PODD Alternative Access Workshop

Date & Time: Next workshop TBA
Cost: $310 GST inclusive
Venue: Cerebral Palsy Education Centre, End of Beacon Street, Glen Waverley, VIC
Prerequisite: 2-Day PODD Introductory Workshop
This workshop will be of interest to speech pathologists, occupational therapists and teachers working with children who have complex communication needs

The focus of this workshop is on Pragmatic Organisation Dynamic Display (PODD) communication books designed for individuals who cannot point directly to a display with their hands. The content will build on the information relating to the purpose, design principles, intervention strategies and use of PODD communication books covered in the two-day introductory workshop.
A range of alternative access PODD communication book will be discussed including: eye-gaze (eye-pointing), partner-assisted scanning (visual, auditory, visual plus auditory scanning), combination access, and coded access. The design features to suit, procedures to operate and teach each access method will be presented. Participants will have the opportunity to practice using each access method.

Participants will learn to:

• Describe the different PODD design considerations/options to accommodate for alternative access methods.
• Outline the considerations for selecting different access methods to suit individual requirements.
• Perform the partner operational procedures to use a range of alternate access methods.
• Discuss problem-solving methodologies for developing operational skills for individuals who have severe movement difficulties (e.g. developing accept/reject movements for scanning).


Mel Riepsamen is a senior speech pathologist working with pre-school children with complex communication needs. Melissa currently works at the Cerebral Palsy Education Centre in Melbourne and also has a private practice. Melissa has twelve years’ experience using Augmentative and Alternative Communication with children and teenagers with complex communication needs. Melissa’s experience in implementing the Pragmatic Organisation Dynamic Display (PODD) system with children and teenagers is across a range of different service delivery models and includes customising PODD communication books and page sets for speech generating devices to accommodate for individual requirements. Melissa is a certified PODD presenter and presents at workshops and conferences domestically and internationally.