P.O. Box 50030 London, ON N6A 6H8 info@rett.ca (519) 474-6877

FLASH (AAC) Camp Update!

The weekend of May 19 – 22 was an extra special one for O.R.S.A! Our amazing first-time partnership with an AAC camp proved to be wildly successful. FLASH (Family Literacy and AAC on the Shores of Huron) Camp was a family camp held in Southwestern Ontario at the fully accessible Camp Kintail. Four dynamic professionals spearheaded and planned the camp, teaching literacy and communication skills to individuals who use augmentative and alternative communication (AAC), alongside their families and support workers. Many individuals with Rett syndrome use AAC. O.R.S.A. provided much needed funds to get the camp started, administration support to process grants and camper fees, as well as liaison & planning time from one of our Board members. 

By becoming immersed in an AAC environment with opportunities to engage in conversation, campers continued to learn to value AAC as a valid way to communicate; with a focus on literacy. The beautiful camp setting provided families with the chance to connect with each other and restore their mental health. 

The Camp was happy to welcome:

  • 54 attendees including campers, families, volunteers and facilitators
  • 13 campers who use AAC
  • people from Alberta, Ontario, Quebec and Nova Scotia 

Some of the instructional topics included: alternative pencils, what literacy is and isn’t, emergent literacy, sentence starters, how to get into chapter books, communication breakdown strategies, talking about tech like Boardmaker and Clickr, aided language modeling and more. The camp environment provided many opportunities to learn, chances to connect with professionals (including the very experienced volunteers) and camp style activities for fun. The campers and siblings enjoyed the beach, accessible ropes course, archery, crafts, campfire sing along and much more. 

Parents/caregiver feedback around the camp touted some highlights as:

  • “connecting and learning from other families”
  • “one-on-one time with leaders for questions”
  • “Everything! It was so wonderful being in such an inclusive space connecting with families with shared experiences and educators/clinicians with extensive expertise in supporting children who benefit from AAC. We connected, we learned, we were nourished by the space and delicious food. We’re still processing how incredibly special this weekend at camp was!” 

The FLASH camp planning team is also very grateful to the following sponsors for providing grants: SickKids Foundation, Ontario Brain Institute, and Bruce Power. 

Stay tuned for possible future camp news.