Department of Education / SDSLHA Workshop

The South Dakota Department of Education and South Dakota Speech-Language-Hearing Association co-present Better Together: Working with Families and Educators to Improve Communication Outcomes for Children who use AAC presented by Cathy Binger, PhD, CCC-SLP. This LIVE full day workshop will be presented VIRTUALLY via Zoom on Friday, Febuary 26, 2021 from 8:30 - 3:30 pm CST. While this is a FREE event, pre-registration is required. Additional information is listed below for your review. Download the flyer here. 

** Please note that this is a LIVE event and will not be recorded. 


Speech-language pathologists, speech-language pathology assistants, special education and general education teachers, paraeducators, and parents/guardians

Click here to register for this event.

Course Description:
This session focuses on two major aspects of clinical service delivery for children who use AAC: how to effectively work with communication partners, and how to measure children’s language development progress. First, up-to-date findings on communication partner instruction – what we know works, and what we still need to explore – will be discussed. Next, the ImPAACT Program, a step-by-step program proven to support families and educators as well as children’s AAC use in naturalistic settings, will be described in detail. This discussion will include a recent adaptation that includes a telepractice component. Finally, to ensure we are helping children who use AAC meet their full potential, we must find new ways to systematically track their expressive language development. Toward this end, we will explore how a range of possible measures might be used to track various aspects of expressive language development, such as semantic vs. syntactic growth, for children who use graphic symbols (i.e., line drawings and photographs) to communicate.

Learner outcomes: The learner will be able to:

  1. Describe at least two key features of successful approaches to communication partner instruction 
  2. Describe the difference between teaching skills vs. strategies to communication partners of children who use AAC
  3. List at least three different measures that can be used to track the expressive language development progress of graphic symbol communicators
  4. Identify the language domain for each measure in #3

Presenter: Cathy Binger, Ph.D., CCC-SLP

Bio: Cathy Binger, Ph.D., CCC-SLP, is a professor at the University of New Mexico who specializes in AAC and has been a speech-language pathologist for over 25 years. Dr. Binger is an active researcher who develops and evaluates intervention programs designed to enhance the language skills of children who use AAC. Her work also focuses on developing partner instruction programs – that is, programs designed to teach educators and families how to communicate more effectively with children who use AAC. Dr. Binger has co-authored several books and book chapters and has published numerous research articles in both peer-reviewed journals and clinician-oriented newsletters.

Cathy Binger reports the following relevant financial disclosures: SDSLHA-speaking fee; National Institutes of Health-Grant. She has no relevant non-financial disclosures.

Time Agenda 
    • 8:30-10:00          Communication partner instruction: What do we know?
    • 10:00-10:15        Break
    • 10:15-12:00       Introduction to the ImPAACT Program with case example
    • 12:00-1:00          Lunch
    • 1:00-2:15            Modifying the ImPAACT Program for telepractice: Recent findings
    • 215-2:30              Break
    • 2:30-3:30             Measuring communication progress for graphic symbol communicators