Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Assistive Technology Addressed at 15th Biennial ISAAC Conference

April 25th, 2012

The 15th biennial ISAAC Conference is being held in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, from Saturday, July 28 through Saturday, August 4, 2012, and, in addition to alternative and augmentative communication (AAC) topics, it will feature a wide variety of workshops and sessions addressing what’s new in assistive technology from development to usage.
A pre-conference highlight is the Apple workshop addressing new and innovative solutions for individuals withDavid L Lawrence Center - Day disabilities that provide access to the Mac, iPad, iPhone, iPod and Apple TV. Apple presenters will discuss the many ways the company and its developers have implemented accessibility features into its hardware and software. In addition, the workshop will explore a range of apps that were designed specifically for AAC, and attendees will hear about real-world solutions for iPads in the special needs classroom.

“At ISAAC 2012, we wanted to put the focus on AAC intervention from iPads to Brain Computer Interfaces (BCIs),” says Dr. Katya Hill, Associate Professor at the University of Pittsburgh and Executive Director of the AAC Institute, “We believe that the Apple workshop will be a pre-conference highlight that introduces attendees to the integration of research, clinical, educational and personal evidence so important for improving quality of life for individuals across the lifespan. Technology plays such an important role in AAC, and we’ve added many great sessions and a large exhibition to shine a light on this important area.”

Monday features the worldwide perceptive on the state of AAC science, clinical practice and user/family issues while Tuesday highlights AAC intervention for Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) and literacy. On Wednesday, August 1, the conference will feature sessions on idevices and apps starting with an App Developers Forum where AAC Stakeholders and app developers will come together to discuss issues related to research and development of communication, language and educational apps to devices and tablets. Finally, Thursday offers sessions on adults with acquired disorders, e.g. ALS, strokes, PPA, etc., who use AAC with a special BCI State of the Science plenary.

A variety of concurrent sessions will also be offered by outstanding presenters including Linda Burkhart, Janet Sturm, Karen Kangas, Karen Erickson and Carolyn Musselwhite. Gregg Vanderheiden, PhD, will conduct a plenary on the current and future technology developers where he will discuss a new paradigm for assistive technology.
ISAAC 2012 will also feature a cadre of firsts that include:
  • an AAC camp that will celebrate The Artist Within for up to 25 children who use AAC from around the world. AAC camp will kick-off all that ISAAC 2012 has to offer.
  • specially designed pre-conference instructional courses that involve notable presenters: Sarah Blackstone, Richard Hurtig, John Costello and many others.
  • a full conference program for people who use AAC and families with a Technology Service Center to help trouble shoot minor problems experienced by AAC users.
  • Learning Labs as part of the exhibit hall for small, private product demonstrations and training by vendors/exhibitors.
  • an AAC Research Symposium on August 3-4 at the University of Pittsburgh being organized by Dr. Lyle Lloyd and others.
To learn more about ISAAC 2012 and to register, make hotel arrangements and learn more about Pittsburgh, please visit the conference web site at Keep abreast of ongoing conference developments on Facebook, Opt-in to receiving the AAC Institute e-newsletters featuring announcement updates on ISAAC 2012 up to the conference at Pittsburgh and Western Pennsylvania offer many tourist attractions to enhance attending ISAAC 2012.

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