The InterACT (Interdisciplinary Augmentative Communication and Technology) team of Montgomery County Public Schools has received a national award for Distinguished Service for its support of students who have severe communication or physical disabilities requiring assistive technology.
InterACT was one of 10 honorees at the 20th Anniversary Communication Awards, a project of the National Council on Communicative Disorders. The American Speech-Language-Hearing Association and the National Association for Hearing and Speech Action sponsored the event, held March 14 at the Kennedy Center.
InterACT provides consultation to staff for students who do not speak or use very few words that can be understood, or who are limited in their ability to write or use the computer due to physical disabilities such as cerebral palsy or muscular dystrophy. InterACT team members help local school teams and parents make decisions about augmentative or communication devices or other assistive technology that may be necessary for individual students to achieve specific learning goals. The local school team is responsible for carrying out the communication and assistive technology strategies at school.
From one to several members of the InterACT team, which consists of speech/language pathologists, occupational therapists, special educators and technical support assistants, may provide consultation to school system staff, depending on the needs of the child.
Other honorees ranged from Rachel Sobel of U.S. News & World Report and U.S. Senator James M. Jeffords of Vermont, who received Public Service awards, to Taro Alexander of the award-winning musical "Stomp" and country-western singer Johnny Bush.
The event was hosted by Joe Krebs of WRC-TV. Nancy Creaghead, president of the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association, was a special guest.