ATANZ Newsletter Winter 2018

ATANZ 2018

Welcome to the ATANZ Newsletter for Winter 2018. 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 told there are around 50 Kiwis around the country getting ready to head over to ISAAC on the Gold Coast, which is great. Some of those are presenting and have had ATANZ assistance in getting there. They will be doing their presentations again in a series of webinars throughout the year. The first of these will be presented by Jessamy Bell and Mke Nince and more will follow. Read on for a list of the ATANZ grant recipients.

I would also like to take this opportunity to thank Catherine Brill for all the work she put into ATANZ over many years. Catherine stepped down as ATANZ treasurer this year after having been in the role right from the beginning. We will be looking for someone to take over this role later this year.

The ATANZ website is now working well taking new, and renewed, memberships. Apologies to all who had to wait for this to get up and running. If you still need to join or renew your membership head over to We will also have registrations for webinars and other events up and running on the website shortly.


Magnus Hammarsal

ATANZ Chairperson


ATANZ Professional Development Grant for ISAAC 2018

Thank you to all of the applicants who applied for this grant.  It was extremely tough to choose the successful applicants as everyone had very strong applications.  The final successful grant recipients are:

Heather Taylor

Michelle Johnson

Shannon Henning

Sarah Pitcher

Paula Shennan

To apply for further 2018 funding grants please click here:



This year’s ATANZ AGM will be on Monday 10th September 2018 @ 3.30pm @ the TalkLink Trust office, Building 51, Entry 3, Unitec, Carrington Road, Mt Albert, Auckland. This will also be available over the web using our Zoom video conferencing facility.


 NEW Equipment in the ATANZ CAT 1 loan pool

We have just purchased a new laptop and microphone for use with ModelTalker for clients wanting to voice bank. This was a need that arose from the ModelTalker PD earlier in the year. We have also purchased a few high quality microphones, for people who can use their own computers. You can request these through the usual form:

Reminder that we have a Facebook page where you can keep up to date on new changes at ATANZ and upcoming PD events.   

ATANZ Facebook Page


Feedback from ModelTalker Webinar

Earlier this year I watched a ModelTalker Webinar, which was run by the awesome TalkLink team in the South Island and Michelle Westley from Canterbury University. This webinar was great as it broke down the process of using ModelTalker, which can seem quite daunting if you haven’t used it before. I have since used ModelTalker with a client of mine and she has successfully created her voice and she is really happy with the results. I found it really useful to look back at the webinar and watch the part on adjusting the computer and microphone settings when I ran into a few technical problems. The webinar was informative and very user friendly. I would highly recommend watching it for others who are interested in voice banking.

Samantha Ivil

Speech Language Therapist

TalkLink Trust Auckland


Equipment in the ATANZ CAT 1 loan pool

The following equipment is avaliable for trial:

EchoVoice EV6 voice amplifier

12 BigPoints

5 iPad Minis with LifeProof case

5 iPad with LifeProof case  

Predictable communication app

TouchChat with WordPower

LAMP Words for Life app

PODD with COMPASS communication app

Little Step by Step

Big Step by Step

GoTalk 20+

Buddy button

Switch adapted toys


Dual switch latch & timer

Jellybeamer twist

We have created an OT assessment Kit which contains the following and will be avaliable for trial as a bundle:

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

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


Professional Development Opportunities


ATANZ ISAAC Webinar series

ATANZ will be presenting a number of webinars, with content from the upcoming ISAAC conference on Australia’s Gold Coast. This starts off with:

Jessamy Bell and Mke Ninces.

They will be presenting both of their ISAAC presentations:

“Kiwichat Camp: Experiences and Perceptions of Children with Complex Communication Needs and their Family-Whanau” which summarised Jessamy’s Masters research project.

“Siblings Camp: A Camp Experience for the Siblings of Children with Complex Communication Needs” which summarises Jenna Land’s research project on providing AAC training to siblings.

1.30pm – 3.00pm, 20 August 2018

Registrations for this webinar will be on the ATANZ website ( shortly.



ATANZ have recently started to experiment with supporting AAC SIGs around the country using our Zoom video conferencing facility. The effectiveness of this varies somewhat depending on the size of the group etc but if you are involved with a SIG and would like to try this out please let us know.

We will be putting the next Auckland AAC SIG out over Zoom. This is on Monday 10th September @ 2.00pm, directly prior to the ATANZ AGM, so those who wish can take part in both remotely.

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