On October 24 and 25, Holland Bloorview Kids Rehabilitation Hospital is hosting an AAC Language seminar series entitled, Picturing Language: A “How-to” workshop presented by Bruce R. Baker, A.M., L.H.D. (Hons. Caus.) and Deborah Laurent Witkowski, M.A. CCC-SLP.
The language seminar presents techniques for representing the abstract words of core vocabulary and strategies for using AAC in the classroom. Bloom’s Taxonomy and the role of motor planning are discussed and videos of AAC users will be used throughout the seminar as well. This workshop also provides a hands-on tutorial with the software to provide participants with a basis for using and assessing with the Unity® language system.
Breakfast and snacks are provided. Please bring your own lunch.
Thursday October 24 – Room OW225
Friday October 25 – Room OW225
Social evening: Thursday October 24th at 5 p.m. (location to be announced at workshop)
Bruce R. Baker, A.M., L.H.D., is currently Adjunct Associate Professor, School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences, University of Pittsburgh, holding appointments in two departments and has served that School on its Board of Visitors for two four-year terms. He is President/CEO of Semantic Compaction Systems, Inc. and has served as consulting linguist to a series of companies, including the Westinghouse Electric Corporation. He is the recipient of the National Design Award from United Cerebral Palsy Associations, the Distinguished Service Award from the Rehabilitation Engineering Society of North America, and the Distinguished Service Award from the International Society for Augmentative and Alternative Communication. He conceived and developed the Minspeak® brand language representation technology, which is now used in nine languages (English, German, French, Spanish, Danish, Dutch, Swedish, Mandarin and Japanese worldwide).
He is one of the founders of SHOUT, the western Pennsylvania non-profit organization which hosts the Pittsburgh Employment Conference for Augmented Communicators. Dr. Baker is regularly invited to speak at international societies as keynoter in Europe, Canada, Australia, Japan, Singapore, and the United States.
Deborah Laurent Witkowski MA, CCC-SLP: is a speech-language pathologist with 25 years experience in AAC and serves as a clinical consultant to Semantic Compaction® Systems, Inc. She earned her Bachelor of Science degree in Speech Pathology and Audiology from West Virginia University in 1986 and a Master of Arts Degree in Communication Disorders from the University of Pittsburgh in 1988. Deborah has worked as a private practitioner and private consultant specializing in augmentative and alternative communication and assistive technology for the past 17 years. Prior to that, she worked as a speech-language pathologist serving the needs of children and adults with multiple disabilities through the United Cerebral Palsy Center of Bridgeport, Connecticut and the Connecticut Department of Mental Retardation.
In addition to her consultant roles, Deborah currently provides speech-language therapy services to a small private caseload of children and adults who use AAC as well as through the Children’s Therapy Center in McMurray, Pennsylvania. Ms. Witkowski is a member of ASHA as well as the United States Society of Augmentative and Alternative Communication (USSAAC) and the International Society of Augmentative and Alternative Communication (ISAAC). Debbie lives in Venetia, Pennsylvania with her husband and three sons.