UA-115456113-1 Talking With Tech AAC Podcast
Talking With Tech AAC Podcast
The Golden Rules of AAC Competency - Part 1 (Earn CEU Credits)

The Golden Rules of AAC Competency - Part 1 (Earn CEU Credits)

July 16, 2019

This week, the TWT team is pleased to share the first half of the “Golden Rules of AAC Competency in a New Era of Communication.” This session was originally presented by Lucas, Chris, and Rachel as part of the #XedAAC18 conference!

 

Before we present the first half of this session, Chris and Rachel discuss several topics related to 3D printing, including creating 3D core word symbols using Project Core!

 

Key ideas this week include:

🔑 Teachers and SLPs can coordinate with students in “maker clubs” to print 3D core word symbols using Project Core.

🔑 The “AAC competencies” are a helpful framework for planning AAC intervention by providing a broader definition of communication competence and success with AAC.

🔑  Five domains of communication competence in AAC: social, operational, linguistic, strategic, and emotional competence. 

 

Listen this week and to part 2 of the “Golden Rules of AAC Competency in a New Era of Communication” next week, then head to bit.ly/techceu to earn CEU credit for listening to these episodes!

Listener Questions III: Promoting Literacy for AAC Users, AAC & Echolalia, & More

Listener Questions III: Promoting Literacy for AAC Users, AAC & Echolalia, & More

July 9, 2019

This week, Lucas Steuber of Tobii Dynavox returns to help Chris and Rachel answer questions from our listeners! 

 

Key ideas this week include:

🔑 Ideas for supporting an eye gaze user's as he enters a magnet high school for game and app development.

🔑 Advice for a person whose client uses AAC and appears to display block-like disfluencies.

🔑 Strategies for promoting literacy, including incorporating the use of bluetooth keyboards.

 

For show notes, links to resources, past episodes, and more, visit bit.ly/twtpodcast. To earn CEU credits for listening to past episodes of TWT, head to bit.ly/techceu!

AAC Apps Update - Part 2 (Earn CEU Credit)

AAC Apps Update - Part 2 (Earn CEU Credit)

July 3, 2019

Listen to part 1 of the AAC Apps Update last week, then head to bit.ly/techceu to earn CEU credit for listening to both of these episodes!

This week, the TWT team is pleased to share the second half of the AAC Apps Update 2018! This conference session was originally presented by Lucas, Chris, and Rachel as part of the Special Apps Update Conference 2018. 

Before we present this week’s session, Chris and Rachel discuss Rachel's recent hand injury, ideas for improving aided language input, and more! 

 

Key ideas this week include:

 

🔑 Important features to look for in AAC applications.

🔑 Using  parallel-talk vs self-talk when working with adults over 60+

🔑 App ideas & strategies for challenging AAC assessments.

AAC Apps Update - Part 1 (Earn CEU Credit)

AAC Apps Update - Part 1 (Earn CEU Credit)

June 25, 2019

Listen to part 2 of the AAC Apps Update next week, then head to bit.ly/techceu to earn CEU credit for listening to these episodes!

This week, the TWT team is pleased to share the first half of the AAC Apps Update 2018! This conference session was originally presented by Lucas, Chris, and Rachel as part of the Special Apps Update Conference 2018. 

Before we present this week’s session, Chris and Rachel discuss reading specialists, being aware of compensatory measures when assessing children with autism, and more!

Key ideas this week include:

🔑 AAC users may benefit from working with a reading specialist and/or from including a reading specialist on their interdisciplinary team. 

🔑 When assessing receptive language, you must determine whether a child really understands the language and isn’t using compensatory measures, such as visuals or gestures.

🔑 School districts should consider teaching the basics of AAC to all students and staff!

 

Stephanie Pitts & Rachel Kapp: Strategies for Supporting Academics & Executive Functioning

Stephanie Pitts & Rachel Kapp: Strategies for Supporting Academics & Executive Functioning

June 18, 2019

This week, Rachel interviews educational therapists and co-hosts of the Learn Smarter podcast, Stephanie Pitts & Rachel Kapp! Stephanie and Rachel share what educational therapy is, why executive functioning is so important, and strategies they utilize to help learners improve task initiation, time management, and motivation!

 

Key ideas this week include:

🔑 Educational therapists teach learners how they learn and strategies they can use to learn better and improve executive functioning.

🔑 No child is actually "lazy" - it is often about meeting learners where they are.

🔑 How to help early communicators improve both sustained attention and task initiation.

 

For show notes, links to resources, past episodes, and more, visit bit.ly/twtpodcast!

Small Talks with Erin Sheldon, Kelly Fonner, Lance McLemore, & Mo Buti

Small Talks with Erin Sheldon, Kelly Fonner, Lance McLemore, & Mo Buti

June 11, 2019

This week, the TWT team presents another “Small Talks” episode featuring short conversations with AAC specialists Erin Sheldon, Kelly Fonner, Lance McLemore, and Mo Buti!

 

Key ideas this episode:

 

🔑Suggest an AAC evaluation for young children (2-3 years old) with limited expressive language, because we don’t have to delay language skills while other skills (e.g. articulation skills) catch up.

 🔑Try to use fun, memorable stimuli and prompts in therapy, because clients talk more about things that are silly, remarkable, and novel.

🔑Ask students who are AAC users to use their vocabulary to talk about the curriculum in the classroom, not just answer basic vocabulary questions.

 

For show notes, links to resources, past episodes, and more, visit bit.ly/twtpodcast!

Brian Whitmer: Supporting Open & Free AAC Symbols, Communication Boards, & More

Brian Whitmer: Supporting Open & Free AAC Symbols, Communication Boards, & More

June 4, 2019

This week on TWT, Chris interviews Brian Whitmer, CEO of CoughDrop, about OpenAAC.org and the “open” movement supporting AAC users and their right to move communication boards from one system to another, access a free set of symbols, open 3rd party apps inside their AAC systems, and more!

 

Key ideas:

🔑Many AAC developers do not allow communication boards to be moved from one communication system to another system, especially if that system is not owned by the developer. This can lead to users being stuck on old, broken equipment when a system or device is no longer supported.

🔑Giving control back to the user can be good for developers as well as users! Building customer goodwill can be a powerful way to build customer loyalty.

🔑The Communication Workshop (https://www.coreworkshop.org) is a growing collection of free materials, videos, and prompts for teaching words and ideas to AAC users.

 

For show notes, links to resources, past episodes, and more, visit bit.ly/twtpodcast!

Alyssa Hillary Zisk: Adults With Autism Who Use AAC Part-Time

Alyssa Hillary Zisk: Adults With Autism Who Use AAC Part-Time

May 28, 2019

This week on TWT, Rachel interviews Alyssa Hillary Zisk! Alyssa is a graduate student in neuroscience who shares their experiences as an autistic adult who uses AAC part of the time to communicate. 

 

Key ideas this episode:

 

🔑Some autistic adults experience intermittent or insufficient speech.

🔑Some of these adults use AAC part of the time.

🔑It is important to give AAC users the same chance to participate in discussions and to allow them to communicate in whatever modality they choose.

 

For show notes, links to resources, past episodes, and more, visit bit.ly/twtpodcast!

Carly Stoltenberg: An SLP’s Journey Recovering from Guillain-Barré Syndrome (Part 2)

Carly Stoltenberg: An SLP’s Journey Recovering from Guillain-Barré Syndrome (Part 2)

May 21, 2019

This week on TWT, we share the second half of Rachel’s interview with Carly Stoltenberg! Carly is an SLP who was diagnosed with Guillain-Barré Syndrome (GBS) two years ago. At one point in her recovery, Carly was paralyzed and unable to speak. In the second half of the episode, Carly shares what she has learned about valuing the uniqueness of each person in our care, and why honesty about her struggles with GBS has led to greater, more meaningful connections with others!

 

Key ideas this episode:

 

🔑There are many ways to acquire AAC, and successful implementation doesn’t always require the involvement of an “AAC expert.”

🔑The “wrong” AAC is often better than no AAC at all.

🔑We should respect the differences in each patient, because there no “one size fits all” when it comes to a person’s treatment and care.

 

For complete show notes for this episode, visit bit.ly/twtpodcast

Earn CEUs from listening to Talking with Tech at linktr.ee/talkingwithtech

Carly Stoltenberg: An SLP’s Journey Recovering from Guillain-Barré Syndrome (Part 1)

Carly Stoltenberg: An SLP’s Journey Recovering from Guillain-Barré Syndrome (Part 1)

May 14, 2019

This week on TWT, we air the first half of Rachel's interview Carly Stoltenberg, an SLP who was diagnosed with Guillain-Barré syndrome two years ago. At one point in her recovery, Carly was paralyzed and unable to speak. Carly shares her amazing journey to regain her ability to walk and talk, and how this has shaped her passion for positive thinking and patient advocacy!

 

Key ideas this episode:

 

🔑The critical need for patients to be able to communicate with medical professionals during treatment.

🔑How Carly used low-tech AAC to communicate when she was paralyzed.

🔑A resilient attitude isn’t about “not having bad days,” its about getting back up when you’ve been knocked down.

 

For complete show notes for this episode, visit bit.ly/twtpodcast

Earn CEUs from listening to Talking with Tech at linktr.ee/talkingwithtech

Charlie Danger: Working with AAC Users From Different Cultures

Charlie Danger: Working with AAC Users From Different Cultures

May 7, 2019

This week, Chris interviews Charlie Danger, an occupational therapist from the UK who specializes in assistive technology and AAC! Charlie shares from his fascinating experiences working with AT and AAC in Qatar, including how to increase our understanding of other cultures and the importance of learning about our own!

 

Key ideas this episode:

 

🔑 Importance of encouraging more than requests from AAC users

🔑 Why “different but not less” applies to both cultural and neurological differences

🔑 Strategies for working with AAC users and families from different cultures

 

For complete show notes and links from this episode, visit bit.ly/twtpodcast

Earn CEUs from listening to Talking with Tech at linktr.ee/talkingwithtech

Researching AAC Teaching Methods with Shannon Graham, Courtney Kaczmarek, Lizzie Llewellyn, and Payton Yates

Researching AAC Teaching Methods with Shannon Graham, Courtney Kaczmarek, Lizzie Llewellyn, and Payton Yates

April 30, 2019

This week, Chris interviews Longwood University graduate students Shannon Graham, Courtney Kaczmarek, Lizzie Llewellyn, and Payton Yates!

Key ideas this episode:

 

🔑 Students’ research on ways people, like teachers, learn AAC

🔑 Benefits (and challenges) of 1:1 instruction

🔑 Value of encouragement from mentors and supervisors

 

For complete show notes and research discussed in the episode, visit bit.ly/twtpodcast

Earn CEUs for listening to Talking with Tech and more at linktr.ee/talkingwithtech

Melanie Pensak: How Mindfulness Can Promote Joy, Prevent Burnout & Improve Therapy

Melanie Pensak: How Mindfulness Can Promote Joy, Prevent Burnout & Improve Therapy

April 23, 2019

This week, Rachel interviews speech-language pathologist and mindfulness meditation leader Melanie Pensak! Melanie offers nature-based and home-based speech-language therapy services through her business, Destination Speech. In addition to her work as an SLP, Melanie leads wellness workshops and meditation groups, and specializes in helping therapists and parents prevent burnout and increase joy! Melanie believes that being aware of the present moment is a “superpower” that everyone can use to live life with more joy! 

 

Three keys from this week’s episode:

🔑 Why making small changes over time often leads to the biggest results.

🔑 How mindfulness can be helpful for children, especially those with complex communication needs.

🔑 How mindfulness can be promoted in therapy through play-based activities, such as creating a focus on breathing by pretending to blow out a candle. 

Links:

To learn more about Melanie, visit www.melaniepensak.com

For links to resources from this week’s episode, to listen to previous episodes, and more, visit linktr.ee/talkingwithtech!

Facebook Live with Matt Hott: ASHA’s AAC Clinical Specialty Certification (Part 2)

Facebook Live with Matt Hott: ASHA’s AAC Clinical Specialty Certification (Part 2)

April 16, 2019

This week, Talking With Tech is re-broadcasting the second half of our March 31st Facebook Live episode with Matt Hott, host of the SpeechScience podcast! Continuing where they left off last week, Rachel discusses how a AAC Clinical Speciality Certification could benefit SLPs in private practice, and why we should focus on how certification affects AAC users, not just ASHA members. Chris shares ideas about possible “microcredentials” that demonstrate expertise in particular sub-specialty areas, like eye gaze devices, least-to-most prompting, etc. Rachel notes that the Speciality Certification would expose those seeking certification to the latest evidence and best practices for AAC. Rachel also discusses the need for all clinicians to be more confident about AAC, whether or not they are certified. Matt shares why certification would give him more confidence as an SLP when working with parents and clients. Chris notes the importance of being motivated to learn, whether or not we are working towards certification. Rachel and Chris conclude by sharing their hope that the AAC Specialty Certification will support a “coaching” model that empowers communication partners to facilitate language all day long!

Links:

SpeechScience podcast: xceptionaled.com/podcasts/speech-science/

To join the Talking With Tech Facebook Group, earn CEUs, and more, visit linker.ee/talkingwithtech!

For Part 1 of our Facebook Live episode on AAC Clinical Specialty Certification, click here

Facebook Live with Matt Hott: ASHA’s AAC Clinical Specialty Certification (Part 1)

Facebook Live with Matt Hott: ASHA’s AAC Clinical Specialty Certification (Part 1)

April 9, 2019

This week, the TWT team is re-broadcasting the first half of our March 31st Facebook Live episode! Rachel, Chris, and Matt Hott of the SpeechScience podcast took questions from listeners about the ASHA AAC Clinical Specialty Certification. During this free-flowing discussion, they share concerns with the “expert” model, why Specialty Certification may help improve graduate-level AAC instruction, and how a Specialty Certification could impact private practices working with AAC. Rachel and Chris also touch on concerns about insurance payments, the need for more a collaborative approach to assessment, questions about who should be considered an “AAC Specialist”, and more!

 

Links: 

SpeechScience podcast: https://xceptionaled.com/podcasts/speech-science/

Chris Bugaj's book, "The New Assistive Tech: Making Learning Awesome for All!": https://www.amazon.com/New-Assistive-Tech-Learning-Awesome/dp/1564846881

For Part 2 of our Facebook Live episode on AAC Clinical Specialty Certification, click here

Katya Hill: Developing an ASHA Specialty Certification for AAC

Katya Hill: Developing an ASHA Specialty Certification for AAC

April 2, 2019

If you are interested in learning about the proposed ASHA AAC Clinical Speciality Certification, don’t miss this week’s interview with Dr. Katya Hill! Before the interview, Rachel shares why her jury duty was not as bad as she had expected, and why taking a step away from work can be so helpful. Next, Rachel and Chris discuss new AAC users who repeatedly press all (or only one) of the buttons on their device, and why this doesn’t need to be actively discouraged for the behavior to fade. Finally, Chris talks about his experience touring schools to evaluate classroom seating and lighting design. 

 

Next, Chris and Rachel interview Dr. Kayta Hill, Associate Professor at Pitt and leader in developing the new AAC Clinical Specialty Certification! First, Katya shares about how she came up with the phrase “SNUG” (spontaneous novel utterance generation) while working on her dissertation. Next, Katya discusses her role in gaining approval for an AAC Specialty Certification and why a specialty certification for AAC is being sought. Katya also covers why graduate-level AAC instruction will hopefully improve as a result. The process of developing the certification, including identifying specific AAC competencies, is also discussed.

 

Links:

ASHA’s page for New Specialty Areas: https://www.asha.org/Certification/specialty/Approved-Petitioning-Groups-for-New-Specialty-Areas/

 

Clinical AAC Research Conference at Howard University, October 17th-19th: https://aacinstitute.org/2019-caac/ 

Lance McLemore: Learning to Become a Proficient AAC User

Lance McLemore: Learning to Become a Proficient AAC User

March 26, 2019

In this week’s episode, Chris interviews proficient AAC user and Prentke Romich Company (PRC) Ambassador Lance McLemore! Before the interview, Chris is joined again by his wife, Melissa Bugaj! Melissa and Chris discuss the first ever International #ATChat, which focused on AAC and Access. Next, Melissa discusses her recent experiences with students who use AAC. Melissa shares about learning to increase wait time, how AAC devices are helping users to demonstrate competencies for alternative assessment, and how a student self-regulated his behavior by protesting on a device.

 

Following this discussion, Chris interviews PRC Ambassador and AAC user Lance McLemore! In Lance’s role as Ambassador, he attends conferences and speaks to different groups about his experiences using Lamp Words for Life. The interview is played in real time so our listeners can hear how quickly he accesses his device – it’s amazing! Lance shares how he taught himself to use Lamp Words for Life, how practice has helped him improve his rate, and why he believes motor planning is so important to using an AAC device successfully!

 

Links:

Questions and responses from the first International #ATChat on AAC and Access!

Lance has an upcoming free webinar with the Center on AAC & Autism! Register at https://prentrom.pages.salesfusion.com/Implementing-LAMP-April-Webinar-Series

Mo Buti: Tips for Writing IEPs and Working With IEP Teams

Mo Buti: Tips for Writing IEPs and Working With IEP Teams

March 20, 2019

This week, Rachel and Chris connect with Chris’ wife, Melissa Bugaj to talk about what makes a successful IEP meeting! Melissa is Dean of Special Education at Loudoun Valley High School and has lots to share about effective meetings, including the need for open and transparent communication, the importance of agendas, and why involving parents before the IEP meeting is so important! Rachel also shares about her experiences with IEP meetings, and why, whenever possible, Rachel tries to talk with a student during an IEP meeting rather than about him or her.

 

Following this discussion, Chris interviews Mo Buti! Mo is an advocate and instructional advocate who works with school districts and families to ensure free and appropriate public education for students with a variety of disabilities and special needs. Mo is an expert in the IEP process, and provides amazing advice about a wealth of subjects related to IEPs, including writing measurable goals, using the word “benefit” vs “require”,  and the power of active listening!

 

Links:

Find out more about Mo Buti at her website: https://www.aiepautism.com

Rachel’s recommended video messaging app: Marco Polo

Melissa’s book recommendation: Guide to Collaboration for IEP Teams by Nicholas R.M. Martin 

Building a State-Level AAC Organization with Mike Hipple, Jennifer Schubring, Kelsey Osten, & Sharon Redmon

Building a State-Level AAC Organization with Mike Hipple, Jennifer Schubring, Kelsey Osten, & Sharon Redmon

March 12, 2019

On this week’s episode Rachel talks about her impromptu solo trip to Hawaii and how she balanced both disconnecting with technology and using technology to keep her connected to friends and family. Chris opens up a broader discussion about productivity hacks and minimalism with therapy materials.

In this week’s interview, Chris talks with four members of the Wisconsin Assistive Technology Regional Network (WATRN) about creating a grassroots community to support AT & AAC. The four guests this week are WATRN Founder Mike Hipple and SLP/AT Specialists Jennifer Schubring, Kelsey Osten, and Sharon Redmon. They talk about how the defunding of Wisconsin Assistive Technology Initiative (WATI) inspired them to start a grassroots organization, WATRN, to meet the need for AT & AAC education and support in Wisconsin. Along with sharing information across the state, WATRN brings regional groups together to meet, share knowledge, and raise awareness about issues related to AAC! 

Don’t forget to join the TWT FB Group where we will reveal the topic of the Live Event on March 31st 8:00 EST/ 5:00 PST! 

Also, be sure not to miss Rachel’s course in the free Special Apps Update Conference taking place on March 27th at 8:00 EST/5:00 PST. You can sign up for free at www.specialappsupdate.com with the code: XEDSAU19.

We want to know what you think! You can connect with us on Twitter and Instagram (@talkingwithtech)! Also, please subscribe and post a review for us on iTunes - it helps others to find us!

Links:

Wisconsin AAC Network: www.wisconsinaacnetwork.org

Sarah Whyte: AAC for Adults with Neurogenic Communication Disorders

Sarah Whyte: AAC for Adults with Neurogenic Communication Disorders

March 5, 2019

On this week’s episode of Talking with Tech, Rachel interviews Sarah Whyte, a Certified Brain Injury Specialist and Assistive Technology Professional (ATP) specializing in AAC & AT for the adult neurogenic population. Sarah has instructed the AAC course at Vanderbilt University and led the AAC program for outpatient neurogenic rehabilitation at Vanderbilt Medical Center. She has presented on numerous occasions about AAC for the adult neurogenic population, including acute-care patients, ALS patients, and aphasia patients.

Before the interview, Chris shares an experience from work with a colleague about an eye tracking system. Rachel and Chris then briefly discuss end of life care and AAC for populations with regressing communication and motor skills. They also touch on grief and the counseling component involved in both children and adults with complex communication needs.

Links:

For Sarah's webinar on managing communication deficits with ALS patients, go to speechpath.com.

Interested in earning CEU’s by listening to “Talking With Tech”? Check out our course at bit.ly/twtcorepd.