Mainstay is offering AAC (Augmentative and Alternative Communication) Training for families and caregivers funded through an individual’s Medicaid Waiver in Indiana. These trainings are focused on equipping families and caregivers with vital information to support their waiver recipient at any point in their AAC journey.
What is AAC?
AAC is the use of any communication that is not verbal speech, or anything needing to be used to complement verbal speech. Most often, tablet devices are used with an app that helps the user express themselves. Paper versions of communication boards can also be used for someone to communicate. The goal of AAC is for the user to say what they want, when they want, to whomever they want – all the time.
Learning to use AAC takes time and dedication from the family and caregivers to use it daily. “Having an AAC device does not make someone an effective communicator any more than owning a piano makes someone a musician”. The AAC user needs their family, teachers and therapists to all model on the device showing them how to use it regularly and in all areas of their life.
What is involved in AAC Trainings?
Understanding how different systems work is a daunting task without the right support. We have found that systems and the whole AAC process is not always thoroughly explained to families and caregivers and it is so important to full integration for you to be well versed and confident in devices and programs too! Our Assistive Technology Specialist has higher education in AAC and certificates in various devices. Let us help you help them!
Here’s how we are making understanding AAC and all the options easy, free (if you have CIH/FSW Waiver in IN) and specific:
- Sign up for our program at no out of pocket cost
- Families or Caregivers can meet with an AAC/AT Specialist for an initial 1:1 training to see where needs lie and develop an ongoing training program based on needs and family input
- Train/Meet with your Specialist as needed – weekly, bi weekly, monthly, quarterly
- Discuss options for participating in our Device Evaluation and Training Program that will assist families who do not currently have a device with understanding different AAC programs and options and how they might best fit with the user, and assists families in understanding the process and options to obtain a device.
Mainstay’s goal with this program is to help families and caregivers better understand the waiver recipient’s disability, help them develop confidence and competence in providing supports, increase access to community resources and supports, enhance key parenting strategies, assist in developing advocacy skills and to support them in their journey to help their waiver recipient develop self-advocacy skills.
If interested in joining or learning more about this program or want to learn about other funding options, please contact email@example.com
To learn more about AAC in general and to get resources for working with AAC as a professional, click here.
Watch our video to learn more!