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Language & Complex Communication

Many Kilparrin students have Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC) systems that they use to communicate with others and participate in learning.  These include low and high technology systems, including Auslan, sign and gesture, picture communication symbols, body signs, tactile symbols, object symbols and speech generating devices. Each student has an individual communication plan that describes their communication goals, and any augmentative and alternative modalities in use. Formal AAC systems in use in the school include:

  • Pragmatic Organisation Dynamic Displays (PODD)
  • Aided language displays
  • Core vocabulary language systems
  • Sequenced social scripts
  • Assistive technologies frequently used to support development:
  • Single message devices e.g. BIGmack
  • Static display devices e.g. Supertalker
  • Dynamic display devices e.g. iPad applications, Tobii Eyegaze Device
  • Switch accessible software

The teaching of literacy at Kilparrin uses a balanced literacy approach where students learn explicit strategies for reading, writing and working with words.

At Kilparrin a range of reading and writing tools are used including the following:

  • printed texts
  • tactile books
  • book boxes with real objects as illustrations
  • Braille texts
  • Talking Books
  • use of adapted keyboards for writing
  • use of a Brailler
  • use of alternative pencils e.g. eye gaze, flipcharts
  • iPad applications for reading and writing
  • Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC)

Alternative access methods and assistive technology that Kilparrin students use include:

  • Partner assisted auditory scanning
  • Switches with visual and auditory scanning
  • Direct access
  • Eye gaze
  • Adapted keyboards with high contrast keys and key guards

Additional approaches to learning
Active Learning Approach, as described by Dr Lilli Nielsen in her work with children with sensory and additional disabilities, is used by Kilparrin teachers to support curriculum delivery for early students. Active learning environments include resonance boards, wobble boards, little room, hammock support bench.

Intensive Interaction is a methodology to develop the Fundamentals of Communication. Intensive Interaction is an approach to developing the ability and desire to communicate and participate in social interactions (Barber, 2005).