Webinar Series

ISAAC Canada is proud to offer these free webinars presented by Canadians. Enjoy!


Tabletop Games to Build Social and Communication Skills

Date: Tuesday, April 16th, 2024 at 7:00 PM (Eastern time)

Presenter: Darla Burrow

Tabletop roleplaying games (RPGs) are experiencing something of a renaissance in terms of their therapeutic value. At their core, RPGs are shared storytelling experiences which use rules and specific roles to moderate the narrative. These games offer safe, controlled environments for players to socialize and explore fantastic scenarios in. There is no risk to the players if their character says or does something wrong, which allows them to experiment with their actions.

Each player generally takes on the role of a single character, who they design, and takes part in a story run either by another player (often called a game master, or GM) or by the group in cooperation (generally referred to as GM-less games). Actions happen both by description and by using the game’s rules, often involving rolling dice, but sometimes with other randomizers such as playing cards, or without any randomness at all. This allows for characters to take actions that their players might not be capable of, which can be incredibly empowering for players.

I will be highlighting both the value of these games as tools to help other AAC users build communication and social skills, as well as how to facilitate, assist, and set up AAC using players for success. This will also include discussion of a number of games to look at and ways in which they can best be set up to ensure involvement by AAC users at all levels. Solutions and strategies will be discussed for different AAC setups, as well as providing concrete examples for how to do so.

Presenter Bio: Darla Burrow (she/her) is a nonspeaking autistic writer and librarian from Ottawa, Ontario. She is the eLearning Administrator for The Ottawa Hospital and a vice president with ISAAC Canada. She has a Masters in Library Science from the University of Toronto, and is the author of the tabletop roleplaying game “Dear Great Cthulhu, PLEASE Stop Giving Me Superpowers”, which explores queer and disabled identity through the lens of cosmic horror.

Registration: Click to register for webinar


Many of the following archived videos are available to ISAAC Members only. You are invited to join ISAAC Canada. Membership has its rewards!

Non-Insured Health Benefit Coverage for AAC

Presenter: Denise Dupont

Webinar Description: A PowerPoint presentation of the type of coverage that Non-Insured Health Benefits (NIHB) provides for AAC equipment and supplies, which will describe the items covered, who is eligible, and the application process to the Program.

Video and Resources (to be located)

Communication Access to Justice

Presenter: Caitlin Buchel, RSLP (C)

Webinar Description: Individuals with speech, language and/or communication disabilities have a right to equality under Canadian law. There are, however, many barriers in place that can make accessing justice almost impossible for people with communication disabilities. Communication Intermediaries (CIs) are registered speech language pathologists (SLPs), trained to facilitate two-way communication between individuals with communication disabilities and justice professionals. Like language translators, CIs act as neutral officers of the court. They provide the accommodations needed for individuals with communication disabilities to have equitable access to legal, police, corrections, and justice services in Canada. CI’s are trained to work within the Canadian justice system to ensure that the necessary communication supports are in place, without negatively impacting the impartiality of the justice process. Unfortunately, knowledge about CIs and their role in accommodating communication disabilities in the justice system is still limited. This webinar will provide you with information about the role of the CI, how CIs work, and information about how to access a CI if you or another individual with a communication disability needs one.

Video and Resources. *Free access

A Call to Action for Canada’s AAC Community

Presenters:  Barbara Collier, Glenda Watson Hyatt, Colin Phillips

The federal government’s mantra for the roll out of the Accessible Canada Act is “Nothing about us without us”. Yet people who use AAC, family members, and clinicians are often missing in discussions about accessibility laws that could significantly improve their access to essential community services such as healthcare, justice, safety and financial services.

At this time, accessibility laws and guidelines are being developed as part of the rollout of provincial, territorial accessibility and human rights legislation, as well as the federal Accessible Canada Act and the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. Input from the disability community is at the core of the development of all of these laws. No input means that the needs of people who use AAC will not be reflected in these laws. It is imperative that the AAC community is engaged in the process.

In this webinar, Barbara describes how accessibility laws and guidelines have the potential to increase access to essential services for people who use AAC. She shares a “Call to Action” that has been delivered to the federal government about the need to include input from people who use AAC, their allies, and clinicians and share a number of CDAC online resources that people can use to educate others about communication access for people who use AAC.

Glenda gives an update on the Accessible British Columbia Act (ABCA) which does not include communication in the definition of disability and provides suggestions on how people can use social media to increase awareness.

Colin describes his experiences on providing input to the Parliamentary Precinct Committee on Accessibility.

Video and Resources *Free access

Stories of Practice & Support During COVID

Presenters: Anne-Marie Yaworski, Braille & Literacy Specialist, Montreal, PQ
Dr. Karen Pollock, Professor, Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders, University of Alberta, Edmonton, AB
Krista Wennerstrom, SLP, Edmonton, AB

This webinar presents an opportunity to hear from five Canadian professionals who have, like all of us, been dealing with how to support children and youth with complex communication needs and their families in the time of COVID. The presenters will share their stories including what they have been doing that is different since COVID, what successes they have achieved, what challenges they have encountered, and what they will continue to do whether COVID exists in the world or no.

Video and Resources *Member ID and password required

Thinking INSIDE the Box: Gaming and AAC

Presenter: Shaun Pearson, M.Sc.A, R.SLP, S-LP(C)

Bored during COVID? Want a fun and interactive way to stimulate AAC language? Try thinking INSIDE the box with board (and social games)! Gaming can be an extremely powerful motivator. It allows us to socially interact, problem solve, and most importantly, have fun. During this discussion, we will learn how to use games to elicit language opportunities for complex communicators, using both physical and digitally adapted games. Links, resources, and tips will be provided during the webinar. The conversation throughout will be very open-ended as we discuss how attendees use games, either themselves or with AAC users, in their everyday lives. Shaun Pearson is a Registered Speech-Language Pathologist, currently residing in Calgary, Alberta. He is passionate about helping his clients of all ages improve their communication skills. Shaun obtained his Masters degree in Communication Sciences and Disorders from McGill University. He has since demonstrated a devotion to ongoing professional development, by attending a variety of conferences and workshops on a regular basis. A fun, energetic, and dedicated clinician, Shaun provides online and in-person speech-language therapy services to children and adults. Shaun is also enthusiastic about providing consultation and training on a range of topics, particularly those related to AAC.

Video and Resources *Free access

Summertime & the AAC Learning is EASY!

Presenter: Kathy Howery, PhD

Summer is here and we are still social distancing, which means no face-to-face AAC professional learning, at least for the foreseeable future. But fear not fellow AACers, we have a long list of wonderful webinars that were sponsored by the Alberta Provincial Low Incidence Team that we want to alert you to and tell you a little about.

Your host for the webinar, Dr. Kathy Howery, will walk briefly you through each session and highlight WHY you should consider spending your time watching each one. They range from the inspiring and a little theoretical presentations of Dr. Stephen von Tetzchner from Norway, to the practical tips and tricks of Dr. Gretchen Hanser, to the very rare archived webinars of Linda Burkhart.

Video and Resources *Member ID and password required