These writings, videos and multimedia presentations are in the online collection "Sharings".