ATANZ Newsletter June 2020

Newsletter 13 June 2020
Hello Visitor,

It's nice to be in contact! A lot has happened in 2020 since our previous Newsletter and we hope you and your families have kept safe and well. It is encouraging to be in Alert Level 1, well done NZ!


Message from the Chair

Kia ora.
JessamyWe should have just finished the Literacy for All course, however instead we have all been attempting to work from home and find new ways of delivering assistive technology services. Please keep checking the ATANZ website and social media pages to keep up to date. 

First of all, I want to say a big thank you to everyone for your patience and understanding when we had to cancel the Smartbox (very last minute!) and then Literacy courses. Our Treasurer, Melanie Amm, has been completing refunds for these events.  We have not had full name and bank account details from everyone yet, so please email as soon as possible for your refund to be processed. 
Future PD: 
We are in discussions with Sally and Jane regarding new dates for the Literacy for All course and will advertise these on our website as soon as they are confirmed.  Those who were already registered for this course will have first option to register and then it will be open to registration for everyone. 
We were already in discussion with several presenters around running webinars such as voice banking, AAC for adults in residential services, AAC and aphasia, etc. Webinars are likely to be the best method of delivering PD at the moment, so we will advertise these PD sessions as soon as they are confirmed. 
Read on for the introduction of our new supervision section on the website! This has been slightly delayed due to the current circumstances. 
Due to the postponement of the ISAAC Conference and Literacy for All events, we will also postpone awarding these grants.  Grant applications will be kept on file and these can be resubmitted in the future when these events go ahead. The annual $500 PD grant and $1,000 research grant are still available as normal – submissions will close 1 November 2020
Please remember to log into your profile on the ATANZ website (top right side of the webpage) before you try to ‘Renew’ your membership. 
Take care everyone! 
Ngā manaakitanga, 
Jessamy Bell 
ATANZ Chairperson

Meet the Board

Last Newsletter we introduced our elected Chairperson Jessamy Bell. Check out Jessamy's video on our Facebook Page!

You can see the full list of Board Members on our website at any time.
Please give a warm welcome to our next Board Member


I have worked as an SLT with children with special needs at special schools, rehab centres and in early intervention since 1992 in The Netherlands and since 2004 in New Zealand. I have worked at the Kidz First Child Development Team and Parkside School following many years at Carlson School for Children with Cerebral Palsy. Currently I work at Maitai Special School in Nelson. In my spare time I have done a fair bit of volunteer work overseas as an SLT. I also support other SLTs with supervision.

Given that I have worked with children with significant communication needs I have always enjoyed the challenge of supporting them with Augmentative and Alternative Communication. I feel that communication is a basic need for any person to connect with others and to express themselves. I have been CAT 2 accredited for several years and am enthusiastic about the new developments within technology that are more flexible, socially acceptable and allow many more communicators to express themselves. I joined the ATANZ BOT to give therapists in the AAC community, such as OT’s and SLT’s at special schools, in Early Intervention and in private practice a voice.


June is MND Awareness Month. 
New Zealand has a very high rate of MND relative to the rest of the world. There is no cure to date, however assistive technology plays a vital role in ensuring that people can communicate even if speech or typing becomes difficult.

We have been sharing resources which can be helpful when working with people with progressive neurological conditions such as MND. If you missed it, check out this webinar on message/phrase banking, voice banking and video legacies. 

MND New Zealand is highlighting stories all month. Follow the link to check them out and all the great work they do


We have updated our supervision guidelines and information on our website READ MORE If you would like to be added to our list of people who offer supervision in our area of practice, please let us know by emailing

CAT/AAC Supervision

ATANZ is committed to ensuring quality supervision is available for all those with Communication Assistive Technology (CAT) accreditation. ATANZ feels best practice for supervision in this credentialed field is receiving supervision from Supervisors who meet the following requirements: 
1. Have CAT level 1 or 2 registration,
2. have at least 3 years experience in this field, and;
3. have completed a minimum of five applications over 3 years,
4. are endorsed by ATANZ.

CAT Supervision is separate from MOH requirements to have a report reviewed by Talklink as part of the application process for tablet devices.

ATANZ recommends CAT Supervision as required, typically 3-4 times a year. It is strongly recommended that places of employment support this essential aspect of clinical practice. 

Equipment Repairs/Replacement

pictureIf any of your client's assistive technology didn't survive lockdown, remember that if you did the original CAT-1 assessment, you can organise a like for like replacement yourselves.


  1. Have the equipment checked by tech support (TalkLink can do this for you) that a repair isn't economically viable
  2. Organise quotes and complete appropriate form
  3. Submit your like for like request online to Enable or Accessable 
  4. Organise to have the equipment sent to TalkLink for asset labels, reinstalling communication apps (if needed), putting on the case, etc.

Keep in Contact

Join the conversation! ATANZ keeps you up to date across multiple platforms and 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. 

Next Board Meeting: Monday 15th June 2020


And as always you can email us at 

Powered by AcyMailing