Stories of Ourselves – Full-Day Workshop by Deanna Wagner

Stories of Ourselves – Full-Day Workshop by Deanna Wagner

10/05/2019 @ 9:00 am - 5:00 pm - This workshop will teach us how to use personal stories to engage communicators who are still developing language and literacy skills.
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Date(s) - 10/05/2019
9:00 am - 5:00 pm

Enabling Village

Join our guest speaker, Deanna Wagner, Language and Literacy AACtivist, and pledge to help the International Literacy Association advocate for the rights of all children to raise awareness of the importance of high-quality literacy instruction around the world (

Our most challenged students, those who are not independent communicators or demonstrating conventional literacy, are referred to as “emerging communicators” with “emergent literacy” needs for instruction.  When we advocate for literacy instruction and presume potential to learn, the responsibility is ours to design appropriate learning environments. This is true regardless of the level of disability.

This workshop will use personal stories as the key to engaging communicators who are still developing language and literacy skills.  Sharing personal stories with somebody else goes beyond reading/listening to include social engagement and audience participation.

Using personal photos and personalized multi-media presentations as the context, we can encourage and shape communicative functions of commenting, describing, and labeling in addition to information transfer.  Creating and sharing a personal story can involve manipulating multiple elements including words/text, pictures/symbols, and visual/auditory content.

This workshop will give ideas and strategies for including students with CCN (Complex Communication Needs), SSPI (Severe Speech and Physical Impairments) as well as those with CVI (Cortical Visual Impairment).

Participants will have opportunities for hands-on activities and collaborative sharing of experiences and ideas.  Focus will be on ways to engage students in conversations around personal photos/videos using gestural/non-symbolic communication as well as accessing/using words on a robust AAC system for writing and sharing personal stories.


  • Participants will discuss at least 3 elements of meaningful goals and activities that address critical learning opportunities for emerging communicators as they participate in story listening/telling at school or home.
  • Participants will describe at least 3 idiosyncratic or non-symbolic behaviors that can be used when co-constructing a personal story or narrative.
  • Participants will be able to describe at least 3 components of personally meaningful shared writing activities for emergent communicators.
  • Participants will explain at least 3 reasons for sharing personal stories with an authentic audience.


Speaker Bio:
Deanna K. Wagner, MS/CCC-SLP, is a speech-language pathologist with 30 years of experience providing team-based evaluations, consultations and training in the area of assistive technology with an emphasis on augmentative communication.  She works collaboratively with therapists, educators and families to achieve goals in the area of AAC selection and implementation. She has presented at local, national, and international conferences.  Topics include: story sharing, AAC in the community, supporting AAC mentors, emergent reading/writing, bilingual English/Spanish AAC interventions, and addressing needs of students with CVI.

Book your seat now with the form below to avoid disappointment!

Light refreshments will be provided, so please reach out to  to let us know your dietary requirements!



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