Building Blocks to AAC Success: Blocks 1, 2, and 3 - 5 hr

In Building Blocks to Augmentative Alternative Communication (AAC) Success: Blocks 1, 2 and 3 participants will learn about:

  • the basics of speech and language development and how it relates to AAC
  • the importance of core and fringe vocabulary
  • the benefits of organizing vocabulary in such a way that motor plans for words can develop
  • best practice strategies for the communication partner
  • determining the language level of a learner
  • writing relevant goals
  • and delivering meaningful activities
This foundational class will set the stage for AAC intervention that focuses on language acquisition and communication. Through demonstration, video and practice exercises, participants will learn about the basic principles of AAC intervention. 
This class is intended for anyone interested in learning about the fundamentals of AAC.

Devices are not required for this training. If you choose to bring a device, please bring an Accent 800, 1000, 1200 or 1400 running the latest version of software. Participants can bring a laptop computer pre-loaded with PASS demo software and the appropriate language system. If you want to use a Mac laptop you will need a Windows 7 or higher emulator with PASS installed. PASS software is not compatible with iPads.

Wed, Mar 20, 2019
9:00am - 3:30pm
Local Time

      Lanham, Maryland / HSC Outpatient Center


Learning Outcomes

Participants will be able to:
  • state the connections between early speech and language development and ACC
  • explain the difference between core and fringe vocabulary
  • describe why motor planning is critical to when organizing vocabulary and language on an AAC system
  • name three things a communication partner can do to help someone use and learn a communication device
  • select vocabulary targets and model on a communication device
  • name three types of prompts
  • determine the language level of a learner
  • write three relevant communication/language goals
  • deliver three engaging activities


10 minutes - Introductions and Housekeeping
15 minutes - Early Speech & Language Development and the Role of AAC
20 minutes - Vocabulary Selection: Core and Fringe Vocabulary
20 minutes - Motor Planning
20 minutes - Language System Review
10 minutes - Background of Best Practices
75 minutes - Best Practice Strategies for the Communication Partner
10 minutes - Signs of Success
30 minutes - Taking Stock: Classroom Screeners and Realize Language™
35 minutes - Writing Relevant Goals: Speaking, Reading, and Writing 
45 minutes - Delivering Meaningful Activities: Communication vs. Compliance and The FUNnel
10 minutes - Summary and Questions

Profile Picture of Elizabeth  Bortz

Elizabeth Bortz, M.S., CCC-SLP

Elizabeth Bortz, M.S., CCC-SLP – Elizabeth earned a Bachelor’s Degree from Elon University and went on to pursue a second Bachelor’s Degree from University of Maryland in College Park in Communication Disorders in 2001. She completed her Master’s Degree in Speech-Language Pathology at Loyola College in 2003. Prior to joining PRC in November 2014, Elizabeth served as the Speech Therapy Supervisor for a school district on Maryland’s Eastern Shore. As the lead Speech Language Pathologist on the Assistive Technology Team she completed AAC evaluations, consulted with school-based SLPs on device implementation, and provided ongoing therapy for children with a diverse array of speech and language disorders. Elizabeth also led the Feeding and Swallowing Team and helped coordinate care for medically fragile children with feeding and swallowing deficits. She provided extensive trainings to staff and parents related to the use of AAC tools to improve the language skills of students. Elizabeth opened a private practice to provide evaluations and therapy to pediatric and adult clients with feeding and communication disorders in 2005. Additionally, Elizabeth has 5 years of experience working in sub-acute facilities.

Elizabeth holds the Certificate of Clinical Competence in Speech-Language Pathology from the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA), a state license in Speech-Language Pathology from the State of Maryland, holds memberships with the Maryland Assistive Technology Network (MATN), and is a member of ASHA’s Special Interest Division 12 (AAC Division).

Financial: Elizabeth Bortz is a salaried employee of the Prentke Romich Company.

Nonfinancial: Elizabeth Bortz is an employee-owner of the Prentke Romich Company, holds the Certificate of Clinical Competence in Speech-Language Pathology from ASHA, a state license in Speech-Language Pathology from the State of Maryland, holds memberships with the Maryland Assistive Technology Network (MATN), and is a member of ASHA’s Special Interest Division 12 (AAC Division).



Instructional Level


Content Area


Submission Deadlines

Live online classes:  Participants wanting ASHA CEUs must be registered, "join" the class through his/her unique confirmation email letter, participate for the entire duration of the class, and pass a post-test with 80% accuracy or higher. No partial credits will be submitted. Participants have 15 days to submit all ASHA paperwork to PRC. ASHA paperwork received after 15 days will not be accepted.

In-person classes:  All ASHA paperwork must be submitted to the presenter by the end of the training day.

ASHA Information

Participants wanting ASHA CEUs for a multiple day training must attend all days. In addition, if there is a registration fee associated with the class and payment is not received, PRC will not submit your request for ASHA CEUs.

An annual ASHA CE Registry fee is required to register ASHA CEUs. ASHA CE Registry fees are paid by the participant directly to the ASHA National Office. The annual ASHA CE Registry fee allows registration of an unlimited number of ASHA CEUs for the calendar year. Contact the ASHA CE staff at 800-498-2071 ext. 8591 for CE Registry fee subscription information:

The Prentke Romich Company (PRC) licenses a patented technology that is in PRC products trademarked as Accent™, PRiO™, NuEye™, and NuPoint™, as well as software Unity®, Essence™, CoreScanner™, UNIDAD™, LAMP Words for Life™, and our Language Acquisition through Motor Planning™ (LAMP) approach. PRC also has registered two websites, Realize Language™ and AAC Language Lab™. Because there are no other like-kind products available, course offerings will only cover information that pertains to the effective and safe use of the above-named products.

This presentation will focus exclusively on Accent, PRiO, NuEye, NuPoint, Unity, CoreScanner, Essence, UNIDAD, LAMP Words for Life, Realize Language, or AAC Language Lab and will not include information regarding other similar or related augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) devices or software.

Most of our presenters are salaried, employee-owners of the Prentke Romich Company. A few of our presenters are contracted presenters.


This course is offered for 0.5 ASHA CEUs (Introductory level, Professional area).

GotoTraining System Requirements

To test your connection from a computer or mobile device before your training:

  • Click on this link,  This is a TEST ONLY.
  • You will see a dialogue box says "GoToMeeting - CONNECTION TEST ONLY."  If you get this dialogue box you will be able to successfully access the class on the date of your class.
  • Close the dialogue box.

To join the actual class, click on the "JOIN" button in your confirmation email on the specific date of your class.

For PC-Based Organizers and Attendees

  • Required: Windows® 7, Vista, XP, 2003 Server or 2000 (Linux is not supported)
  • Required: Internet Explorer® 7.0 or newer, or Mozilla® Firefox® 3.0 or newer, or Google™ Chrome™ 5.0 or newer (JavaScript™ and Java™ enabled). If needed, download Java here.
  • Recommended: Minimum of Pentium® class 1GHz CPU with 512 MB of RAM (2 GB of RAM for Windows Vista)

For Mac-Based Organizers and Attendees

  • Required: Mac OS® X 10.4.11 (Tiger®), OS X 10.5 (Leopard®), OS X 10.6 (Snow Leopard®)
  • Required: Safari™ 3.0 or newer, or Firefox 3.0 or newer; Chrome™ 5.0 or newer (JavaScript and Java enabled)
  • Required: PowerPC G4/G5 or Intel processor, 512 MB of RAM or better recommended

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