Monday, September 26, 2016

Found in Translation

 In early August I attended the International Augmentative and Alternative Communication Conference (ISAAC) held in Toronto, Canada … wonderful, as usual. I presented a 2 hour presentation called, Animated PowerPoint Lessons: A Powerful Tool for Promoting Literacy, Language and AAC.  If you missed the conference, I believe you can still access that presentation on the ISAAC website. The conference is a great opportunity to talk to colleagues from other countries and learn about their concerns and progress in promoting the field of AAC in their respective countries.  This experience has lead me to rethink how you might more easily translate ASbySs into languages other than English.

As mentioned in a previous post (, ASbySs are NOT editable for text. When creating an ASbyS, I typically substitute a ‘screen shot’ of each page (without the animations), to minimize the memory and avoid possible text reflow issues that are the result of text incompatibilities/variations (i.e., your computer may not have the ABC Print font that I am using, so it tries to improvise by substituting an alternate font … usually with unattractive consequences).

If you desire a language other than English, it is possible to modify your ASbyS:

1.     change the file address from .pps to .ppt to make it editable

2.     Make a white rectangle large enough to block out the existing English text.

3.     Use the text tool to add a text box (I use 28pt ABC print; Comic Sans, a simple cross platform font, also works well)

4.     Type in your translation, leaving spaces at the appropriate juncture points to add the stars. (you can create a star under ShapesStars)

5.     Select all the graphics for the animations (i.e., use the pointer tool to make an inclusive imaginary box around all the components); under Arrange on the menu bar, select Bring to Front. The graphics used in the animations will now be on top of the opague text box. Be sure to get all of them.

 Crafts and Science projects will probably translate the best. With some recipes, packaging will look very different. You will need to judge whether this incompatibility is a major issue.

Happy translating!

…’til the next post …  (new posts every Monday)

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©2016 Carol Goossens’, Ph.D.
Augmentative Communication Consultant
Speech-Language Pathologist
Special Educator