Jane Odom M. Ed, Director of Implementation Resources at PRC, offers tips and suggestions for implementing AAC.
Posted February 24, 2016 in Making AAC Work
_ By Jane Odom, M. Ed, Director of Implementation Resources, PRC_
Today’s blog post is about my journey in the field of AAC. I was fortunate enough to attend Temple University back in the 1980’s. It was then I was introduced to the field of AAC. I attended the ACES program as a grad student where I attended a training by Bruce Baker on Minspeak which is now called Unity. It is the vocabulary system on the PRC devices. I was young and very inexperienced. I remember going back to my apartment pool for the weekend with a Liberator and learned as many sequences as I could. I was enamored with the icon sequence rationales. It just clicked in my brain.
I went back as the communications instructor for the ACES program on and off for 9 years. There I met the most amazing people both verbal and non-verbal. I learned more from the students than I ever could from any of the professional development classes I could attend. Most of all, I learned that everyone has a story, things they are passionate about and things that they would like to change. Giving someone a voice and listening to who they are and what is important to them is one of the greatest gifts we can give.
When I came on board with the Prentke Romich Company, I was encouraged to do just that. I learned not to look at a wheelchair or piece of equipment but to learn who a person is, what is important to them and most of all see all who they could be and would be once they were given a voice. Brave and strong to me isn’t always the fireman running into the flames, but the person that lives day in and day out with challenges none of us could even imagine and still maintain an amazing outlook on life and smile to share with the world.
PRC has had a mission statement for as long as I have been with the company….Communication without Limitations. I am so proud to work for a company that truly believes in the products and services they provide for their customers. It is so nice to travel to our main company in Wooster, Ohio and get to see all the folks working in the back offices and warehouse that are helping give a voice to all we can help. We all work as a team to try our hardest to meet the needs of all of our clients.
I am fortunate enough to work on the AAC Language Lab. This site allows folks to find all kinds of lessons, books, games and other resources to make their journey with AAC as easy as possible by providing everything they need in one place. I get to write a lot of the content and just love what I do. When I visit classrooms, work with kids and see what is possible with support, it just makes me love what I do even more.
I challenge you to believe in your students. Help give them a voice and listen to what they have to say. It will make your day just a little bit brighter….guaranteed!
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