Talking With Tech AAC Podcast



Tuesday Jun 05, 2018

This week, Rachel, Lucas, and Chris discuss the implications of motor planning in instruction and use of Augmentative and Alternative Communication, including: Why motor planning is important, when to start considering a child’s motor plan, and practical ways to incorporate motor planning into your practice. Then Chris Bugaj is joined by Chris Klein, an educator, mentor, past president of the United States Society of Augmentative Alternative Communication (USSAAC), and founder of Building Connections with Others through Mentoring and Education about AAC (BeCOME AAC). Mr. Klein, an AAC user himself, is a voice for AAC users and individuals with disabilities everywhere; his thoughtful insights on motor planning are not to be missed! 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! References Dukhovny, E., & Zhou, Y. (2016). Effects of icon size and location on speed and accuracy of SGD access. Augmentative and Alternative Communication, 32(4), 241-248. Dukhovny, E., & Gahl, S. (2014). Manual motor-plan similarity affects lexical recall on a speech-generating device: Implications for AAC users. Journal of communication disorders, 48, 52-60.

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!

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!

Wednesday Apr 25, 2018

This week members of the team from Western Psychological Services (WPS), creators of the Arizona, CASL, and more, join Rachel and Lucas to talk about assessment authorship and the assessment process generally. Meanwhile, Chris, Rachel, and Lucas discuss specific considerations for AAC users, including using materials otherwise not normed for your student population for informal assessment and progress monitoring. For more on WPS visit! Like what we do? We appreciate any gesture via - and please take a moment to leave us a review on iTunes as that helps others to find us!

Sunday Apr 15, 2018

In this episode Eva Sweeney, filmmaker and consultant for ABC's Speechless - as well as author, activist, AAC user, and overall dynamo - talks with Rachel and Lucas about her AAC device, the importance of aides (and giving them breaks), her work as an activist on sexuality in the disability community, and more. Meanwhile, Lucas briefly flies solo to talk about the importance of a whole-person approach to AAC assessment and intervention - and our work generally. For more on Eva, check out Speechless (obviously) and follow her on twitter at @disboi.  Like what we do at Talking With Tech? Take a moment to leave us an iTunes review - it helps others find the information we share - and join our Facebook group (or page) to chime in on the conversation! We'd also love to hear your comments and questions at, and appreciate any gesture via

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!

Wednesday Mar 21, 2018

In this episode Rachel Madel and Chris Bugaj (and later just Chris) take over the episode to talk about accessible gaming! We welcome Mark Barlet of AbleGamers to talk about their work in making recreation available to everyone. Like what we do at Talking With Tech? Make sure to subscribe and rate on iTunes - and check out Chris's new book coming out soon: Interview Notes: Chris explain how he met Mark Barlet Mark discusses what Ablegamers is all about Mark talks about using videos games to escape Video games as a social experience with meaningful friends Mark talks about how Ablegamers was founded Mark talks about how Ablegamers blossomed to what it is today The focus changes from add single feature for single user to designing games for everyone because the market demands it All game companies are building accessibility features into their design Now Ablegamers is building new technologies with 3D printing Ablegamers is reaching out to build game centers in places where people with disabilities are located First steps to making games more accessible in schools Getting administrators involved Tablets are cracking the idea that games are meant for home only Find someone who is passionate about games to lead the endeavor Some schools have after school gaming clubs Making games and coding could be part of STEM curriculum When people come to Ablegamers, what do people do? Ablegamers skew more to people with physical disabilities but are growing to people with cognitive disabilities or others Ablegamers do an assessment

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