Talking With Tech AAC Podcast



Tuesday Jun 12, 2018

This week, Rachel, Lucas, and Chris are joined by Dr. Eric Sanders for a roundtable discussion of how we can help augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) users develop reading and writing (i.e., literacy) skills. Topics addressed include: Should we support AAC users in their development of reading and writing skills? What is the role of story time and shared reading in emerging literacy? What kinds of activities and goals encourage the development of reading fluency? How can we support a comprehensive reading approach for children who use AAC?
Eric Sanders, PhD, CCC-SLP is an AAC specialist and professor at Pacific University, Oregon whose areas of expertise include the development of literacy and language skills by AAC users and individuals with intellectual disabilities.
We want to hear what you think! Join us on Facebook at Talking With Tech and on Instagram and Twitter @talkingwithtech. Don’t forget to subscribe and give us a rating on iTunes!
Erickson, K., Koppenhaver, D., & Cunningham, J. (2016). Comprehensive Reading Intervention in Augmentative Communication. In R. J. McCauley, M. E. Fey, , & Gillam, R. B. (Eds.). Treatment of language disorders in children. (275-300).

Wednesday May 30, 2018

This week Scott Badesch, President and CEO of the Autism Society of America, sits down with Lucas to talk about the most urgent needs of those on the Autism spectrum, what the ASA's strategic plan is for the coming year, the critical state of the health care (and political) system in the United States, and the impact of vaccines on Autism (there isn't any).
Meanwhile, Chris and Rachel talk about unique considerations for AAC in the ASD population including strategic use - and avoidance - of preferred utterances and many more concerns.
You can contact Mr. Badesch via the Autism Society of America at, and we also would love to hear your feedback and opinions! Come join us on Facebook, email us at, or @talkingwithtech on Instagram or Twitter. Like what we do at Talking With Tech? Take a moment to leave us a review on iTunes as that helps others find us!

Tuesday May 22, 2018

This week Rachel leads the team in a discussion of AAC for emergent communicators, focusing on early intervention through school-age children. Topics covered include the influence of AAC use on speech and language development, family and peer training, and a spirited debate about when to go high-tech - or not.
We'd love to hear your feedback and opinions! Come join us on Facebook, email us at, or @talkingwithtech on Instagram or Twitter. Like what we do at Talking With Tech? Take a moment to leave us a review on iTunes as that helps others find us!
Research referenced in this episode includes:
Davidoff, B. E. (2017). AAC With Energy—Earlier: Research shows that children with communication challenges do best when introduced to augmentative and alternative communication as early as 12 months. The ASHA Leader, 22(1), 48-53.
Romski, M., Sevcik, R. A., Barton-Hulsey, A., & Whitmore, A. S. (2015). Early intervention and AAC: What a difference 30 years makes. Augmentative and Alternative Communication, 31(3), 181-202.

Monday May 14, 2018

This week the team discusses community accommodations for students with Autism Spectrum Disorder, focusing on specific opportunities that already exist and ideas for more sensory-friendly events as well as community-based communication opportunities. Then, Chris speaks with Ellen Winchester and Andrea Gardner about community-based communication opportunities, interactive supports for communication partners, and more! 
Andrea Garner is a practitioner and researcher specializing in the education of people on the autism spectrum. She has been working with young people on the spectrum for the last 17 years as a class teacher, an in-home ABA therapist, and therapeutic outdoor educator.  Andrea has continued to study while working and has completed a Master of Education in Autism and a PhD.  Her research interests include social-sexual development, inclusion into work environments, social cognitive development, and family support.  She currently works directly with children, their families, and with teachers developing programs and strategies to improve long-term outcomes for young people on the spectrum.  Andrea is currently working towards accreditation as a Multi-sensory Language teacher and is involved in ongoing research in the assessment and delivery of social skills programs, training models for parents of children on the spectrum and a project to create an Autism Friendly Community.
Ellen Winchester is a Speech Pathologist who has worked for Aspect for the last 9 years in various roles in Early Intervention in various settings (schools, home, preschools and group therapy programs) as well as being part of a Learning Support Team in Aspect’s schools for children with Autism. She is currently the Service Coordinator for the Aspect Therapy team in the Illawarra region of NSW.
Ellen has a particular interest in the areas of feeding difficulties in children with Autism and also Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC). In 2013, Ellen was awarded the Elizabeth Hoyle’s fellowship which gave her the opportunity to begin to conduct research into supporting teachers to implement high-tech AAC into the classroom, and increase the effective use of high-tech AAC (with a focus on the use of Core Vocabulary and the Language Acquisition Motor Planning –LAMP approach) into the daily classroom routine of students who required it. Ellen is a certified LAMP Therapist and trainer.  
Ellen’s current focus is to support teachers at South Coast School to conduct accurate communication assessments for students with complex communication needs who use AAC, and using these assessments to directly inform intervention planning and classroom programming.

Monday May 07, 2018

Join Chris, Rachel and Lucas this week for a discussion of universal principles in AAC intervention - in other words, what do we all agree on, and why? Then Chris sits down with Shaun Pearson and Chris Chichoskikelly to talk about the "AAC Agreements," which continues along the same theme in more detail and highlights the opinions of clinicians and researchers from the Assistive Technology Industry Association conferences in 2016 and 2018.
Shaun is a Speech-Language Pathologist, trained at McGill University in Montreal and now practicing in Calgary, Alberta, Canada. He currently works as an Assistive Technology Specialist supporting students with complex communication needs ages 5-21. Shaun believes his primary focus is to foster relationships and build capacity with others therapists, teachers, classroom staffs, and families.
We'd love to hear your feedback and opinions! Come join us on Facebook, email us at, or @talkingwithtech on Instagram or Twitter. Like what we do at Talking With Tech? Take a moment to leave us a review on iTunes as that helps others find us!

Roundtable: Modeling

Sunday Apr 29, 2018

Sunday Apr 29, 2018

After many requests to cover modeling in more detail, for the second time ever Talking With Tech is interview-free this week so that we can take a deep dive into the who, what, where, when, and why of modeling in Augmentative/Alternative Communication. We'd love to hear your feedback and your strategies! Come join us on Facebook, email us at, or @talkingwithtech on Instagram or Twitter.
Like what we do at Talking With Tech? Take a moment to leave us a review on iTunes as that helps others find us!
Referenced during the episode: AAC Modeling Intervention Research Review - Samuel C. Sennott, Janice C. Light, and David McNaughton -102 Research and Practice for Persons with Severe Disabilities 41(2)

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!

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

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