ATANZ Newsletter February 2020

Newsletter 17 January 2021
Kia Ora Visitor,

Welcome back! We hope you enjoy the first ATANZ Newsletter for 2020. We love keeping you up to date with events and happenings in the world of Assistive Technology. 

Meet the Board

Warm welcome to all the 2020 ATANZ Board Members! Each month we will highlight 1 of our 7 board members. You can see the full list on our website anytime

Jessamy Bell


ATANZ welcomed Jessamy Bell as Chairperson during the 2019 AGM, replacing Magnus Hammarsal. Read on to hear about what she brings to the ATANZ team: "I am a Speech Language Therapist. I was born in Zimbabwe and moved to New Zealand in 2001. I graduated from Massey University and worked at Wilson School in Auckland before moving to TalkLink Trust in 2013 and now live in Papamoa, Bay of Plenty. I have been extremely interested in Alternative and Augmentative Communication (AAC) and assistive technology since my final student placement at Wairau Valley Special School and then through working at Wilson School. This interest spurred me on to complete a Post Graduate Certificate in Emergent Literacy for Children with Complex Communication Needs who use AAC to communicate. I then completed my Masters of Speech Language Therapy in 2018 focusing on the perceptions and experiences of children who use AAC and attend an AAC focused camp with their families. I joined the ANTAZ BOT in August 2015 and became Chairperson in 2019. I am excited to be a part of ATANZ at this dynamic time, where technology is changing so quickly. I am also excited about the growing number of therapists becoming CAT Level 1 accredited and how ATANZ can support these therapists through supervision and offering professional development opportunities."

ATANZ Research and Professional Development Grants

Reminder ATANZ Funding Grant Literacy Intensive applications close March 1st!
If travel or registration costs have been holding you back from this incredible immersive opportunity apply today. You've got to be in it to win it!

2019 Grant recipient Helen Brunner received an ATANZ PD Grant to attend a LAMP workshop. 
Congratulations Helen!

Keep an eye out for the next issue where we update you on another ATANZ Grant recipient!

Professional Development Coming Up

ATANZ are always planning new webinars and events, so keep in touch and register in 2020.

April 20-24 Auckland  The Literacy For All Intensive Course

Sally Clendon and Jane Farrall will lead you on 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.
This 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.
To journey with these ladies, with only a few spaces leftsign up here and don't miss out!

Please remember to log into the ATANZ website if you are a member in order to access the ATANZ member discount. If you are a parent, please email to register with the parent/caregiver price. 

 Smartbox 2020 Auckland 20.03 and Christchurch 17.03

Smartbox "helping you to communicate and live a more independent life". 
Kerry and Nick from Smartbox will be in New Zealand in March!

Bring your own iPad or Windows laptop with the trial version downloaded and installed. Or email to book one of the 20 netbooks with Grid 3 pre-loaded.

Session outline: How to use Grid 3 and Grid for iPad with a wide range of AAC learners
• Learn about Core vocabulary – what is core and why does it benefit AAC learners
• Get an introduction to the Simple AAC framework – a tool you can use to support learners developing their AAC and Introduction to Look to Read
• Explore vocabularies available in Grid 3 and Grid for iPad including Super Core, PODD, Word Power and Text Talker and then spend time exploring Grid
• Learn how to use the find word tool
• See examples of classroom resources created in Grid



Equipment for CAT-1 Assessors

A reminder 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 MoH re-issued equipment and Talklink equipment.
See the 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 

Keep in Contact

Join in the conversation! ATANZ keeps you up to date across multiple platforms and this year we want to hear from you - whether you have success stories to share, questions, comments, feedback, feed forward or new ideas - LET US KNOW and let your voices be heard. 

And as always you can email us at


Until Next Time ...

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