ATANZ Newsletter September 2020

Newsletter 04 December 2020
Hello Visitor,

Spring is here in so many areas around the country and we are excited to have brought you a stunner line up of professional development events this quarter for both adults and paediatrics. These events were quick to fill up and there are few places left.

We learnt about strategies when working with people with Aphasia from Dr Sarah Wallace. Read on for more.

image shared from


September Events

A WEBINAR SERIES 12-1.30pm September 15th and 29th
What a cracker first session we had with Dr Sarah Wallace!
If you're working with adults with communication challenges related to stroke or brain injury, this is the webinar series to join.
We are recording the live webinars and are very much looking forward to Session 2 on Tuesday 29th September. In future we are looking to make these recordings available for those who register on the website, so keep an eye out if you missed out this time!


Session 1: Introduction September 15th 2020
This presentation focused primarily on the inclusion of augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) strategies in comprehension intervention programs for people with aphasia and people with traumatic brain injury. Low and high technology strategies were covered, with integration of recent research findings. AAC was discussed broadly as a way of including supports for comprehension and expression.

Session 2: Advanced September 29th 2020
This presentation will focus primarily on aphasia friendly technology for reading (high tech and no tech), compensatory strategies, modifying health materials. This is new information and research since Sarah last presented in NZ in 2017.



Webinar presented by SLT Brynlea Collin Stone on September 22nd. 

This webinar showcased the findings of Brynlea’s Masters research into a Māori perspective of AAC (Augmentative and Alternative Communication). The research asked, what would AAC be like if it truly represented te reo Maori? And how do we go about creating these tools?

Have you checked out the pre-webinar online conversation on Facebook?

If you are interested in watching the recording let us know. We will be adding an option to our events page to register and receive a link to this inspiring presentation and conversation. We'll be announcing details in the months to come.

All proceeds will be used for grants to support future work in this area.  

This is only the start of a much wider kōrero that is needed to support human rights and equity around access to language and communication.


2020 PODD workshops in Auckland and Christchurch
Presented by Speech Language Therapists Gayle Porter & Helen Bayldon

What an exciting and one of a kind opportunity! Did you know ATANZ is the only organisation hosting PODD workshops this year? Our Auckland workshops have sold out. The Christchurch workshops still have a few available spaces! To register, please visit our website

PODD Introductory Workshop 
Auckland: September 28 & 29 (sold out)
Christchurch: October 5 & 6

PODD Alternative Access Workshop
Auckland: September 30 (sold out)
Christchurch: October 7

SLT Awareness Week 7-13th September 2020

“Get Connected, Be Connected, Stay Connected”

Earlier this month we celebrated the New Zealand Speech Language Therapy Awareness week. Many of us who work in assistive technology are SLTs or work alongside them.
We'd love to hear how you celebrated SLT Awareness Week this year. Send us a photo, video or short blurb to share!


Reflections from Dr Jo Watson's webinar on
Supporting Informal Communicators

This winter, over 95 people registered for our online webinar supporting communicators with intellectual disabilities with Dr Jo Watson from Deakin University.

Dr Watson highlighted innovative ways to support people who are informal communicators and think about communication in deeper and broader ways.

She reminded us of various tools including checklists (e.g., sensory profiles, motivational assessments, etc.) and concepts (e.g., Today/Tomorrow systems, communication continuum, etc). She also shared her preferences analysis tool and her happiness scale.

Dr Watson introduced some of her research and models, including her 2016 model on the role of supporters.

Specifically, the 3 key responsibilities of all of us when interacting with informal communicators:

(1) acknowledging a person’s expression of will and preference
(2) interpreting the expression and
(3) acting on that interpretation.

All three should be done in collaboration. She highlighted that these group discussions, often around video observations, coupled with documentation can be considered an essential form of AAC.

All participants should have received a link to the webinar videos by email by now. If you registered as a group, please contact the person who organised the registration for the link. Email us at if you still need the link.


pictureEquipment purchased now available in loan pool!

ATANZ has purchased new equipment for our loan pool in response to demand.

The equipment list is available HERE

Thank you to TalkLink who manages this resource on behalf of ATANZ. All ATANZ members can request equipment for trials.

Repairs or like-for-like replacement process: 

Submit the necessary Accessable or Enable repair paperwork. Then, fill in this form, send a copy of the quote and replacement form to so that when the equipment arrives at TalkLink it can be setup correctly. The equipment will then be sent to the CAT assessor to be delivered to the client. 



We continue to build our supervision database. Please consider submitting an application to be a supervisor with AAC or AT expertise, if you meet the following criteria:

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

​For more information, head over to the ATANZ website HERE

In the Know

Living with Aphasia

Dr Sarah Wallace introduced us to a framework helpful when working with adults with Aphasia.

Known as the "Living with Aphasia: Framework for Outcome Measurement" or A-FROM in short. With a nod to the ICF, the A-FROM is a guideline for thinking about the outcomes of various interventions.


Can you see the reflection of Te Whare Tapa Wha one of the Maori health models we use in NZ? A holistic way of looking at the whole person when exploring individual need.

Read more about the A-FROM in action at the Aphasia Institute HERE


15 Must Listen to Speech Therapy Podcasts

There is so much information to be tapped into on the world wide web, it can be overwhelming knowing where to start.
Here are some of our favourite podcasts and blogs to connect with:
  • Talking with Tech AAC Podcast Join speech-language pathologists (SLPs) Rachel and Chris as they answer your questions, discuss relevant research, and give you updates on the latest and greatest developments in the field of AAC!
  • AT TIPS Cast Assistive Technology Tools In Public Schools is a podcast about using technology to help students meet their educational goals.
  • PrAACtical AAC if you haven't heard of this blog this is your lucky day! From therapy resources to handouts for parents on AAC mythbusters to videos and free webinars. Check out one of their videos of the week on "AAC tele therapy activities & tips"
  • Swallow Your Pride This one can't be kept off the list - a fantastic podcast with up to date research discussions and a community of therapists striving to know better and do better in the world of dysphagia. Check out episode 151 "AAC in Dysphagia Therapy".

Keep in Contact

ATANZ keeps you up to date across multiple platforms and we want to hear from you. If you have success stories to share, questions, comments, feedback, feed forward or new ideas, get in contact. 


Monday October 19th 4.30pm
Join Zoom Meeting HERE
Meeting ID: 870 3785 0906

Next Board Meeting: Monday October 12th 2020
or email us at 
Powered by AcyMailing