Throughout the year, Jake engaged in self-selected writing using the alphabet flip chart at home. He selected the topics for his writing and wrote in a journal or wrote notes to family and friends. The flip chart displays the letters of the alphabet in groups of 4 or 6 and offers simple editing commands such as, space, new word, and delete.
In all of the following writing samples, facilitators always began the writing activity by supporting Jake in selecting a writing topic. Choices were presented to Jake via photographs, signs, and his remnant book. The remnant book was frequently his favorite as it documented the events of his life, big and small. Remnant books are typically used to set a topic for communication (Beukelman & Miranda, 2005), and are developed by collecting items from the activities and events Jake experiences each day. For example, Jake’s remnant book includes ticket stubs from a movie he saw with his brother, a plastic bag with a dead bug he found, a picture cut from the box of a game, and so on. Jake selected a topic from the book by directing the facilitator to “go to the next page” using the switch by his arm and stop on the desired topic using the switch by his leg to say, “that’s the one I want.”