Classroom Freebies

Susan Berkowitz’s Free AAC From A to Z: P is for Partner Assisted Scanning

Some of our AAC users are metrically challenged.  They have any one or more of a number of motor issues that can impact their learning.  Difficulty learning to communicate using AAC is compounded by adding a layer of motor challenges onto the learning language layer.

Using scanning to control an AAC system is time consuming to learn - and to do.  Sometimes, while a student is learning to use independent access to a system, we use Partner Aided Scanning.  People are our “smart partners” in this case; functioning better than an electronic scanning option.  Human scanners can watch the facial expressions and body language of the user to see if they need to slow down, go faster, back up, etc.

Partner Assisted Scanning is also significantly less expensive than high tech systems, and easier for students to use.  When switch scanning or eye gaze just isn’t an option  for whatever reason, PAS is usually the way to go.  And even for users of high tech eye gaze systems, there is a big element of fatigue; particularly when first learning to use them, and PAS is the best back-up strategy.