Visual Supports for Students with Learning Challenges

Course Number
Presenter: Lorraine Maida, MA CCC-SLP
This course inspires us to use more and different visual supports. Visual supports are things we see that enhance our organizational skills, self-regulation, expressive and receptive communication, and ability to understand activity demands in the dynamic environments of school, home and community. Visual supports can be objects, printed words, pictures, body language, or environmental clues. Through concrete examples and lecture this practical course will share ideas about printed words, pictures, and objects that you can use with your students to support their learning and participation in all environments. Explore over 75 do it tomorrow ideas for incorporating the use of objects, pictures, icons, graphic organizers, visual bridges, task checklists, transition supports and schedules in a variety of settings to meet a variety of student needs. Walk away with a list of free resources to expand your visual supports.


Upon completion of this course, participants will be able to:

  • Identify visual supports to use for seven areas that challenge students with deficits in communication, social, self-regulation and behavioral skills.
  • Discuss how to adapt visual supports for varied school and home environments 
  • List the steps to determining appropriate visual supports matched to student ability
About Lorraine: Lorraine Maida, MA CCC-SLP has worked in the educational field for over 30 years.  Her experience spans a broad range of roles including Speech Pathologist, special education teacher, administrator, university instructor and educational consultant. She has worked with students and developed programming for all ages and abilities.
Lorraine has been invited to provide hundreds of training opportunities at local, state and national venues related to provision of educational services in schools.  She is currently working as a public school SLP, a seminar provider and education consultant.  She is also adjunct faculty for Central Washington University and a guest lecturer in the Department of Communication Disorders at the University of Washington.
Additional Information

This course is offered for 0.3 ASHA CEUs (Intermediate Level, Professional Area)

Course Timeline
10 Minutes: Introduction: What are Visual Supports? Who are they? What do they do?
30 Minutes: Designing Schedules and Mini-schedules  and avoiding the Pitfalls
10 Minutes: Functional use of Calendars as a Communication Tool 
15 Minutes: Choice Board Use across the Day
15 Minutes: Creating portability when needed 
10 Minutes: Creating flexible/dynamic supports and easy access storage
20 Minutes: Transition Supports for self-regulating movement between locations
10 Minutes: People Locator supports for home and school Templates and Work Systems
10 Minutes: Templates and Work Systems
10 Minutes: Visually Supporting Behavioral Skills and Classroom Rules
10 Minutes: Visually Supporting Social Skill Instruction
30 Minutes: Closing Summary/ Question and Answer

Disclosure Statement: 
Financial: Lorraine Maida is a speaker for and receives royalties. 
Nonfinancial: No relevant nonfinancial relationships exist.

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