Talking With Tech AAC Podcast



Sunday Apr 08, 2018

In this week's show Chris sits down with Leanna Fox, a Speech-Language Pathologist based out of Sydney who works as a consultant with Liberator, the Australian arm of the Prentke Romich Company, as well as other settings. The discuss international work (she's previously also practiced in Ireland and New South Wales), funding in Australia and the local AAC community, and the need for constant professional development due to the rapidly changing nature of the field.
Meanwhile, Lucas, Rachel, and Chris discuss options for professional education ranging from websites to conferences to individual resources and blogs - and, of course, the upcoming ISAAC conference, which just happens to be in Australia.
Like what we do here at Talking With Tech? We appreciate any small donation to help keep the lights on via Patreon! Also, follow us on Twitter or Instagram at @talkingwithtech or our Facebook page and group, where we will link many of the resources discussed! We'd love to hear any questions or feedback as well at, and please take a moment to give us an iTunes review as it helps others find us.
Talk to you next week!

Sunday Apr 01, 2018

In this episode Vicki Clarke of Dynamic Therapy Associates and @AACchicks joins us to share advice and talk through clinical considerations related to AAC assessment and selection of a communication system. Meanwhile, Lucas and Rachel discuss the ethical considerations - and potential advantages - related to cultivating vendor relationships.
For more from Vicki, follow her on Twitter at @AACchicks, on Facebook at Dynamic Therapy Associates, or her website
Like what we do here at Talking With Tech? Follow us on Twitter or Instagram at @talkingwithtech or our Facebook page and group! We'd love to hear any questions or feedback as well at, and please take a moment to give us an iTunes review as it helps others find us. Talk to you next week!

Sunday Mar 25, 2018

In this episode the incomparable Lauren Enders, SLP and AAC specialist, joins Talking With Tech's Lucas Steuber and Chris Bugaj to talk practical tips for implementation and consultation in the schools. Meanwhile, Lucas and Rachel discuss some of the resources Lauren has created, including the "dos and dont's" of AAC instruction. Thanks so much for listening! For more on Lauren check out her frequent submissions to PrAACtical AAC as well as prolific posts on Pinterest, Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter. 
If you like what we do, don't forget to subscribe and leave us a review on iTunes! We also appreciate any help keeping the lights on at Happy listening!

Roundtable: Core Words

Monday Mar 05, 2018

Monday Mar 05, 2018

In a small departure from form, the gang - Rachel, Chris, and Lucas - decided that they had so much to say about core words (especially after speaking to Jane Odom last week) that an interview wasn't even necessary. Let us know what you think about this format, as we're considering alternating between strictly educational content like this interspersed with thought leaders like those we normally have.
Click here to visit the Patreon mentioned in the episode. Also, check out to visit AAC Live Now (seriously, reach out to or call him at 541-952-1699 if you would either like to help or would LIKE help - spoiler alert, Lucas - or even one more member member of TWT - just may end up being your consultant). 
... and of course, as always, don't forget to rate, subscribe, and come join our the Facebook Page and Group, not to mention Twitter and Instragram. We'll only get better if we know what will benefit your practice!

Sunday Feb 25, 2018

This week Rachel and Lucas are joined by the brilliant Jane Odom, director of PRC's LanguageLab! The conversation covers the importance of presuming competence, incorporating user interests and age-relevant material in AAC, PRC's LanguageLab and Realize Language, family and peer training, and specific instructional strategies for the classroom. Check it out - and if you like it, don't forget to rate us and subscribe on iTunes!For more information, see:PRC AAC LanguageLabRealize Language

Monday Feb 12, 2018

Erin Compton is a mom to 13 children who blogs about family life, adoption, special needs and AAC learning. As a homeschool instructor she has over 20 years of experience working with young language learners. Through the recent adoption of two sons with cerebral palsy, the family has started on an AAC journey to find voices for their sons.
For more, see Erin's YouTube, Instagram, and Facebook!
Interview Show Notes:
Adopting two sons with cerebral palsy from an orphanage in China
In the beginning of AAC it’s more about educating yourself than educating your child
Spreading the AAC gospel
AAC is a journey and belief that your child is capable is the first step
Erin’s experience homeschooling 13 kids and the disbelief that she’s encountered.
How the comfort of home is typically the first place you see communication happens
Making modeling a whole family experience
The power of peer modeling
The first time Erin heard the word “mama”
The importance of SLPs working together with parents
International perceptions of special needs children and the high incidence of abandonment
Karma and how it plays into special needs perceptions in China
Experience of touring a Chinese orphanage with 700 children

Sunday Feb 04, 2018

It's time for what might be our most controversial show yet! If you have an opinion - for or against - please comment below or email at us at and we'll be happy to address your concerns next episode!
Problem:School districts are faced with having to consider the AAC needs for many children. The focus has been on selecting the perfect system. Teaching communication partners how to implement all day long has been the challenge. What if we could decrease the amount of time the selection process takes and spent that saved time on teaching implementation?
So how do we do it? Or should we?
Interview Show Notes:
Erek introduces himself
The concept of Specific Language System First approach to AAC
Erek describes what happens when a student comes into the school district - starting with Proloquo2go 6x10 grid.
Why use this approach?
Multiple teachers using multiple devices meant they have trouble developing a community of practice...but not anymore.
Chris describes feature matching.
Previous model of selection was born in an era when devices were more scarce.
Language systems were different years the systems are more robust.
Good systems + low cost
Teachers still struggling with implementation so spend more time on teaching them how to implement (rather than selecting the “perfect” device”)
“A system that isn’t perfect for a student but is implemented well is better than choosing the perfect system that is implemented poorly.”
Coaches spend less time on assessment and more on implementation.
The number one reason a teacher says it doesn’t work is, “The student doesn’t like it”
Explicit instruction- I do, you do, we do.
First two questions people used to ask.. “There are too many buttons” and “I need different buttons.”
After implementation training on Aided Language - now people don’t ask those anymore.
Over summer, started developing a repeatable, easy to implement, language-based word of week program
Modeling Mondays! Pull up PowerPoint slides on how to use the word.
Tuesday is Literacy Day! Use and read the core word a day using stories and books. Writing as well.
Wednesday is Math Day!
Thursday - Review previous introduced words.
Folder Friday - Explore folders (Fringe)
Generalization is what is being tackled next.
The best feature you can match is implementation.
Homework on word of the week lessons and involving parents.
Your system is in place and then you adapt.
Be patient! Progress will come if you stick with it.
200 high tech aac users and doing well - used to be 10 who weren’t using it well.
If we had to switch systems, we could.
It is hard to pick a bad system
The focus should shift from selection to implementation.
Potential Solutions:
Have discussions about implementing this approach.
Beyond word of the week programs, use a language-based curriculum (materials where language is the object of the lesson, not infused into some other point of the lesson. Ie, Use apples on a tree to teach prepositions NOT do a lesson on apples where we try to also sneak in spatial concept words)

Karen Owens of We Speak PODD

Tuesday Jan 16, 2018

Tuesday Jan 16, 2018

Karen Owens of We Speak PODD joins Rachel Madel for a conversation about parenting children with complex communication disorders. Meanwhile, the group discusses the nature of parents' relationships with both the schools and broader therapeutic systems and how they - and we - can be strong advocates for their children.
Thanks for listening! As always, contact us at with any feedback and make sure to subscribe and share with your friends! If you'd like to support our work, we always appreciate any gesture via Patreon.

Thursday Dec 21, 2017

Alex Pavtoulov and Ofir Harel of Olà Mundo join Rachel and Lucas to talk about Socky, a symbol-based two-way communication system for children with Autism as well as their parents and circle of support. The group also discusses social reciprocity in ASD and how to make therapy tools engaging.
For more information about Olà Mundo and Socky, visit their site  and try out the app, which is available on both iOS and Android - and it's free!
Thanks for listening! As always, contact us at with any feedback and make sure to subscribe and share with your friends! If you'd like to support our work, we always appreciate any gesture via Patreon.

Sunday Dec 17, 2017

In this episode Talking with Tech's Lucas Steuber, Rachel Madel, and the long-list Chris Bugaj sit down and discuss international development in AAC before welcoming Chris Gibbons of SmartBox to the show. Chris shares beautifully about his many years of experience in the industry, the transition from intervention to the lab to the market, changes over time to the funding model - both good and bad - as well as Grid 3 and some thoughts on what's to come.
For more information about Chris and SmartBox, be sure to visit their site and - if you get a chance - catch him presenting at many related conferences such as ASHA, ATIA, ISAAC, and pretty much everywhere else.
Thanks for listening! As always, contact us at with any feedback and make sure to subscribe and share with your friends! If you'd like to support our work, we always appreciate any gesture via Patreon.
*Disclosure, Lucas Steuber and Chris Gibbons have worked together before on minor projects through their shared venture GiveLanguage, but neither party received financial compensation.

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