Way back on the 8th January, 2013 – a date I remember because it’s my birthday, along with Stephen Hawking and Kim Jong-un, and the late David Bowie and Elvis – Carole Zangari from the College of Health Care Sciences at Nova Southeastern University in Florida posted her influential and very prAACtical “A Year of Core Vocabulary Words.” Clipped directly from the site itself;
…we created 12 grids of core vocabulary words – one for each month of the year. Each grid has 12 cells labeled with core words. Plug in the AAC symbols that your client uses (e.g., PCS, SymbolStix, Unity, Pixons, etc), print, laminate, and keep them handy.
One of the great things about the “Year for Core” is that it’s a gift that keeps on giving! You can start using it at anytime you like and over a span of 12 months you can teach 144 really useful words regardless of the medium you use. As the author of Unity® 84, I wanted to make sure people who were using Carole’s vocabulary had some supports available, so I created a set of Cheat Sheets, text files that could be imported in a PRC device to use with Vocabulary Builder, and a single document in the “page-per-month” style Carole had original developed with all the symbols, as she suggested, already “plugged in.”
Now here we are in April 2017 and PRC has launched a new Spanish bilingual program called Unidad® in both 36- and 84-key versions. For folks who want to follow the “Year of Core Words” approach, I’ve put together a new set of support materials that you can download and print out. Here’s what the pack includes:
- A Year of Core Words Unidad English 36/84: A PDF manual with each page containing a different month and the icon sequences used for the words to be taught.
- Smart Charts folder: A set of 12 documents that simply list alphabetically the words and icons on a month-by-month basis.
- Word Lists folder: A set of 12 text files that can be imported into a PRC device for use with the Vocabulary Builder feature. Once you’ve imported the lists, just (a) choose list of the month and (b) turn ON the Vocabulary Builder and all you’ll see are your target words.
The 36-location version might seem simpler/easier (36 is less that 48, yes?) but I recommend that unless there are physical or visual reasons against it, always go for the 84. In fact, always go for the most keys you can in general.It might seem counter-intuitive but more keys can be easier than less. It’s just basic mathematics. If I have a vocabulary of 500 words and a keyboard of 8 buttons, then I can only have 7 single-hit words represented before having to use the 8th key to go to another page, and that means the next set of words are 2-hits. To encode 500 words you’re going to have to use sequences of up to 4 buttons, and as the vocabulary increases, so will the sequences. With 84 buttons, you can get over 700 words without having to press more than 2-keys per word. Hence, more keys is more efficient.
Anyways, click below to download the materials.
Feel free to share these materials with other folks using Unidad. All we ask is that you occasionally mention the Dudes 😉
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