24 Hour AAC Internet Chat / Read-a-Thon*

7th Annual 24-Hour AAC Internet Chat / Read-a-Thon* October 24, 2014, starting at 8AM Eastern Daylight Time and continuing nonstop until October 25 at 8 AM EDT.

Countries all around the world celebrate AAC Awareness during the month of October. This year, individuals who use assistive technology to communicate, together with their families and friends, professionals and other supporters will participate in the Seventh Annual 24-Hour International AAC Read-a-Thon / Chat on Facebook and Twitter. This year's event will launch at 8:00 a.m. Eastern Daylight Time. Hosts this year are Judy Bailey, Justin Bergers, Terry Gibson and others.

We are looking for more people to host for an hour or more from various time zones around the world. Contact info@aacawareness.org or judybailey@aol.com if you wish to host for a while during this event in one of the venues (Skype, Facebook).

The AAC Awareness Campaign team will keep the online chat open and active for 24 continuous hours so that people around the globe may join in to chat and share stories, information, resources and advocacy for a little while or as long as they want.

Here are ways you can join in:

Facebook: 24-Hour AAC Chat / Read-a-Thon or International AAC Month (post information and links, follow the postings). PLUS Facebook group chat. To join this chat, indicate that you are attending the event and you will be added or a friend who is attending can add you. You might need to friend one of the hosts and request to join the AAC Chat. (Judy Bailey is here: https://www.facebook.com/judy.bailey.3954) They can add you when you are signed on to Facebook.

Twitter: post and follow tweets with the hashtag #AACchat, which has been chosen for the 24-Hour AAC event tweets

Check in on the 24-Hour AAC Read-a-Thon website: Check the resources posted here and some history of the event. http://aacmonth.webs.com/

Everyone with an interest in AAC is welcome: people who use AAC, parents, friends, siblings, professionals, supporters, and anyone who wants to learn more about other ways to communicate besides or in addition to speech. In previous 24-Hour AAC Chats, we have had participants from at least seven countries. We hope to break that record this year, with participation in every time zone and active chatting around the clock. We hope to draw people from every time zone. Can you help us reach people around the world?

For more information on the 24-Hour event, follow us on International AAC Month on Facebook. If you wish to commit to helping host the 24 Hour event in your local time zone, let us know at judybailey@aol.com.

Our goal is to get people talking all over the globe about AAC during that 24 hour period in a format that works for them--talking about how to bring a voice to all--in their and our lifetime. You may prefer to set up your own chats, too, if that works better for you. We would love to know how you are participating in your part of the world.

Questions, ideas and comments: judybailey@aol.com

Justin Bergers' Website for 24-Hour AAC Read-a-Thon / Chat website (Justin Bergers): http://aacmonth.webs.com/

Hoping you will join us during the 24 Hour Chat (8AM Oct. 24, 2015 - 8AM Oct. 25, 2015 Eastern Daylight Time-USA),

Judy Bailey for Everyone Communicates and the AAC Awareness Month Task Force

*Why have we sometimes called it a Read-a-Thon? That's because the chats and resources have been visible in print on Skype, Facebook, and now Twitter. If you have audio and video capabilities, of course—or prefer to chat in person—then you could set up your own chat on Skype or elsewhere with speech output, symbols and/or signing. The event will be a marathon event of communicating, writing, typing, reading, teaching, learning and advocating about AAC and the power of communication—with each person’s contribution happening at any time during the 24 hours. So whether you call it an AAC Chat, an AugCom Chat or a Read-a-Thon, it's about communicating, learning, and advocating for access to communication for everyone--in our lifetime!

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

The 24-Hour International AAC Chat / Read-a-Thon 2015 is located here on Facebook:
We would like to reach as many people as possible, because anyone at any time can develop the need for another way to communicate besides or in addition to speech, called AAC (augmentative and alternative communication) methods.  There are not enough speech language pathologists nor doctors familiar with other ways to communicate to recommend the use of these methods for everyone who needs them.  The general public needs to know that there are many ways and that they need to pursue and advocate for these methods whenever they have a family member or friend who is unable to speak effectively.  Sarah Blackstone says it well:  
“Despite the proven efficacy of AAC as a treatment approach for individuals with complex communi­cation needs, an individual’s access to AAC services typically depends upon (1) where they happen to live, (2) what their doctor already knows about AAC and (3) how aggres­sively they, or their family mem­bers, seek help from professionals who provide AAC services. Even today there are speech-language pathologists in hospitals, healthcare agencies and private practices who actually turn people away, saying, ‘We don’t do AAC.’“  Sarah W. Blackstone, Ph.D. CCC-SLP, Augmentative Communication News, Feb. 2007  

What will you do this year to help spread the word about AAC methods in your family and community?