An Interview with Clint Johnson: Carrie Communication

Feb 29, 2012 by

Michael F. Shaughnessy –

1)   Clint, you have just published a set of Unique Augmentative Communication Cards. What population is this for?

Carrie Communication™ Cards are for students with limited verbal skills who may not be ready for an electronic communication device. You provide the student with a set of cards that represent things he/she wants or needs. For example, you could give the student ten different food cards that represent the foods he/she likes. When the student is hungry, he/she can give you or point to one of the cards to indicate that food that he/she wants. This provides an alternative communication method to speech. You may also use these cards to expand your younger students’ vocabulary. The easy-to-identify SymbolStix® Symbols are great for teaching new words.

2)  What exactly do you mean by an augmentative communication system (AAC) ?

When we use the term augmentative communication system (AAC), we are talking about a system that students use to enhance or augment their speech. Many students with limited verbal skills are capable of using a few words, vocalizations, or gestures to meet a small number of their wants and needs. An augmentative communication system provides students with additional vocabulary that they can’t express through other methods. These systems vary based on the needs of the student.

3)      Who was involved in this project?

Sharon G. Webber and Daryl Hutchinson are the designers of this communication system.  Sharon chose all of the vocabulary words used in the product. She also designed the briefcase and the rings to help students keep their cards together. The cards have a unique hole in the top left corner that allows you to place them on one of the five included key rings. Daryl was the artist for the project. All of the pictures that Sharon used on the cards are SymbolStix® Symbols. This was our first collaboration with the SymbolStix® makers and it was a very positive experience.

4)      How does Carrie differ from traditional AAC systems?

Each of the 740 Carrie Communication™ Cards has a full-color SymbolStix® picture symbol and word on one side, and a grayscale SymbolStix® picture symbol with word on the other. (2) For long-lasting use, the cards are made of durable phthalate-free plastic and measure a hand-friendly 2” x 2 ¼”. (3) Every card has a hole in the top corner so it can fit on handy carry-around Ring Talker rings (included with the system). This feature allows for convenient grouping of any cards and lets the student easily carry the cards from place to place. (4) The cards are color-coded for quick identification and sorting.  (5) The system comes in a sturdy professional briefcase.

5) Where can parents, teachers and counselors get more information ?

They can go to our website and watch a video about Carrie Communication™ Cards:

6)      What are the 22 card categories in Carrie Communication™ Cards?

Animals, Around the Home, Body Parts, Calendar & Time, Clothing, Colors/Shapes/Numbers/Letters, Descriptions, Drinks, Food, Grooming, Money, OT/PT Words, People, Places, Safety, School, Social, Sports, Toys, Transportation, Verbs, and Weather.

7) Does the system come with other materials?

Carrie Communication™ Cards comes with an instruction booklet with ideas for using the cards, five Ring Talker rings, and a durable black briefcase for easy portability.

9)Where did you get the name “ Carrie “? How did that come about?

Sharon came up with the name. The title for Carrie Communication™ Cards is play on the word carry. You place the cards a student needs on a ring and they can carry them everywhere. Sharon named the cute cat that Daryl drew, Carrie.

10) What have I neglected to ask?

Super Duper® produces a variety of augmentative communication products. Go to and type “augmentative communication” into the search engine to learn more.

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