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Expression Connection

Expression Connection is a program of the DSCBA Educational Alliance. Through this program, we ensure that children who have communication and speech difficulty due to Down syndrome have access to Alternative and Augmentative Communication systems. It is our goal to make sure every individual is empowered and has the ability to communicate. We offer a lending library of AAC devices, consultations and training presentations. To learn more about the program, please see our information guide here. To schedule a consultation, please contact Kati Skulski, M.S. CCC-SLP at aac@dsconnection.org.

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Thank you to the California Communication Access Foundation for giving the gift of expression to our members and education to their families and schools!

Lending Library

More Information

Check out what we have in our AAC lending library here

For information on the Loan Agreement, please click here.

If you are interested in borrowing from the AAC lending library, please contact Amanda at aac@dsconnection.org.

Presentations

More Information

The following presentations have been presented at the DSC:

AAC Basics: Provides AAC definitions and systems, and identifying when AAC is needed

AAC Services: Discusses where services can be obtained and the components that guide AAC intervention

AAC & Literacy Instruction: Presents literacy models and AAC/literacy implementation and programs

AAC Myths: Identifies common myths and truths about AAC

Fostering Friendships: Explores interpersonal, educational, and communicative components for facilitating friendships

Personal Books: Discusses the hows and whys of creating personal books to support literacy

Power of Communication: Highlights AAC systems and strategies utilized in 4 diverse children with Down syndrome

Access through AT: Shares tech-based tools and strategies to make math, reading, and writing more accessible

App Resources

More Information

COMMUNICATION APP WHEEL: Communication apps organized by function and features.

Non-Content-Specific Apps: These are great apps to reinforce and modify curriculum. Fun learning tools!

AAC Apps: Brought to us by our friends at the Technology Resource Center of Marin.

Funding Guide: Dr. Marilyn Buzolich, a world-renowned AAC specialist from San Francisco, CA. You can find more information at www.acts-at.com.

Resources Organizations

More Information

PRAACTICAL AAC: A blog about the state of the field, sharing information about implementing AAC strategies, providing resources and discussing news of interest to the AAC community.

YAACK: Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC) Connecting Young Kids (YAACK) is a website that covers issues related to AAC and young children.

AAC INSTITUTE: A nonprofit, charitable organization dedicated to the most effective communication for people who rely on Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC).

BOSTON CHILDREN'S HOSPITAL: The Augmentative Communication Program has a rich history in the design, development and research of assistive technology in issues related to augmentative communication.

SPECTRONICS: A great resource for AAC communication-based apps.

ACTS: ACTS has provided AAC and AT services in the Bay Area since 1982. In addition to services, ACTS contains a wealth of information regarding best practices in AAC and funding.

Program Feedback

From resources and inclusion specialists: 
“(Student) uses his AAC device to answer questions which allow him access to participate in games with his peers, and allow greater access to the school curriculum.”
 
“Even more amazing is how other General Education students in their classes are able to use the device to communicate with our students, creating an incredibly understanding, patient and inclusive community.”
 
“...using AAC devices makes an amazing difference in the school day for our students.  We have multiple students who use AAC devices.”
From parents:
"Thank you, thank you for giving her a voice.  She is so much happier these days, now that she can 'talk'.  We are beyond thrilled!!!!"
 
“My son’s ability to narrate his experiences definitely increased."