ATANZ September Newsletter 2019

Newsletter 17 January 2021
Hello Visitor,

Welcome to the ATANZ Newsletter for September 2019. If you are interested in events in the world of Assistive Technology, read on. 

Message from the Chair 

Kia ora everyone
Spring is bringing warmer weather and it has also brought us aSAP, the new service application platform from Accessable. As can be expected with any major IT project there have been some hiccups but these seem to be in the process of being ironed out. For training videos and more info about the new system go here:
The ATANZ a two part webinar with Lori Geist from Project Core coming up in a few weeks. Please see more details of these training opportunities below. In addition to these a video webinar on Voice Banking and Message Banking with Paula Shennan and Stella Karaman this winter is having some final touches done in editing and will be released soon. The webinars will run on Zoom. We are aware that some members have difficulty accessing Zoom so we tried to stream the Joy Zabala webinars on YouTube with mixed success. Hopefully the technical difficulties will be overcome for the next few webinars. Do try to access Zoom if you can possibly can, as this will give you the opportunity to ask questions and be more interactive during the webinars.
We also have a fantastic Literacy Intensive with Sally Clendon and Jane Farrall in 2020. We have decided to make some changes to how we charge for this event so that participants do not have to pay the whole cost up front, but are able to pay a deposit instead. Have a look at our website event registration for details.
Lastly, spring also brings the ATANZ AGM. This will follow directly after Auckland AAC SIG at Talklink, so you can attend either in person or remotely on Zoom. We will be seeking nominations for the board so if you are interested please get a colleague to nominate you by emailing
Best Regards
Magnus Hammarsal
ATANZ Chairperson


Professional Development Opportunities 

ATANZ are planning further webinars and events for 2019, so keep in touch to register for these! 

 Project Core Webinar 

Wednesday 16 October 2019 & Wednesday 30 October 2019  from 1-2pm

Register and find out more about each session at

Individual price (ATANZ and non-ATANZ members): $25         

Group price (whole school, whole office/team, etc): $50

The Project Core implementation model is aimed at helping teachers, parents and therapists to provide students with complex communication needs with access to a flexible Universal Core vocabulary and evidence-based instruction to teach them to use core vocabulary via personal augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) systems.

Session 1: Classroom-based Core Vocabulary Instruction for Students with Significant Disabilities

Session 2: Embedding Core Vocabulary Instruction into Emergent Literacy Routines

Lori Geist, PhD, CCC-SLP, is an Assistant Professor at the Center for Literacy and Disability Studies in the Department of Allied Health Sciences at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Lori is a certified speech-language pathologist with an emphasis in augmentative communication and assistive technology. She has worked in direct service, consultation, and product development related to AAC, language, and literacy intervention for students with complex communication needs. Lori currently serves as the project director for a research initiative called Project Core.

Literacy For All

Date: Monday 20 to Friday 24 April 2020

Time: Mon-Thur 9am to 4pm, Friday 9am to 3pm

Cost: $1500 ATANZ members $1600 non-ATANZ members $800 parents/caregivers*
Includes morning tea, lunch & tea/coffee each day plus ongoing access to the course website for 12 months
*max of 10 places at parent/caregiver rate
Please note ATANZ membership is $90 and gets you discounts on all of our courses and webinars. 
A non-refundable deposit will be taken when you register and the balance will be due shortly before the course.
Catering: please list your dietary requirements when you register for morning tea, lunch and afternoon tea.

Venue: Harbour View room, Victory Convention Centre, 98 Beaumont St, Freemans Bay, Auckland, NZ

Course registrations now open at:

Presented by Dr Sally Clendon and Jane Farrall

The Literacy For All Intensive Course is a 5-day instructional course that covers theoretical and practical aspects of comprehensive literacy instruction for children and adults with disabilities, including complex communication needs. 

The course covers literacy teaching for both emergent and conventional readers and writers, assessment tools for a range of literacy learners and access to a number of practical resources through the course website.

The course is designed for anyone who wants to support one or more students with disabilities to improve their literacy skills, including teachers, leadership teams, therapists and parents.

Social Media pages to follow  Is a great Facebook page that follows Nathaniel who is an active six year old living with a laryngectomy after a laryngotracheal separation surgery. He uses AAC. Keep current with his adventures and use of AAC. Talking with Tech is an AAC focused podcast that focuses on lots of different topics. Download the 45minute podcast to listen to while you are in the car travelling between clients and learn a lot.

Nominations for Board of Trustees 

The AGM is coming up on Thursday 7 November 2019 at 3.30pm and this will be hosted via Zoom.  Magnus and Justine will need to step down as they have served 6 faithful years, so we will be taking nominations for new trustees from now.  If you are interested or you have colleagues you think would be interested in supporting AT in New Zealand, then please contact us at  Please contact Magnus if you'd like to know more about what being a trustee entails. 

ATANZ Facebook

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

ATANZ Research and Professional Development Grant

ATANZ offers funding grants to members seeking to develop their professional knowledge or conduct research that will benefit those who use assistive technology.
Closing date: the 1st of November each year
Postgraduate Research Scholarship Grant Value: $1000
Professional Development Grant Value $500
To apply for the 2020 funding grants please see here:

Equipment you can borrow as a CAT1 Assessor

ATANZ has purchased equipment for the CAT 1 loan pool. This equipment can be requested from Talklink, who manages the ATANZ equipment, as well as the MoH re-issued equipment and the Talklink equipment.
TalkLink has a referral form to request loans of trial equipment:
The following equipment is available for trial: 
  • EchoVoice EV6 voice amplifier
  • 12 BigPoints
  • several iPad Minis with LifeProof case and strap
  • several iPad with LifeProof case and strap
  • Predictable communication app
  • TouchChat with WordPower communication app 
  • LAMP Words for Life communication app
  • PODD with COMPASS communication app
  • Little Step by Step without levels 
  • Big Step by Step without levels 
  • GoTalk 20+
  • Buddy button
  • Switch adapted toys 
  • Powerlink
  • Dual switch latch & timer 
  • Jellybeamer twist

ATANZ OT Assessment Kit
ATANZ has a “switch assessment kit” for the CAT loan pool. This equipment can be requested for trial by CAT level 1 & 2 assessors to complete an initial assessment of a clients switching ability, identify potential equipment options, and assist in determining the next step for alternative access. 
  • 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 

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