Professional Development and Parent Education Opportunities
In addition to Open Labs - Access Fairs, The Bridge School provides ongoing opportunities for continuing education for professionals and parents in a variety of formats. The content and process of continuing educational activities is responsive to the needs and preferences of our students, staff and families.
Our staff participates in local, regional, state, national, and international conferences that address issues relevant to the education of Bridge School students. Some of these conferences include:
- AAC by the Bay - The Bridge School biennial conference held in San Francisco, CA
- USSAAC, the United States Society for Augmentative and Alternative Communication
- ATIA Conference - Assistive Technology Industry Association annual conference held in Chicago, Illinois
- ASHA - American Speech-Language-Hearing Association annual convention
- Closing the Gap - Assistive Technology Resources for Children and Adults with Special Needs annual conference in Minneapolis, MN
- CSHA - California Speech-Language-Hearing Association annual state convention
- CEC - Council for Exceptional Children convention and expo
- CSUN - California State University Northridge's Center on Disabilities' Technology and Persons with Disabilities conference
- ISAAC - International Society for Augmentative and Alternative Communication biennial conference
Monthly Director's Tea
Each month The Bridge School hosts a "Director's Tea" to provide regular opportunities for family members to meet with our staff, consultants, or invited speakers about specific topics of immediate or future relevance to their child. A wide range of topics have included independent mobility for discovery, supportive interaction strategies, communication strategies to support peer interactions and social skill development outside of the school setting, communication and language assessment, ideas for holiday gifts, toys and software, and creative access strategies.
Bridge School invites experts from relevant fields to provide consultation and training for our staff and families. Our consultants have specialized knowledge and expertise in areas such as augmentative and alternative communication, adaptive seating and positioning, independent mobility, technology access, adaptive play, language and literacy development, and cortical visual impairment. Consultants work alongside our staff and students and also lead focused group discussions with our staff and families.
This school year, our invited consultants include David P. Wilkins, Ph.D. and Caroline Musselwhite, Ph.D. David is working together with our staff in the development of an observational tool intended to help teachers identify and address issues of attention and attention management with students who use AAC. This year Caroline is addressing communication strategies during adaptive play routines, social skill development, and communication strategies when optimal positioning is not possible.
Bridge School Interaction Training Series
As with all children, students at Bridge School learn communication, language, and literacy skills in the context of daily interactions. However, given their complex communication needs and intensive physical and learning needs, all interactions with our students must be adapted and intensified to maximize communication and learning. Our Interaction Training Series has focused on providing foundational information necessary for observation, assessment, and interpretation of communicative interactions that occur in Bridge School classrooms during instructional and social activities.