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  • Zagreb, Croatia
  • 13 - 15 September 2017
  • 32 speakers
  • 9 countries

3 days of education on the assistive technology and AAC

ATAAC conference brings leading world experts and users of assistive technology (AT) and augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) to Zagreb to present their knowledge and share their experience with you.

Testimonials

Speakers

Schedule

Lectures of speakers who are not presenting in English will be simultaneously interpreted in English.

  • Wednesday, 13 September
    Focus on children:
    family, kindergartens, and schools
    8:00 a.m. - 9:00 a.m.
    Registration
    9:00 a.m. - 9:15 a.m.
    Conference opening
    Conference opening
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    9:15 a.m. - 10:30 a.m.
    Child Assessment and Selection of Appropriate Communication Tools
    John Costello is a speech-language pathologist with more than 30 years of experience in the field and a director of Augmentative Communication Program at Boston Children's Hospital.

    Through various case studies John will present the AAC assessment process for the selection of communication tools and strategies matching individual child's needs and abilities. He will also talk about evidence based practice, data collection, and highlight the use of tools such as Gaze Viewer software.
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    11:00 a.m. - 11:30 a.m.
    Using Technology Creatively in the SEN Early Years Classroom
    Ian Bean is an independent special needs ICT consultant and trainer specializing in the use of ICT and assistive technology to support learners of all ages with severe and complex additional needs.

    Children are increasingly adept at using technology to support their leisure and other interests. For some children however, technology may be their only access to learning, leisure, and communication activities. This lecture explores the creative use of technology including assistive technology and simple communication devices in the early years (kindergarten) classroom for ALL children with special educational needs.
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    11:30 a.m. - 11:45 a.m.
    Product Demo: Look to Learn and Grid 3
    Neil Hansen is a Commercial Director of Smartbox Assistive Technology. With over 25 years in the assistive technology field, Neil's key areas of expertise are: augmentative and alternative communication (AAC), environmental control systems (ECS), special needs computer use, and access solutions for these technologies.

    This short talk will present the eyegaze technology for learning, education, symbol and text communication, social media, and home automation. Exploring Look to Learn and Grid 3, Neil will encourage you to explore the software and engage in interactive discussion to help you better understand these powerful resources.
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    11:45 a.m. - 12:15 p.m.
    Music, Play, and AAC: Technology to Support Musicality
    Developmental psychologist, musician, technologist: Ben is passionate about making music accessible to all young people. He is part of the NESTA team that invented the SKOOG - a revolutionary new musical instrument for disabled children. Ben is now creative director at Skoogmusic Ltd developing new ways to play and promoting the benefits of active music making for all.

    Engaging in musical play can be thought of as a ‘soft play area’ (kindergarten play park) for developing and exploring communicative skills through play. These musical activities are an integral part of developing communication and need to be available to AAC users. We can use technology to support students who face challenges participating in musical play. Skoog has been created to enable students with accessibility needs to access the world of music and creativity through play, supporting the development of their natural musicality.
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    12:15 p.m. - 12:45 p.m.
    Ison Inclusive Choir: Music and Assistive Technology
    Miodrag Miša Blizanac works at Milan Petrović center in Novi Sad and directs the Ison inclusive choir for children and young people with various difficulties and developmental disabilities, as well as their parents, relatives, and friends. They have performed about 1500 concerts in many countries.

    Miodrag will have a lecture on music, inclusion, and assistive technology, with musical interludes of this special choir, using musical instruments specially adapted for persons with disabilities.
    2:15 p.m. - 3:15 p.m.
    Poster presentation
    3:15 p.m. - 4:15 p.m.
    Workshops
    4:30 p.m. - 4:45 p.m.
    User video story: Pre-school AAC
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    4:45 p.m. - 5:15 p.m.
    AAC in Family Context
    Kasia Łuszczak, from Poland, is an expert for AAC. She completed a postgraduate study in speech and language therapy and has more than 10 years of experience in working with AAC users, doing assessments, and conducting workshops and educations for therapists and AAC users.

    Parents very often say that if your child does not speak, your family, as a whole system, does not know how to handle it: how to support young parents, how to build a bond with non-verbal cousin or sibling, how to babysit your grandchild, how to talk to your husband or wife if he or she can no longer respond verbally?
    The other aspect here is the upbringing of non-verbal child - to respect (or maybe not...?) all those communicates that are difficult to hear, to say "no" to a non-verbal child, to give them a tool not only to say nice things, but also to disagree or maybe even to rebel.
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    5:15 p.m. - 5:30 p.m.
    Video story: AAC Users in School
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    5:30 p.m. - 6:00 p.m.
    Assistive Technology in School and Creation of Accessible Educational Content
    Ines Delzotto works as a master of educational rehabilitation in Daily Care Rehabilitation Center Veruda in Pula where she founded the first assistive technology lab in Croatia. She specialized in assistive technology in Milan on the Istituto di Ricovero e Cura a Carattere Scientifico S. Maria Nascente.

    She will give an overview of assistive technology suitable for working with students with developmental difficulties and provide guidelines for creating educational content for students with special education needs.
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    6:00 p.m. - 6:15 p.m.
    Product Demo: Clevy Keyboard
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    6:15 p.m. - 6:30 p.m.
    Video story: Using Devices for Alternative Computer Access
    6:30 p.m. - 7:00 p.m.
    School System and Children with Developmental Disabilities
    8:00 p.m. - 10:00 p.m.
    ATAAC party
  • Thursday, 14 September
    Focus on service providers: hospitals, special schools, rehabilitation centers
    8:00 a.m. - 9:00 a.m.
    Registration
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    9:00 a.m. - 10:30 a.m.
    Enhancing Communication and Learning in Learners with Autism Spectrum Disorder
    Jennifer Abramson is a speech-language pathologist at Boston Children’s Hospital, where she works in the Autism Language Program and the Augmentative Communication Program. Jennifer is a co-author of the book: Enhancing Communication in Individuals with Autism: A Guide to the Visual Immersion System.

    She will illustrate methods used in the "Visual Immersion System", the clinical model developed in the Autism Language Program at Boston Children’s Hospital intended to expand receptive and expressive language development. Specifically, there will be a discussion regarding the communicative operations outlined in the Autism Language Program including protesting, requesting, commenting/labeling, following and giving directives, asking and answering questions, as well as supporting transitions and social pragmatic skills.

    It is intended to challenge audience members to think about visual supports in an expansive manner, far beyond simply requesting and protesting, and to use visual supports with individuals with autism spectrum disorders. Videos will be provided to illustrate implementation of strategies used within the Visual Immersion System.
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    11:00 a.m. - 11:30 a.m.
    AAC Toolbox
    John Costello will present the equipment that can be found in a modern AAC assessment center, explaining the necessary tools for working with persons with severe and multiple disabilities. A wide range of assistive technology will be presented, ranging from low-tech to high-tech solutions. He will also share some useful tips and tricks from his AAC practice.
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    11:30 a.m. - 11:45 a.m.
    Tobii Communicators
    Kaveh Vefagh and Magnus Sundelin from Tobii Dynavox will showcase the software solutions for AAC and the eye-controlled communicators.

    Kaveh Vefagh is responsible for Europe, Middle East, South Asia, and Africa. He is passionate about bringing AAC and eyegaze technology to all corners of the world and to allow more people to fulfill their potential and live their lives to the fullest. Magnus Sundelin is responsible for Tobii Dynavox products in the Eastern and Central European region and Russia. This father of two is equally passionate about helping people through AAC.
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    11:45 a.m. - 12:15 p.m.
    Using Visual Support in Health Care to Enhance Patient - Provider Communication and Understanding
    Dorothy Fraser, from Scotland, is a member of ISAAC BUILD committee, editor of Communication Support World Network newsletter and Senior Representative to Eastern and Central Europe for Central Coast Children’s Foundation, an American NGO. Her role within these organisations is to share information internationally to promote AAC awareness and use in emerging AAC nations.

    This presentation will demonstrate low cost strategies and resources to support patient - provider communication and encourage patients, family members and advocates to be actively involved in preparing for medical encounters and rehabilitation.
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    12:15 p.m. - 12:30 p.m.
    Video story: Eye gaze Communication in the Intensive Care Unit
    Mirna Bobinac, Dr Med, works as anesthesiologist at the anesthesiology and intensive care clinic at Rijeka hospital. She will give a case study of a young patient who was a victim of a heavy car accident.

    After a long recovery and multiple surgeries, three of them on upper and lower mandible, the patient returned to her normal life. Due to intermaxillary fixation and tracheotomy, she was unable to speak, and the cast on the right forearm prevented her from writing. Tobii Communicator was one of the ways of communicating with her for the entire three weeks.
    2:15 p.m. - 2:45 p.m.
    Poster presentation
    2:45 p.m. - 3:45 p.m.
    Workshops
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    4:00 p.m. - 4:30 p.m.
    AAC Strategies in Early Intervention to Support Language Development
    Aldona Mysakowska-Adamczyk has been speech and language therapist for nearly thirty years, almost twenty of which she dedicated to AAC, working with people of various ages. For the last ten years she has been working together with parents on supporting children’s communication and language development in early intervention program specialized in implementing AAC.

    The literature on typical children’s language development strongly suggests that early experiences are critical for later language development. Appropriate AAC/AT devices and strategies support child’s learning about reasons to communicate (pragmatics), word meanings (semantics), word building (morphology), and sentence building (syntax).
    With early access to AAC strategies and technologies, young children with significant communication disabilities will get a chance to build language and communication skills that they require to achieve their full potential and maximize outcomes.
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    4:30 p.m. - 4:45 p.m.
    Assistive Technology in Rehabilitation of Children
    Dr. Ahmed Masri, specialist of physical medicine and rehabilitation, is a head of the Avanti clinic. In a video presentation he will present their work with children with developmental disabilities, with the emphasis on the use of assistive technology in rehabilitation.
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    4:45 p.m. - 5:15 p.m.
    Multimodal Approach for Encouraging Communication and Language for Children with Intellectual Disabilities
    Complex communication needs are often part of the clinical features in children with intellectual difficulties . Communication and verbal expression problems range from the lack of verbal communication to the verbal communication intelligible to other people. In the clinical practice we are very often faced with prejudices, e.g. that the manual signs would disable the acquisition of speech, as well as with diminishing the role of graphic symbols or communication books.

    In this presentation we will show several children with intellectual disabilities and the multimodal approach for adopting functional communication and language. The emphasis is also on the importance of integration of all the applied strategies into everyday life and establishing partner relationship with family. We will also give a brief presentation of the Faculty of Education and Rehabilitation Sciences Rehabilitation Center.

    This presentation was prepared by Ana Marija Bohaček, Jasmina Ivšac Pavliša, Marina Milković, and Klara Popčević from the Faculty of Education and Rehabilitation Sciences, and Željka Car from the Faculty of Electrical Engineering and Computing.
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    5:30 p.m. - 5:45 p.m.
    Software Solutions for Learning, Rehabilitation, and Communication
    David Hofer has been working with the assistive technology for many years now. He is a director of the LIFETool non-profit organisation in Austria and of the LIFETool company, dedicated to the development of assistive technology and educational software.

    David Hofer shall present their software packages that were developed primarily for children with developmental disabilities with a purpose to facilitate learning, rehabilitation, and communication.
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    5:45 p.m. - 6:00 p.m.
    Video Story: Mali Dom – Zagreb
    Martina Celizić, master of educational rehabilitation, is a head of the daily program activities at the daily center "Mali dom - Zagreb". Together with Diana Korunić, professor of speech therapy and pathology, she is a conductor of the education program: “Systems of substitute and augmentative communication in working with persons with multiple disabilities” that the institution provides as a part of the Mali dom - Zagreb educational center.

    "Mali dom - Zagreb" is a city-owned institution that works as a daily center for persons with multiple disabilities until the age of 21. Mali dom – Zagreb carries out assessments and consultations, early interventions through support in families and in center, daily program activities, and activities of the Center for education. It currently provides services for about one hundred users through the above-mentioned programs.
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    6:00 p.m. - 6:15 p.m.
    Video story: Goljak Education Center
    Vesna Matijević Knez is a professor of educational rehabilitation – a teacher of typewriting and a teacher in the supplementary education and rehabilitation program in the Goljak educational center.

    Through education of typewriting and rehabilitation programs conducted in Goljak center with students of 1st through 8th grade, the students, according to their needs and capabilities, and with the help of assistive technology, acquire competences for using computers. The students use these competences for their curricular duties and for creative writing and arts.
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    6:15 p.m. - 6:45 p.m.
    Assistive Technology: From Assessment to Implementation
    Nevena Ivković is an assistive technology technician. She works in the Milan Petrović School for elementary and higher education with a student dorm in Novi Sad. The Assistive Technoogy Service has been part of this school for ten years now.

    In her presentation Nevena will try to share a part of the working experience of this team. She will show why it is so important to determine and consistently follow the procedures in the assessment process, when choosing the device, in user training, and in integration of assistive technology in the living and working environment of the user. She will talk about the cooperation with individuals, parents, and teachers, informing the public, education of experts, misconceptions on the assistive technology, and the difficulties confronted by the team.
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    6:45 p.m. - 7:00 p.m.
    Video story: Special Hospital for the Protection of Children with Neurodevelopmental and Motor Difficulties
    Ksenija Ena Hršak has been working as a master of education and rehabilitation sciences in Special Hospital for the Protection of Children with Neurodevelopmental and Motor Disorders in Zagreb. She will present her past and current experience in implementation of assistive technologies for children with complex communication needs. In her presentation she will emphasize the importance of transdisciplinary approach in the assessment for the adequate AT device, focusing on child and parents.
  • Friday, 15 September
    Assistive technology for independent living, learning, and working
    8:00 a.m. - 9:00 a.m.
    Registration
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    9:00 a.m. - 10:30 a.m.
    Assistive Technology in an Inclusive Classroom
    This lecture explores the use of mainstream and assistive technology and specialist software to support students with special educational needs. From switches and interactive whiteboards, to iPads and eye gaze, we’ll explore who these devices are for and how best to use them to make your classroom and the lessons you teach accessible to all.
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    11:00 a.m. - 11:30 a.m.
    Role of Assistive Technology in Keeping Independence
    Paul has worked within the assistive technology industry for over 16 years, in the diverse areas of dyslexia, blindness/low vision, and for the last 8 years in the more profound learning and physical disabilities area. Having trained hundreds of people in countries across the world, he brings a wealth of experience that he is keen to share and help introduce independence to people with disabilities.

    Paul will discuss how the implementation of assistive technology can aid and promote independence, whether through simple implementation of AAC, or environmental control. Assistive Technology should be simple to use and simple to implement so neither the user nor teacher/therapist are intimidated by the technology. Paul will show the devices that promote this and situations where technology can be introduced softly.
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    11:30 a.m. - 11:45 a.m.
    Pretorian - from Switches to Computer Access
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    11:45 a.m. - 12:15 p.m.
    “Tap and Talk” – An iPad User Group for Adults with Aphasia
    A key element of the research and teaching activities within Dundee University’s Discipline of Computing is the close engagement with users, in particular user groups who face challenges when accessing mainstream IT technology, e.g. older people or individuals with physical or other impairments.

    In this lecture Rolf will report on the setting up and running of a user group for people with aphasia at the University of Dundee, Scotland. The group meets on a regular basis to explore the possibilities for using iPads and the vast range of mainstream apps for supporting users beyond AAC applications. He will discuss the challenges met and reflect on the choice of platform (iPad) and its alternatives.
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    12:15 p.m. - 12:30 p.m.
    Mounting and Positioning of Assistive Technology Devices
    Uli Ehlert is a managing director of the German company REHAdapt, one of the global leaders in the development of specialized mounting systems for assistive technology.

    He will present the examples of best practice and various cases of using mounting systems for AT and AAC devices.
    2:15 p.m. - 2:45 p.m.
    Poster presentation
    2:45 p.m. - 3:45 p.m.
    Workshops
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    4:00 p.m. - 4:30 p.m.
    LoganTech – A Personal Story of Building a Company to Help Son with Autism
    Glen Dobbs is the father of a boy named Logan who has severe autism and is nonverbal. Glen will be talking about his journey as a parent of a child with special needs and how the journey lead to the creation of the Logan ProxTalker for his son to communicate, as well as other products inspired by the needs of people he met on the way. LoganTech, named after his son, continues to manufacture and sell innovative, high quality AAC and other assistive technology for people with communication challenges, visual challenges, or both. One of Glen's passions is to help parents and caregivers understand each other and collaborate to meet the needs of the people they serve.
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    4:30 p.m. - 4:45 p.m.
    Environmental Control
    Miroslav Vrankić is a professor at the Faculty of Engineering in Rijeka and teaches a course on assistive technology. He is also a founder of the company of E-Glas for the production of assistive technology devices.

    He will present different environmental control solutions for persons with severe disabilities, including the Serwantess voice control system.
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    4:45 p.m. - 5:15 p.m.
    Adapted Workplace
    Assistive technology in a workplace is of crucial importance when employing persons with disabilities. Adapted workplace gives them a chance to primarily get a job, and finally to perform it just as well as other colleagues. Highly sophisticated instruments today are able to fully compensate for each working function and to provide absolute autonomy.

    This lecture aims at giving some general conceptual designs for the adaptation of workplaces, as well as at initiating changes in structures in charge of employing persons with disabilities.
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    5:30 p.m. - 5:45 p.m.
    Video Story: Vinko Bek Education Center
    Valentina Nemet is a professor of special education and works in the Center for Education Vinko Bek in Zagreb as a special teacher and a head of the Department for psychosocial rehabilitation of adult blind persons.

    Center for Education Vinko Bek, Zagreb, is an institution for education and rehabilitation of blind and visually impaired children, youth, and adults. The center is a welfare institution with specific programs, and the school program is conducted in accordance with the Ministry of Science and Education curriculum. The Vinko Bek Center is also a resource center for Croatia.
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    5:45 p.m. - 6:15 p.m.
    One Working Day of a Blind Person
    Gordana Glibo was born in Zagreb where she graduated journalism on the Faculty of Political Science. She is married and a mother of two, a son Ivan (19) and a daughter Donatella (16). She is engaged in many activities, but her longest and most successful engagement is writing (one of her poems was published in the second grade elementary school Croatian textbook and many of them in the children's magazine). As a young woman she went blind due to complications of streptococcal angina and has since then used various available aids for independent living and working.

    Gordana will try to give an insight into one of her typical working days and show in what way she overcomes her visual impairment with the help of technology, thereby proving that she is able to do her work independently and be competitive in the labor market.
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    6:15 p.m. - 6:45 p.m.
    AAC Systems and Strategies in Support of People with Different Types of Dementia
    Majority of AAC software and many AT devices can make a huge difference in diagnosis and therapy of people with dementia. Thanks to individually chosen strategies and proper tools, we can not only provide better quality of life through AAC, but those systems can be included in neuropsychological therapy, can help with restoring memories and sharing them, can support daily activities and independence. How to implement AAC and AT as a support in cognitive functions therapy?
    6:45 p.m. - 7:00 p.m.
    Conference closing

Workshops

Each day of the conference different 60-minute workshops will take place. Each day, you will be able to attend the one of your choice from a dozen of worshops taking place at the same time. Number of participants for each workshop is limited. Therefore, we kindly recommend early registration for the conference and early reservation for the workshop of your choice. Reservation of desired workshops is possible only after buying a conference ticket. After buying the ticket we will send you a link to the workshop selection form by email.

1. Neil Hansen: Smartbox software for interactive learning, AAC, and independent living: Look to Learn and Grid 3

Look to Learn and Grid 3: Interactive Learning

Look to Learn is a motivating and fun way to get started with eye gaze technology including over 40 activities. Every activity has been developed in consultation with teachers and therapists to improve access and choice making skill
Interactive Learning in Grid 3 is a completely new way for people to learn and explore through animated activities. All activities fall under one of the four key areas of learning within Interactive Learning. So you can begin with teaching cause and effect, before moving onto choice making and then challenges. Interactive visual scenes can be introduced at any point.

Day 1

Grid 3: Symbol communication and accessible apps

Communication is about more than just talking to people in the room. In Grid 3 we’ve taken social media to the next level so you can keep in touch with your friends via Facebook and email, and if you have an Android phone you can make calls and send SMS messages. All these social media features are included with Grid 3 and are also accessible with eye gaze, switches or touch, and fully symbol supported.
Symbol communication in Grid 3 enables you to use symbols to represent words and phrases for choosing what you want to say. A wide range of ready-made grid sets including WordPower 100 are available as soon as you power up your device, so you can get started straight away!

Day 2

Grid 3: Text communication and independent living

Text communication in Grid 3 empowers your literate users to speak with others using text, pre-stored and learned messages across a range of cognitive levels. Everything you say can be learnt and stored as a spoken message. You can also store location information allowing for location aware communication.
Grid 3’s environment control enables you to control everything from lamps to your front door, your TV to your Hi-Fi, all by simply using your computer.
Computer Control in Grid 3 puts you in the driving seat, with all of the tools you need to access your computer using eye gaze, pointing devices or switch. Grid sets enable you to control the applications you need for home, school or work.

Day 3

2. Magnus Sundelin and Kaveh Vefagh: New line of Tobii Dynavox AAC and computer access devices using eyegaze, touch and switch input methods

Day 1 Day 2 3. dan

3. Hugo Renken and Ines Delzotto: Classroom resources - Clevy keyboard for assisted computer access and Clevy Dyscover software for pupils dealing with dyslexia

The Clevy Keyboard is specially designed to help teach writing and keyboard skills to young children. Its robust design with large color coded keys makes the Clevy Keyboard very suitable for keyboard users with motor skill difficulties. The Dyscover software was developed to provide a learning tool for pupils dealing with dyslexia. Using the combination of visualization and auditive support is highly beneficial to their learning process. The combination of “seeing sounds” and hearing sounds stimulates auditory processing and provides assistance in automating these sounds.

Day 1 Day 2 Day 3

4. Uli Ehlert: Rehadapt mounting solutions for AAC devices

Day 1 Day 2 Day 3

5. Glen Dobbs: Logan ProxTalker Modular AAC Device

Day 1 Day 2 Day 3

6. David Hofer: IntegraMouse Plus and Lifetool software for children with disabilities

Day 1 Day 2 Day 3

7. Dave Gilbert and Tim Robson: Switches and mouse alternatives for computer access

Day 1 Day 2 Day 3

8. Ian Bean and Dusan Bursac: Inclusive classroom and interactive whiteboards

Day 1 Day 2 Day 3

9. Klara Popcevic, Ivana Rasan, and Monika Rosandic: ICT-AAC applications and AAC usage opportunities

Day 1 Day 2 Day 3


Posters

The ATAAC conference will host poster presentations of therapists using assistive technology (AT) in their work and/or working in the field of augmentative and alternative communication (AAC).

The ATAAC conference is an excellent opportunity to present your organisation and to connect with others in developing AAC methods. You are most welcome to present your work and your organisation!

Poster presentations held on the last year's conference resulted in many contacts and cooperation between different organisations.

More info

Expo


All the attendees are welcome to visit the exhibition area to see and try different aids for persons with disabilities, ranging from computer access assistive technologies to augmentative and alternative communication.

Leading world manufacturers of assistive technology solutions from England, Sweden, USA, Germany, Austria, The Netherlands, Finland, and Croatia shall present their products in the showroom.

The attendees are welcome to see the presentations of different communication aids, eyegaze control equipment, educational toys, various switches, alternative computer access equipment, therapy aids, educational software, environmental control devices, etc.

Location

Tickets

  • 1 DAY
    Early bird (until 28 April) - € 42.00
    From 28 April - € 70.00
    Attendance at one conference day of your choice.
    save 40%
  • 2 DAYS
    Early bird (until 28 April) - € 84.00
    From 28 April - € 140.00
    Attendance at two conference days of your choice.
    save 40%
  • CONFERENCE
    Early bird (until 28 April) - € 126.00
    From 28 April - € 210.00
    Attendance at all (3) conference days.

    save 40%

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