October is International AAC (Augmentative and Alternative Communication) Awareness Month!
To celebrate and raise awareness, each year Scope runs a Silent Morning Tea.
I have been involved in hosting silent morning (and afternoon) teas for the past few years and I wanted to share my top 5 tips for hosting a successful one.
My top 5 silent morning tea tips
- Get people excited and interested in the silent morning tea.
Send out an invitation and encourage people to download a free communication app prior to the event to help them chat on the day. Some great free apps for iPad include – Verbally, Sono Flex Lite, or Text to Speech.
- Have AAC options ready for people to play with
Having some simple alternative communication options for people to explore and use can be a great way to spread awareness about AAC.
Try having a few communication boards, community request cards or even a simple voice output device that can record messages and be played during your silent morning tea.
You can use single or sequential message devices such as a Step by Step or iTalk2 device to record a welcome message, a joke or to answer during games you may play (for example, have people record “Bingo!” and play a game of Speech BINGO!).
- Invite people with complex communication needs to your event. Include people who use AAC in your morning tea!Scope employs a number of Educators with a lived experience of disabilities that love telling people their story to school groups, services and corporate clients so that they “see the person, not the disability”.
- Have a prize for the winner.
People love to know they can win a prize from a quick game. You could have a coffee mug, chocolates..
In addition, we used Tools2Talk+ to make these stickers that we’ll be handing out on the day!
- Make sure you have plenty of yummy food to enjoy!
Have a great Silent Morning Tea and Happy AAC Awareness Month for October!
Make sure you take heaps of photos of your Silent Morning Tea and use the hashtag #SMT2016 so we can find you!