Keynote Speakers

Erna Alant, D.Phil.

Biography

Erna Alant received her bachelors, masters and PhD in the field of Speech- Language Pathology at the University of Pretoria, South Africa. She worked in the Department of Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology at the Universities of the Witwatersrand as well as the University of Pretoria where she founded the Centre for Augmentative and Alternative Communication (CAAC) at the University of Pretoria in 1990.

After directing the CAAC for 20 years, she accepted a position at Indiana University in Bloomington as the Otting Chair in Special Education in 2009. Thereafter, she became the President of the International Society for Augmentative and Alternative Communication. During her time at Indiana University she was instrumental in establishing the AAC-in-Action project, a collaborative venture between Monroe County Community School Corporation, Speech and Hearing Sciences and IU Special Education.

In her latest book, Augmentative and Alternative Communication: Engagement and Participation published in 2017, she developed a new theoretical framework for understanding meaning-making in interpersonal interactions.

She retired from Indiana University and established her own consultancy (www.ErnaAlantConsultancy.com) specializing in professional development for teachers and therapists who work with students who use AAC in schools.

Erna will be presenting on Moving beyond mere exchanges: Engagement, Participation and Meaning-making

Joseph Reynolds

Biography

I live with my parents and my two younger siblings in Hobart, and I’m currently in grade twelve at Claremont College. I have a keen interest in digital photo compilations/collages and am looking into a career in the graphic design field. I use an iPad to communicate, entertain myself and do school work; I found using an iPad has sped up my productivity.

My journey with AAC technology has been long and slow. Starting with a PODD book I got frustrated that it didn’t give me independence in communication, and then my mum programmed it into an old Dynavox. In grade two I got a Vanguard which had ‘LAMP’ on it, and a year or two after that the Department of Education supplied me an iPad; it completely changed my life. Since, then I’ve had different communication apps over the years like ‘Proloquo4Text’. A few years ago, ‘LAMP’ came out as an app for the iPad, and I like it because I can work on a school assignment, but still communicate on the one device.

AAC allows me to express myself to different people in the community, both with people who I know and people who are meeting me for the first time. It also allows me to communicate independent thoughts not just programmed concepts. I’m so grateful that the technology came along when it did because I don’t want to be limited in what I can say to people.

Paige Schultz

Biography

My name is Paige I have two brothers and one sister I live at home with my family. I have a cat named Andy and a dog named Zoe. I go to Claremont college year 12, I like all food and playing games on my switch. I use LAMP words for life on my iPad to talk to my friends, family and other people.

Jane Farrall

Biography

Jane Farrall is a speech pathologist and special educator passionate about literacy, AAC and assistive technology. After 30 years in the disability and assistive technology field, she has lots of practical experience working with people with a range of abilities. Jane has worked as both a therapist and literacy teacher. She has also worked as an assistive technology specialist and is currently working as an independent consultant, running workshops and consulting with schools around Australia. Her consultancy works focuses on implementing AAC and comprehensive literacy for all students.

As well as presenting workshops in Australia and internationally, Jane shares resources on her blog, her two websites and through online training – and she also has extensive experience running camps, workshops, and conferences on AAC and literacy in AAC. You can read more about Jane at www.janefarrall.com and find literacy resources at www.comprehensiveliteracy.com

Jane will be presenting on Comprehensive Literacy for All