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Vermont Communication Task Force Trainings

How to Write Communication Plans - This 31 minute PowerPoint presentation explains how to write a clear and effective Communication Plans.  The purpose is to assist people who provide support to individuals with developmental disabilities and provide them with the tools they need to write communication plans.  Communication plans are a supplemental document to a person's Individual Support Agreement.  Presenters include Pascal Cheng, Howard Center; Hilary Conant, Developmental Disabilities Services Division/DAIL; and Ashley Couture, Speech Language Pathologist.

Wellspring Guild Presents: "The Importance of Regulation to Access Communication" - Scott Brodie, David D'Muhala, and Tracy Thresher from the Green Mountains of Vermont lead a 1-hour Webinar followed by a "Question and Answer' period.

Communicating with a Non-Speaking Person in a Medical Setting - This Vermont Care Partners Webinar was presented by Pascal Cheng of Howard Center and Tracy Thresher and Harvey Lavoy of Washington County Mental Health Services. The PowerPoint covers: 1) What is augmentative communication; 2) What are the different methods of communication that non-speaking people use; 3) Guidelines on interacting with non-speaking patients; 4) Using visual materials to support understanding; and 5) Personal perspectives.

Walking the Talk of Presuming Competence webinar - In the world of augmentative/alternative communication (AAC), the "presumption of competence" is seen as a core guiding principle for supporting a person who uses AAC. Putting this principle into practice on an everyday basis often requires communication partners to change their beliefs and assumptions about disability and intelligence, and to develop a more expanded view of communication as a gateway to community inclusion and participation. 

Making Communication Happen: The Basics - Planning and Developing ISA Communication Based Support Plans and Outcomes - This PowerPoint presentation provides guidance on how to develop communication plans and write outcomes, goals and support strategies; including the use of tools such as communication dictionaries.  Making Communication Happen: Tools to Help Teams Plan and Provide Communication Supports offers accompanying information on writing communication plans for Individual Support Agreements. This document includes three tools – Communication Plan; Communication Checklist; and Communication Outcomes/Goals and Support Strategies – to help teams plan and provide communication supports.

Using AAC as a Tool for Self-Determination and Supported Decision Making: How to Stop Guessing What People Want - Many people who cannot rely on words to speak struggle to be understood. Loved ones and support people often do their best to apply what they know of the person’s preferences to the planning process, but may fall short because they lack a direct way to ask the person what they think.  Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC) methods can provide access to communication and serve as a tool to directly understand the thoughts, preferences and choices of people with significant disabilities and communication barriers. AAC technology can support us to understand a non-speaking person even before the person can use the technology themselves. In this audio version of a live presentation, Erin Sheldon, M.Ed., provides an overview of AAC as a tool for self-determination and supported decision making.  Erin presents practical tools that can be used by family, friends and professionals starting today. Slides for the presentation can be downloaded from the website.