ATANZ October Newsletter 2019

Newsletter 17 January 2021
Hello Visitor,

For more info from the world of assistive technology read on. 

Message from the Chair 

Kia ora everyone
We have just finished the final Project Core webinar and would love to hear about how you are implementing this information in New Zealand.  Please use our ATANZ Facebook page to comment or share photos.
We have further exciting exciting PD opportunities coming up in 2020. Please be aware that we have only advertised the Literacy Intensive within NZ up until now in order to enable as many Kiwis to attend, but on 17 November we will start advertising to Australia as well. We are expecting many registrations, so please get your registrations in as soon as possible to secure your seat.
ATANZ are also providing two scholarships to ATANZ members for the Literacy Intensive, please keep reading to find out more.
This will be my final newsletter as Chairperson as I will be stepping down next week at our AGM. We are still taking nominations for the Board of Trustees, so 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 me if you'd like to know more about what being a trustee entails. 
Best Regards
Magnus Hammarsal
ATANZ Chairperson


The AGM is coming up on Thursday 7 November 2019 at 3.30pm and this will be hosted via Zoom and the link will be emailed to members separately.  Magnus and Justine will need to step down as they have served 6 faithful years, so we are taking nominations for new trustees prior to the AGM.

Professional Development Opportunities 

ATANZ are planning further webinars and events for 2020, so keep in touch to register for these! 

Literacy For All

There are currently 31 spaces available for this course, so if you are interested, please register as soon as possible. We have only advertised within New Zealand to support Kiwis to attend but from 17 November, we will start advertising in Australia and we anticipate an influx of registrations, so get in quick!
Date: Monday 20 to Friday 24 April 2020

Time: Monday-Thursday 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 $250 deposit will be taken when you register and the balance will be due 2 months 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.

Smartbox PD Event

We are negotiating a half day course, possibly in Auckland and Christchurch, with SmartBox therapists (makers of the Grid apps and GridPad devices).  This will be around March 2020.  Like our Facebook page and ensure your ATANZ membership is up to date in order to receive news about this in the near future.

PODD Workshop and Movement for Communication Workshop

We are also in negotiations to run a PODD 2 Day Introductory Course and one 1 day Advanced Workshop, as well as a Movement for Communication Workshop with the therapists from CPEC in Melbourne. We hope this will be some time in 2020, so stayed tuned for more info.

Sarah Wallace – AAC for Adults with Neurogenic Communication Disorders Webinar

Some of you will remember Sarah Wallace who presented to us in 2017. She is now back in the USA but we are hoping to organize a webinar series with her on the latest updates, research and clinical recommendations for implementing AAC with Neurogenic Communication Disorders (aphasia mainly). Check the ATANZ website and Facebook page for information as it comes up.

Project Core Feedback

We’d love to hear your feedback from the webinar series that Lori presented to us.  Please fill in this short survey, so that we can continue bringing great PD to New Zealand.
We’d also love to hear how you are implementing the strategies and recommendations Lori discussed.  We have started a thread on our ATANZ Facebook page and would love you to comment and post photos.

Loan equipment

ATANZ have funded more iPads for the trial pool, however these have not yet been purchased due to the delay in availability of cases for the new generation iPads.

ATANZ Literacy Intensive Grant

ATANZ is providing two funding grants to members seeking to develop their professional knowledge around literacy who are attending the Literacy Intensive.
Closing date: 1 March 2020 
Partial Fees Grant Value: $500
Travel Grant Value $500 (for those who live outside of Auckland)
To apply for the 2020 funding grants please see here:
For an editable Word copy of the grant document, please email a request to

AAC Assessment Recommendations  

AAC Profile: We have recently been asked if ATANZ could purchase the AAC Profile assessment to loan to ATANZ members.  This is unfortunately not possible due to copy write requirements however, we’d definitely recommend purchasing the AAC Profile.  We couldn’t find an NZ supplier at the moment but it is around $120 USD from overseas websites, so it is not a very expensive assessment for purchase.

Communication Matrix: Another assessment that we’d highly recommend is the Communication Matrix.  Lori talked about this in her Project Core webinar series and many of the ATANZ board members use this assessment.  It is a FREE online assessment and is very sensitive to small learning achievements, so it is great for tracking the progress of our very emergent learners regardless of their age.

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. We have received grant applications and will contact the applicants with news of their success towards the end of November.
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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