Summer Camp for Children with Limited Speech Offered by the College of Education and Health Professions

Empowering Children with Communication Limitations: A University of Arkansas Research Lab’s WE CARE-Sponsored Camp for Augmentative and Alternative Communication Users

Two U of A professors have established a research lab to improve the lives of individuals with communication limitations. As part of their efforts, they are hosting a free camp for children this summer. The WE CARE-sponsored camp is designed for children ages 4-10 who are Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC) users or candidates. The camp will take place on campus from July 8-26, running from 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., Monday through Friday.

Children participating in the camp do not need to be experienced AAC users. They can be new users or simply children who would benefit from AAC supports. AAC devices allow individuals with limited speech to communicate by selecting photos or words on a tablet, improving interaction with family, friends, and others in various contexts.

During the camp, children will be paired with non-AAC user peers for a STEM-themed experience. Families are encouraged to sign up for all three weeks of the camp, but they must commit to at least two weeks. The camp will be staffed by students from the college’s teacher education, communication disorders, and occupational therapy programs.

The camp facilitators are Elizabeth Lorah and Christine Holyfield, both professors at U of A College of Education and Health Professions with expertise in special education and speech-language pathology respectively. They developed an Augmentative and Alternative Communication research lab at U of A that focuses on developing and evaluating strategies and technologies for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities who have limited speech such as autism spectrum disorder and Down syndrome.

For more information about the camp or to apply, interested individuals can contact Lorah at lorah@uark

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