Dear USSAAC member,
The USSAAC Board of Directions is reaching out to its members who reside in states currently being affected by recent/ongoing
flooding. We hope you are doing okay and we are thinking about you, your family and especially those people in your area who may have been affected and rely on AAC tools and technologies to communicate. We are also pointing everyone to resources that we’ve found helpful in response to Hurricanes Harvey, Irma, Maria and the fires in California.
1. www.AACDisasterRelief.recovers.org. This portal is designed to help manage USSAAC’s response in the aftermath of large-scale national disasters. It enables people to request lost AAC tools and equipment, offer to volunteer, and/or donate items/money to support those affected. USSAAC monitors this site daily (e.g., Hurricanes Harvey, Irma, Maria and fires in CA). For now, check out the DOCUMENTS section (left side/home page). It contains downloadable information. For example, see the Social Narratives for children and adults. These can be used in shelters by teachers and therapists, and by siblings and parents.
2. http://www.ussaac.org/emergency-preparedness. This page contains many links to materials and information that relate to preparedness for disasters and emergencies, and is focused on people with communication vulnerabilities.
3. https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=1&v=1wuZGcyt-EY. This link is for a YouTube of an archived USSAAC webinar, AAC 101 for First Responders, which has many helpful tips for helping first responders to better communicate with individuals using AAC.
Led by USSAAC’s AAC Disaster Relief Committee, we aim to support individuals with complex communication needs and their families to:
- Be prepared for emergencies and disasters, and
- Have communication needs met in the immediate aftermath of a large-scale national disaster and throughout the recovery process.
We also focus on training individuals with complex communication needs (CCN) and their families in personal preparedness, provision of (replacement) AAC devices and services after a large scale national disaster, assistance to first responders, and supporting service providers to help people with CCN in preparing for and responding to disasters and emergencies.
Take care. Be safe. Keep in touch.
All the best,
USSAAC’s Board of Directors, AAC Disaster Relief, Membership, and AAC Awareness Committees