Supporting Communicative Competence Professional Learning Series: 2023-24

2023 Dates: September 21, October 5, November 16
2024 Dates: January 18, February 22, March 21, April 18
Presenter: Jacqueline Kearns, EdD & Judy Page, PhD, CCC-SLP
Location: Virtual
No Cost
1 Contact Hour

Click here to access the event flyer and registration link.


Contact Jodi Dowell, TVI, Research Associate, OCDBE, at

Series description: Developing communicative competence for children with combined hearing-vision loss, sensory impairment, and/or multiple disabilities can be challenging. The Supporting Communicative Competence Professional Learning Series includes seven one-hour virtual sessions focused on core and fringe vocabulary, considering the needs of children with visual and hearing impairment, using core as part of the curriculum, developing peer supports, fostering communication partner strategies and social networks, and preparing students with complex communication needs for transition, and more. Special and general preschool and school-age educators, related services personnel (e.g., speech language pathologists), paraprofessionals, administrators, parents, and others are invited to attend. One (1) contact hour will be provided for each session attended upon completion of the session evaluation. See the learning objectives for each of the seven sessions and register for one or more sessions today!

Primary presenters:
Jacqueline Kearns, EdD – Dr. Kearns directs Communication Projects at the Human Development Institute at the University of Kentucky. With expertise in serving students with severe and multiple disabilities, she supports professional learning for educators in the areas of communication, inclusive education, and assessment and accountability. She holds an adjunct faculty appointment in Communication Sciences and Disorders and teaches for SPEAC OUT – an inter-professional personnel-preparation project for teachers and Speech Language Pathologists.

Judy Page, PhD, CCC-SLP – Dr. Page is a Professor in Communication Sciences and Disorders, College of Health Sciences, at the University of Kentucky. She serves as recent past president of the American Speech and Hearing Association (ASHA). Her primary areas of interest are communication intervention strategies for persons with severe disabilities and augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) systems. Other research interests include early intervention, early literacy development, and interprofessional education and practice. She is a Fellow of the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association, a Fellow of the National Academies of Practice, a recipient of the Honors of the Kentucky Speech-Language-Hearing Association, and a past nominee for the American Speech-Language-Hearing Foundation’s DiCarlo Award for Outstanding Clinical Achievement.

September 21, 2023

Session 1: Core Revisited

Learning Objectives:

  • Define core and fringe vocabulary
  • Identify key features of core and fringe vocabulary
  • Identify evidence supporting the use of core vocabulary
  • Identify AAC arrangements for core vocabulary
  • Use aided language modeling to teach core vocabulary

Registration link for session 1 »

October 5, 2023

Session 2: Considerations for Children with Visual Impairment

Learning Objectives:

  • Identify key features of tactile core representations
  • Identify strategies for teaching tactile core arrangements
  • Identify strategies for using the tactile core and literacy materials

Registration link for session 2 »

November 16, 2023

Session 3: Using Core as Part of the Curriculum

Learning Objectives:

  • Define features of core word of the week curriculum
  • Identify strategies for using core words in books, music, games, science
  • Outline a lesson for using core words in an academic content area

Registration link for session 3 »

January 18, 2024

Session 4: The Power of Peers

Learning Objectives:

  • Identify strategies for teaching peers to communicate with AAC users
  • Differentiate peer networks and peer support arrangements
  • Identify strategies for implementing peer support arrangements for a student

Registration link for session 4 »

February 5, 2024

Session 5: Communication Partner Strategies and Social Networks

Learning Objectives:

  • Identify the relationship of communication and social networks
  • Identify the roles of communication partners across the social network
  • Identify strategies communication partners can use to support learners with complex communication needs

Registration link for session 5 »

March 21, 2024

Session 6: Preparing Students with Complex Communication Needs for Transition

Learning Objectives:

  • Identify challenges for students with complex communication needs preparing for transition
  • Identify strategies to support communication in preparation for transition
  • Outline a team meeting agenda to support the communication partner’s decision-making and communication

Registration link for session 6 »

April 18, 2024

Session 7: Considerations to Support Hearing in the Classroom

Learning Objectives:

  • Identify challenges for students with hearing impairments and disorders
  • Identify strategies to support hearing and communication in the classroom
  • Identify technology to support hearing in the classroom

Registration link for session 7 »


Apr 18 2024


4:00 pm - 5:00 pm
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Annual OCDBE Parent Retreat


April 26-April 28, 2024


Deer Creek State Park Lodge


Kimberly Christensen


Register by March 15, 2024