Linking Language (AAC) and Movement (Mobility): Supporting Classroom Task Engagement and Activity

HO1-Linking Language

Karen Kangas

We all need to collaborate to create opportunities for our students to learn, to actively participate and engage in activity within their classroom day. This is, frequently, a huge challenge to the teachers and therapists who serve students with complex bodies and who additionally have language, visual, and/or motor processing problems. This workshop will focus on how to bring the teaching of language and the need for movement together in activity for these students, so that language and communication, through the use of AAC and AT can grow. It will include task analysis, teaching core language, and supporting postural control within the context of the classroom and age appropriate activity. This course will be offered for the younger student (preschool–elementary school) and the older student (middle school-high school).

Credits: Act 48, ASHA, Psych, Instructional Hours
Audience: Special Education Teachers; Teachers who work with students who are blind or visually impaired; Teachers who work with students who are Deaf-Blind; Teachers/other professionals who work with students who have sustained traumatic brain injury; Speech therapists; General Education Teachers; Supervisors/ Administrators; Assistive Technology Specialists; Occupational Therapists and/or Physical Therapists; Parents, Guardians, Family Members; Paraprofessionals

Speaker biography: Karen Kangas is currently in private practice, within which she continues to treat both children and adults directly, provides consultation to local school teacher/therapy teams and their students, works with state-wide multi-year projects with students with complex bodies and their teams in the use of AT within the classroom, as well as provides education through clinical workshops. She is currently writing and developing a course study on Seating, Mobility, and Access, as well as completing a book on seating, access, and powered mobility.
She has worked as an OT in pediatrics since 1973 in many and varied settings including the school system, early intervention programs, home health, rehabilitation centers, and long-term care facilities. In 1985 she was invited to develop programs to support inclusion and increased independence through the use of seating and access with assistive technology through the PA Board of Education, Bureau of Special Education, PA’s Assistive Device Center. In 1990 she was invited to initiate an Assistive Technology Assessment Program at Pennsylvania State University’s Hershey Medical Center in Rehabilitation.
She has been actively teaching since 1985 on Seating and Positioning; Sensory Processing and Sensory Integration as it relates to Seating for Function; Alternative Access and Powered Mobility; Assessment and Integration of Assistive Technology all over the USA , as well as in Canada, Sweden, Israel, Ireland, Scotland, the United Kingdom, and New Zealand. She teaches a summer graduate course on Pediatric Seating at Misericordia University in PA.


image of Karen Kangas