ATANZ Newsletter Autumn 2017

ATANZ 2017

Welcome to the ATANZ Newsletter for Autumn 2017. If you are interested in events in the world of Assistive Technology, read on.

Message from the Chair:

Kia Ora ATANZ members.

We have been busy trying to expand the training opportunities available for ATANZ members. Some of these are still ‘in the works’ and are not fully confirmed yet but if you read on you will find the details of what we do have on offer so far this year. In addition to the presentations and workshops listed in this newsletter we are also working on putting together webinars, but details will remain under wraps until we have finalised the logistics of how to offer these.

At ATANZ we frequently discuss training opportunities and training needs but often feel like we are really second guessing what the wants and needs of therapists and other people involved in the assistive technology world are. To help us with this we have put together a quick survey to enable you, the members, to tell what you would like from us. Please click on the link below and have your say!

The number of therapists doing CAT Level 1 assessments and trials are increasing, hence the demand for loan equipment is increasing. ATANZ have recently added equipment to the ATANZ funded loan pool (read on for details) to try to alleviate this but there are still waiting lists for some equipment. ATANZ is working with TalkLink, who administer the equipment, to try to make this process as smooth and fair as possible for CAT accredited therapists.


Magnus Hammarsal ATANZ Chairperson

ATANZ Professional Development Opportunities Survey
Please help us help you! Let us know what sorts of training opportunities you would like to see organised.

Reminder that we have a FaceBook page where you can keep up to date on new changes at ATANZ and upcoming PD events. New-Zealand-176110802441118/


ATANZ Research and Professional Development Grant

The Board of Trustees wish to congratulate Jessamy Bell (TalkLink, Speech Language Therapist) for being awarded the post Graduate Research Grant and Sonja Carpenter (The Champion Centre, Early Intervention, Speech Language Therapist) for being awarded the Professional Development Grant.

To apply for the 2018 funding grants please see here: development-grants/

NEW Equipment in the ATANZ CAT 1 loan pool

We are pleased to announce that we have purchased more equipment this year. We have purchased:

EchoVoice EV6 voice amplifier
12 BigPoints
3 iPad Minis with LifeProof case and strap 1 iPad with LifeProof case and strap LAMP Words for Life app

We have created an OT assessment Kit which contains the following and will be avaliable for trial as a bundle, it is called the “ATANZ OT Assessment Kit”:

HP Probook laptop
Crick box
Buddy button (small)
Buddy button (large)
Jellybean button
Gooseneck mounting with universal plate Big Bang software

Switch Skills 2 software
Switch Skills for Two set 2 software Switch Skills Scanning software

Previously funded equipment:

Little step by steps without levels
Big Step by Step without levels GoTalk 20+

Buddy button

Switch adapted toys Powerlink
Dual switch latch & timer Jellybeamer twist

iPad Mini in Lifeproof Fre case

iPad Air in Lifeproof Nuud case Predictable communication app TouchChat with WordPower communication app

To access the loan equipment please use TalkLink’s CAT support request form, which can be found here:


Professional Development Opportunities

Talking Mats

The course will be limited to 30 participants in each venue. Please register by 20 April. For more please email

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


Professional Development Opportunities


Sarah E. Wallace, PhD CCC-SLP Associate Professor Duquesne University

Explore methods of integrating technology and AAC into provision of clinical services for individuals with neurogenic communication disorders

This presentation will focus primarily on the inclusion of augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) strategies in comprehension intervention programs for people with aphasia and people with traumatic brain injury. Low and high technology strategies will be covered, with integration of recent research findings. AAC will be considered as broadly defined to include supports for comprehension and expression. Additionally, the presentation will review two recent studies examining the use of a computerized, tablet-based cognitive assessment.

Sarah E. Wallace PhD, CCC-SLP is an Associate Professor and Program Director for the Adult Language and Cognition clinic in the Speech-Language Pathology Department at Duquesne University in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Dr. Wallace also directs the Communication and Cognition Lab. Dr. Wallace is a certified speech- language pathologist with clinical experience providing services to individuals with acquired communication disorders.

Dr. Wallace conducts clinical research aimed at improving the quality of life for individuals with communication impairments following traumatic brain injury and aphasia.


Friday 25th August Cost and Venue: TBC

AUCKLAND Presentation

Thursday 31st August Cost and Venue: TBC

Further details regarding these presentations will be published as soon as we have them confirmed.


Professional Development Opportunities

Pragmatic Organisation Dynamic Display (PODD) Two Day Introductory Course 2017

Presented by Gayle Porter


Wednesday 11 and Thursday 12 October 8.30am registration (for 9.00am start) to 4.00pm
Venue: TBC

Pragmatic Organisation Dynamic Display (PODD) Speech Generating Device 2017

Presented by Gayle Porter

AUCKLAND One-Day Workshop

Friday 13 October 2017
8.30am registration (for 9.00am start) to 4.00pm
Venue: TBC

Price: TBC


Wednesday 18 October 2017 8.30am registration (for 9.00am start) to 4.00pm

Price: TBC

Further details regarding these presentations will be published as soon as we have them confirmed


Monday 16 and Tuesday 17 October 8.30am registration (for 9.00am start) to 4.00pm
Venue: TBC


Professional Development Opportunities

ISAAC Australia is very excited to announce that the International Society on Augmentative and Alternative Communication (ISAAC) Biennial Conference will be in Australia for the first time in 2018!

The ISAAC Conference examines communication options and outcomes for individuals with complex communication needs – which includes anyone who doesn’t have enough speech to meet their daily needs. This might include individuals with autism spectrum disorder, cerebral palsy, intellectual disability, stroke, Alzheimers, Motor Neurone Disease, and other developmental and acquired conditions which affect speech and language.

As well as AAC, the conference will have streams on a number of related issues. Practical sessions and the latest research around a range of areas will be presented. This will include a number of sessions by people who use AAC, and sessions on topics such as education, literacy, advocacy and self-advocacy, AAC and apps, AAC design and vocabulary selection, the latest in synthesized speech research and development and cutting edge assistive technology.

In addition to the main conference there will be pre-conference workshops presented by notable international presenters, some great social events and an AAC camp for people who use AAC of all ages!

This is a very exciting event for those in the Asia Pacific and Australasian regions as this is the first time this highly regarded peer reviewed international conference will be coming to our part of the world. ISAAC Australia hopes to see you there and welcomes everyone interested in being part of the international and regional AAC Community.

Preliminary information about the conference is now available at

ISAAC 2018 Conference Co-Convenors are:
Meredith Allan Jane Farrall Kate Anderson Gayle Porter Sally Clendon


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C/- TalkLink Trust,
Po Box 44053 Pt Chevalier,
Auckland 1246