From 28 September to 2 October 2015, the Centre for Augmentative and Alternative Communication (CAAC) conducted training in augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) at Badplaas, Mpumalanga, for 30 teachers and five departmental officials from full-service schools of the Mpumalanga Department of Education.
The training programme, given by Dr Ensa Johnson and Ms Refilwe Morwane, featured modules such as, ‘Introduction to AAC’, ‘AAC assessment’, ‘AAC technology’ and ‘Implementation of AAC in the classroom’. Practical activities were included to give the teachers hands-on experience in accommodating learners with communication disabilities in the classroom. The aim was to empower the teachers to put into practice the statement by Nelson Mandela that ‘disabled children are equally entitled to an exciting and brilliant future’.
Some of the teachers expressed how valuable the AAC training was, saying:
‘I gained knowledge on how to deal with learners with communication disabilities by using symbols and devices.’
‘The use of AAC was foreign to me, but the training provided insight in what AAC is and how to implement it, as well as practical knowledge of various devices and how to use them in class.’
‘The training was very useful to me because I have two learners in my class who cannot talk.’
‘I have learned what AAC is and how to help and involve learners with communication disabilities.’
‘I find the communication boards and other devices useful because I was clueless as how to communicate with learners who cannot speak.’
Inclusive teacher and disability training is offered by the CAAC. For more information, please contact Dr Ensa Johnson at [email protected].
‘Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.’ ― Nelson Mandela