UA-115456113-1
Talking With Tech AAC Podcast
An Hour-By-Hour Guide To Implementing AAC At Home

An Hour-By-Hour Guide To Implementing AAC At Home

March 25, 2020

This week, the TWT team presents the audio recording of Chris and Rachel’s AAC Hour-by-Hour webinar originally presented on Xceptionaled.com! This episode is jam packed with practical strategies and advice for parents and professionals working with AAC users who are staying at home. These ideas can be implemented in the home or shared with parents and communication partners via teletherapy!

 

Key ideas this week:

 

🔑  Look at your daily schedule and plan out the “when what who and how” for incorporating core words into your routines. Choose routines that happen every day to allow for more chances to model.

 

🔑  It’s OK to take a break and not model 24/7, especially when you are with an AAC user all day long. When giving AAC users a break, you can let them “babble” and explore with the words on their device freely.

 

🔑  Have a family meeting and create a to-do list for your extended time at home. Create the to-do list together to increase everyone’s motivation, and give everyone a chance to talk about feelings regarding the break.

 

For links to the slides used in this episode, including shared resources, go to bit.ly/aachourbyhour

 

Help us develop new content and keep the podcast going strong! Support our podcast at patreon.com/talkingwithtech!

 

Visit bit.ly/twtpod for access to previous episodes, resources, and CEU credits that you can earn for listening to TWT episodes!

Elena Dukhovny: Current Research on Motor Planning & Paraeducator AAC Coaching

Elena Dukhovny: Current Research on Motor Planning & Paraeducator AAC Coaching

March 18, 2020

This week, the TWT team presents Chris's interview with Dr. Elena Dukhovny, professor at CSU East Bay! She is a leading researcher on motor planning, AAC training for paraeducators, and more, and she shares some of what she has learned about these two important topics!

 

Before the interview, Rachel shares a wealth of useful advice on preparing to consult with parents and the circle of support, including 1) asking what gets kids excited to communicate; 2) having parents write down all non-verbal communication, including behaviors; and 3) asking what parents would change about the child’s communication, if they could. Rachel also shares about gently approaching situations where a non-robust language system was already recommended to parents and she wants a robust language system implemented instead.

 

Key ideas this week:

🔑  Developing a motor plan allows AAC users to have a rate of speech that is closest to verbal speech. 

 

🔑  Elena’s research indicates fluent AAC device users plan and remember words by where their hands move on the device, similar to how speaking people remember words by how they sound and sign-language users remember words by how they are signed.

 

🔑  Briefly trialing different language systems isn’t always the best way to determine what system will be best for a user in the long term. For example, a system that is simpler or easier to visually scan may be learned quickly, but if motor planning isn’t supported then a user may not become as fluent with that system long term.

 

Help us develop new content and keep the podcast going strong! Support our podcast at patreon.com/talkingwithtech!

 

Visit bit.ly/twtpod for access to previous episodes, resources, and CEU credits that you can earn for listening to TWT episodes!

 

Research

 

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.

 

Thistle, J. J., Holmes, S. A., Horn, M. M., & Reum, A. M. (2018). Consistent symbol location affects motor learning in preschoolers without disabilities: Implications for designing augmentative and alternative communication displays. American journal of speech-language pathology, 27(3), 1010-1017.

Teaching with Tech - Speech Blubs Speech Therapy App

Teaching with Tech - Speech Blubs Speech Therapy App

March 16, 2020

Speech Blubs will be giving away a lifetime membership to anyone who signs up to become a Talking with Tech Patreon member by April 2nd, 2020! Just go to patreon.com/talkingwithtech!

 

In this episode of Teaching with Tech, Chris and Rachel dive into the Speech Blubs speech therapy app. The Speech Blubs app utilizes games, video/peer modeling, and augmented reality to make learning language and improving speech skills fun and engaging! You can use the app to teach emotions & core words, work on wh- questions, improve verbal speech, and more. The app has been used successfully to improve communication for children with speech delay, Autism Spectrum Disorder, Down syndrome, and apraxia!

 

You can download a free trial of the app by going to speechblubs.com

 

Find out more about Speech Blubs on Instagram (@speechblubs) or by emailing them at hi@blubblub.org

Christine Tripoli & Ellen Mazel - Assessment & Treatment of Cortical Visual Impairment

Christine Tripoli & Ellen Mazel - Assessment & Treatment of Cortical Visual Impairment

March 11, 2020

This week on TWT, Chris interviews Christine Tripoli, an SLP with the Deaf/Blind program at Perkins School for the Blind, and Ellen Maisel, Director of Cortical Visual Impairment project at Perkins. They discuss cortical visual impairment (CVI), including what it is and how to look for it.

 

Before the interview, Chris shares about his discussion on AAC Certification with Marie Ireland, VP of ASHA. Chris wonders if a slippery slope argument (if we let A happen, then Z will happen) is happening with AAC certification and talks about yourlogicalfallacy.com. Marie talked with Chris about the lack of data to support anyone getting denied services once a certification is put in place.

 

Key ideas this week:

 

🔑 CVI is a brain-based visual impairment that affects visual attention and recognition. The cause of visual impairment for people with CVI isn’t their eyes, but their visual brain.

 

🔑 Just because a child is looking at something, doesn’t mean they understand what they are seeing. This understanding is the primary challenge for children with CVI.

 

🔑 For brain-based visual impairment, you don’t need to just make it bigger or closer. Its about teaching them to understand what they are looking at.

 

If you love Talking with Tech, help us develop new content and keep the podcast going! Support our podcast at patreon.com/talkingwithtech!

 

Visit bit.ly/twtpod for access to previous episodes, resources, and CEU credits that you can earn for listening to TWT episodes!

Using Robots & Coding to Teach Core Words and Support Peer Collaboration

Using Robots & Coding to Teach Core Words and Support Peer Collaboration

March 5, 2020

This week, the TWT team presents Chris’s roundtable discussion on coding, robots, and AAC with Darla Ashton, Brian Franklin, Catherine Brown, Kelly Fonner. They discuss practical strategies for teaching language using the Dash robot, Ozobot, Code.org, the Every Move Counts method, and more!

 

Before the roundtable, Rachel and Chris share about meeting each other for the first time in PA during the previous winter break. Rachel also describes going to a screening of Uncut Gems and meeting Adam Sandler! Finally, Rachel and Chris talk about the challenges and rewards of networking, and how they have both become more comfortable with criticism!

 

Key ideas this week:

 

🔑 It is important to be ourselves when interacting with others, especially when networking. While not everyone will be interested in us when we are ourselves, the connections we do make are stronger when we are authentic!

 

🔑 Coding and working with robots is a great way to work on core vocabulary (e.g. “go here”)


Robots can be more age appropriate for students in school, especially middle and high school

 

🔑 Coding can encourage peer interaction, because coding robots is motivating to many students, and it allows robotics teams and students in special education to work side by side.

 

If you love Talking with Tech, help us develop new content and keep the podcast going! Support our podcast at patreon.com/talkingwithtech!

 

Visit bit.ly/twtpod for access to previous episodes, resources, and CEU credits that you can earn for listening to TWT episodes!

Kathryn Dorney: Using Core Words and Aided Langauge Input to Teach Preschool Children with ASD

Kathryn Dorney: Using Core Words and Aided Langauge Input to Teach Preschool Children with ASD

February 26, 2020

This week, TWT presents Rachel’s interview with Kathryn Dorney of AAC for the SLP! Before the interview, Rachel shares about a young client she is working with whose family was modeling using Rachel’s free communication board before their first session!

 

Key ideas this week:

 

🔑 Kathryn Dorney discusses her recent research with Karen Erickson investigating attributing meaning to behaviors, using aided language input, and core vocabulary for preschool students with ASD.

 

🔑 For aided language input to be more successful, you need core words so that the communication partners have access to more of the words they use themselves. You can also teach intent better with core words - nouns often don’t indicate the intent of the speaker, but core words do.

 

🔑 When implementing AAC, we should encourage development, not performance. It can quite a while for some students to learn to communicate, and if we require early success to continue implementation, some students don’t get enough time to learn.

 

If you love Talking with Tech, help us develop new content and keep the podcast going! Support our podcast at patreon.com/talkingwithtech!

 

Visit bit.ly/twtpod for access to previous episodes, resources, and CEU credits that you can earn for listening to TWT episodes!

ATIA 2020 - Part 2: Building AAC Capacity, Dynamic AAC Assessment, Breaking Through Implementation Barriers, and More

ATIA 2020 - Part 2: Building AAC Capacity, Dynamic AAC Assessment, Breaking Through Implementation Barriers, and More

February 19, 2020

This week on TWT, we present part 2 of Chris’s interviews from ATIA! Before the interviews, Chris shares even more stories from ATIA. There were two “smackdown” sessions which focus on sharing strategies. biy.ly/appsmack20 gives you links to all of the apps at the App Smackdown, and  bit.ly/pdsmackdown20 links to all the strategies discussed at the Professional Development Smackdown. Chris also shares about the AAC Certification town hall, poster sessions on AAC camps, using robots to teach language, updates to the AAC Agreements ranking the evidence behind them, and more!

 

Interviews this week: 

 

🔑 Jeanna Antrim  & Maggie Judson from BASSC share about their session on building capacity and supporting staff with implementation, strategies, and supports. Building capacity includes empowering families and increasing the AAC knowledge of educators and administrators. To build capacity, Jeanna and Maggie use the Power:AAC modules to create a learning community, hold monthly AT meetings with administrators, and host family AAC nights.  Jeanna and maggie discuss the McNaughton et. al. (2019) article on building capacity, the Nate Network that connects AT specialists in Education, and other great resources!

 

🔑 Susan Todd & Laura Vaughan discuss why AAC assessment should not be a pass/fail test, but rather a dynamic assessment that occurs over a number of sessions. Family involvement should also be central to the assessment process whenever possible. They also discuss the Dietz et. al. (2012) article that describes seven aspects of AAC assessment for each assessment - Multi-Modal Approaches, Communicative Assessment, Symbol Assessment, Device Trials, Access Method, AAC Instruction, and Personalization. There is no hierarchy of mastery - it is a circle that changes for each individual.

 

🔑 Marlene Cummings shares about her presentation on breaking through barriers to AAC implementation utilizing the participation model from Beukelman & Mirenda. Barriers discussed include attitude, skill, practice, policy, and knowledge.

 

If you love Talking with Tech, help us develop new content and keep the podcast going! Support our podcast at patreon.com/talkingwithtech!

 

Visit bit.ly/twtpod for access to previous episodes, resources, and CEU credits that you can earn for listening to TWT episodes!

ATIA 2020 - Part 1: AAC in the Classroom, Visual Scene Displays, & More

ATIA 2020 - Part 1: AAC in the Classroom, Visual Scene Displays, & More

February 12, 2020

If you love Talking with Tech, help us develop new content and keep the podcast going! Support our podcast at patreon.com/talkingwithtech!

 

This week on TWT, we present part 1 of Chris’s interviews from the Assistive Technology Industry Association Conference 2020! Before the interviews, Chris shares some stories from ATIA, including not wanting to be “Creepy Chris” when he saw someone he thought he recognized, having FOMO over all the sessions he couldn’t attend, and how much everyone was talking about about literacy at the conference. Chris also talks about the super fun “AT Family Feud” he helped produce!

 

Interviews this week:

 

🔑 Jennifer Thistle, Professor at Western Washington specializing in AAC, whose research includes the importance of motor planning and the design of Visual Scene Displays. Visual Scene Displays (VSDs) are photographs with vocabulary embedded into the picture. Jennifer is also asking for feedback from current school-based SLPs who have been working for at least three years and have a student who uses AAC. You can fill out this Google Form and contact her at jennifer.thistle@wwu.edu

 

🔑 Karen Fahey - graduate student at California State University, Northridge who is interested in AAC & assistive technology. Karen talks about her experience at ATIA, including her favorite parts of the exhibit hall and how much she enjoyed being around other people who are interested in AAC, and also shares about her experiences in grad school.

 

🔑 Amanda Hettenhausen - SLP & Saltillo consultant talks about how to use AAC in the classroom and adapt books for reading with an AAC user. She shares tips and tricks she uses, including making simple and natural powerpoint books, printing icons on address labels to label books, and more!

 

Visit bit.ly/twtpod for access to previous episodes, resources, and CEU credits that you can earn for listening to TWT episodes!

Hannah Foley: Full-Time AAC User & Future AAC Specialist

Hannah Foley: Full-Time AAC User & Future AAC Specialist

February 5, 2020

This week, we have the privilege of presenting Rachel’s interview with Hannah Foley, a senior at University of Illinois who is pursuing a career in Assistive Technology & AAC.  Hannah has cerebral palsy and is an incredible adult AAC user who works as an ambassador for Saltillo!

 

 Before the interview, Rachel & Chris talk about Christine Derse’s article, A Call for Consistency in AAC Picture Systems. Rachel and Chris discuss their agreement that using different symbols sets can be confusing at times, but note it isn’t clear a universal symbol set would lead to better modeling. For example, adults often use labels, rather than pictures, when modeling, and once a motor plan is in place the pictures become less important.

 

Key ideas this week:

 

🔑 Initially, Hannah was against using AAC because she felt her dedicated device was unsightly and it made her feel even more different. Working with Matt Baud, she came to see the importance of communication for her independence and started using an iPad.

 

🔑 Response time is incredibly important when communicating with an AAC user - it is critical that we give enough time to respond and become comfortable with silence. 

 

🔑 People often assume that Hannah is intellectually impaired, can’t go to college, or manage her care independently because she uses AAC. This is, of course, totally incorrect!

 

We need help from our listeners to keep Talking with Tech going - please support our podcast at patreon.com/talkingwithtech.

Visit bit.ly/twtpod for access to previous episodes, resources, and CEU credits that you can earn for listening to TWT episodes!

 

Resources

  • Hannah Foley's blog post - Overcoming AAC Resistance: Communication is Key.
  • Schlosser, R. W., Brock, K. L., Koul, R., Shane, H., & Flynn, S. (2019). Does Animation Facilitate Understanding of Graphic Symbols Representing Verbs in Children With Autism Spectrum Disorder?. Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, 62(4), 965-978.
Jane Odom: Takeaways from the Future of Ed Tech Conference

Jane Odom: Takeaways from the Future of Ed Tech Conference

January 29, 2020

We need your help to keep Talking with Tech going strong! If you are a loyal listener, please support our podcast at patreon.com/talkingwithtech.

 

This week, Chris and Rachel talk about Chris’s takeaways from the Future of Education Technology conference,  a place for teachers, coaches, and administrations can learn about ed tech, including using tech to increase inclusion. 

 

🔑 E-sports was a big topic of discussion at FETC.  E-sports allow for more inclusion because students who cannot participate in traditional sports can still play video games. Students can collaborate and interact in an authentic way with peers in a team environment and participate on twitch.com 

 

🔑 The FETC keynote speaker Daniel Pink who discussed the relationship between timing and performance. You want to do analytical tasks in the morning and the afternoon is the “trough” which is better for more routine tasks. We can help students with low motivation to perform better by scheduling them in the morning.

 

🔑 Carol Allen talked about early childhood education and introducing students to educational technology at a very early age. Don’t be the “lid on the flea jar”, as seen in this video (https://youtu.be/v-Dn2KEjPuc), by setting low expectations for students.

 

🔑 Jane Odom talks with Chris about the new “voice control” feature on Apple iOS where you can use a real or synthesized voice to interact with everything on an iOS device. This has opened up opportunities for AAC users to become more independent in exciting ways! 

 

Visit bit.ly/twtpod for access to previous episodes, resources, and CEU credits that you can earn for listening to TWT episodes!

Matt Levac & David Reno - Partnering with Students to Make New Assistive Technology

Matt Levac & David Reno - Partnering with Students to Make New Assistive Technology

January 22, 2020

We need your help to keep Talking with Tech going strong! If you are a loyal listener, please support our podcast at patreon.com/talkingwithtech.

This week, Chris interviews Matt Levac of ACCEL and David Reno of Southwest Human Development about making assistive tech and developing the “Makers of Change AT Challenge”. Matt and David discuss why making AT for each child can be so important, how recent technology like 3D printing has changed AT making, and how they leveraged the technical expertise of local students through the “Makers of Change AT Challenge”  to solve real problems for people with disabilities. 

Before the interview, Rachel and Chris connect about getting clients to communicate with carrier phrases and doing fun and silly activities to engage students. They also discuss their experience finding their creative flow in therapy or writing, and how it can be a powerful way to produce a great deal of creative content.

 

Key ideas this week:

 

🔑  The Makers of Change AT Challenge takes advantage of the technical skills of students to work on real-world problems facing people with disabilities. One year, students integrated internet-connected sensors into equipment so therapists could get better data about how equipment is being used.

 

🔑 The Makers of Change AT Challenge is looking for teams across the country to get involved next fall to work on the challenges independently and send in their solutions remotely. Learn more at Atmakerschallenge.com. 

 

🔑  Access free AT resources and “Open AT” solutions at www.makersmakingchange.com and atmakers.org.

 

Visit bit.ly/twtpod for access to previous episodes, resources, and CEU credits that you can earn for listening to TWT episodes!

Alyssa Hillary Zisk - Experiences of a Part-Time AAC User Researching and Writing About AAC

Alyssa Hillary Zisk - Experiences of a Part-Time AAC User Researching and Writing About AAC

January 15, 2020

We need your help to keep Talking with Tech going strong! If you are a loyal listener, please support our podcast at patreon.com/talkingwithtech.

This week, the TWT team is excited to share Rachel’s interview with Alyssa Hillary Zisk, an Autistic adult who is a “part-time AAC user” and a previous guest of the pod! Part-time AAC users have the ability to communicate verbally, but there are times when verbal speech is difficult and non-verbal communication is preferred.

Before the interview, Rachel shares about all of her new technology she purchased recently, and shares tips on using an Apple Pencil to become more organized and use less paper in therapy!

 

Key ideas this week:

 

🔑 Alyssa discusses their new article, “Am I the Curriculum?”. They discuss how and why being a part-time AAC user, taking an AAC course, and doing AAC research was “systemically awkward” because of many inconsistencies in the field, including our definitions of AAC and who uses AAC.

 

🔑 Parents may be resistant to AAC because want their child to use verbal speech, but we should empower individuals to use whatever communication method they find beneficial in that moment. 

 

🔑 Alyssa prefers identity-first language (Autistic adult) rather than people-first language (person with autism) when talking about their autism. This perspective is not always respected in the field of AAC - in fact, some AAC journals refuse to accept submissions with identity-first language, even when the author is talking about themselves. 

 

Visit bit.ly/twtpod for access to previous episodes, resources, and CEU credits that you can earn for listening to TWT episodes!

 

Interviews from ASHA - Part 4

Interviews from ASHA - Part 4

January 8, 2020

We need your help to keep Talking with Tech going strong! If you are a loyal listener, please support our podcast at patreon.com/talkingwithtech.

TWT presents the last, but not least, collection of interviews by Rachel recorded at ASHA 2019! Before the interviews, Rachel and Chris talk about some gems from Chris’s upcoming presentations at FETC about inclusive design, flexible learning spaces, and teaching through coding with robots. They also chat about ATIA, where Chris will be doing a pre-conference on writing, an “AT Feud” Family Feud style game, an assistive technology strategy “smackdown” session, and more! Afterwards, we hear from our interviews:

 

🔑Betsy Kennedy and Megan Murray talk about their poster session about how students learn with a consistent core word system across classrooms. They found that two core words a month, with a different focus each of the two weeks covering the same word, was more successful that focusing on one word each week or one word in a month.

 

🔑Heidi LoStracco shares about Speak for Yourself and their new “Smart Search” feature that remembers the words that have been searched but were not on the system and allows you to quickly add those words later when editing.

 

🔑Daisy Clay, the author of “Super Core” for the AAC system “SmartBox” shares about how the research behind Super Core, and how it provides both a static set of core words and a dynamic set of context- or activity-specific words on the right.

 

🔑 Jennie Bjorem, an expert on Childhood Apraxia of Speech, talks with Rachel about helping children with CAS, red flags for making a diagnosis of CAS (e.g. inconsistent errors, consonant & vowel distortions, intrusive schwa, difficulty with multisyllabic words, prosody issues, slow rate), becoming more comfortable with making a CAS diagnosis as an SLP, and more!

 

If you haven’t gotten a chance to read it yet, check out Chris’s amazing book on assistive tech, “The New Assistive Tech: Make Learning Awesome for All”!

 

Visit bit.ly/twtpod for access to previous episodes, resources, and CEU credits that you can earn for listening to TWT episodes!

XPN Holiday Episode 2019

XPN Holiday Episode 2019

December 25, 2019

This week, we are happy to share the Xceptional Podcast Network’s 2019 Holiday Episode!

To start off the episode, Mai Ling Chan of the Xceptional Leaders podcast talks about working with her new co-host, Martyn Sibley, and her new book “Becoming an Xceptional Leader.” Brandon Seigel talks about getting started with his new podcast, the Private Practice Survival Guide. Chris and Rachel (aka “Crachel”) share about being busy with lots of presentations and clients. Matt Hott talks briefly about the upcoming 100th episode of the Speech Science podcast and his son’s love of Lego games. After these introductions, the XPN crew play a fun holiday quiz game. Finally, the XPN crew share about their goals for the new year.

From Chris, Rachel, Luke, and Michaela - have a safe and happy holidays!

Interviews from ASHA 2019 - Part 3

Interviews from ASHA 2019 - Part 3

December 18, 2019

We need your help to keep Talking with Tech going strong! If you are a loyal listener, please support our podcast at patreon.com/talkingwithtech.

This week, the TWT team is proud to present Part 3 of Rachel’s interviews from ASHA 2019! Before the interviews, Rachel chats with Chris about doing a live podcast interview with Jennie Bjorem, speaking on a panel about podcasting and ethics, and her presentation on apps and autism! Don’t miss the discussion of Pepi Bath 2 😆!

After that:

 

🔑 Erik Raj stops by the booth to talk about infusing technology into stuttering treatment, including using funny pics to get kids talking (PhotoFunia) and using a voice changer (voicechanger.io) to motivate clients to talk more in therapy!

 

🔑 Kate Lamb (@lesswasteslp on Insta) talks about her “zero waste speech therapy room” and how she utilizes strategies like refusal, recycling, and reusing to cut her year’s trash down to the size of a spice jar! One great tip - use less laminating sheets and more reusable plastic sleeves instead!

 

🔑 Sarah Gregory discusses her presentation on AAC in the general education classroom, free resources on Twitter at @SGregorySLP, and why social media is a great way to follow amazing adult AAC users!

 

🔑 Kathy Hoffman, Arizona State Superintendent, talks about her presentation on being an advocate for public education, her decision to run for state office, and how she became the first educator to become State Superintendent of AZ in 20 years!

 

🔑 Lucas Steuber shares about working with Tobii Dynavox customers to figure out their biggest needs working with AAC.

 

Visit bit.ly/twtpod for access to previous episodes, resources, and CEU credits that you can earn for listening to TWT episodes!

Interviews from ASHA 2019 - Part 2

Interviews from ASHA 2019 - Part 2

December 11, 2019

We need your help to keep Talking with Tech going strong! If you are a loyal listener, please support our podcast at patreon.com/talkingwithtech.

This week, the TWT team is proud to present more of Rachel’s interviews from ASHA 2019! Before the interviews, Rachel chats with Chris about meeting all of the TWT fans at ASHA, how great it was to be part of something that is helping others, and talking with AAC user Hannah Foley. After that, we hear from:

 

🔑 Adriana Lavi - Dr. Lavi is the author of the Clinical Assessment of Pragmatics, Assistant Professor at Loma Linda University, and founder of the Lavi Institute. Dr. Lavi talks about creating and standardizing the CAP with her husband, why video-based assessment of non-verbal language is so important to pragmatics, and using auditory-visual bombardment to teach how to read facial expressions.

 

🔑 Debbie Brooks - the very funny host of SLP Wine and Cheese podcast talks about going from a job as a comedy writer to working as an SLP, why she is a “productive procrastinator”, and how she got started with the podcast. 

 

🔑 Matt Hott - the host of the SpeechScience podcast checks in briefly to talk about being at the XceptionalEd booth and working with ASHA SEALs.

 

Visit bit.ly/twtpod for access to previous episodes, resources, and CEU credits that you can earn for listening to TWT episodes!

Interviews from ASHA 2019 - Part 1

Interviews from ASHA 2019 - Part 1

December 4, 2019

We need your help to keep Talking with Tech going strong! If you are a loyal listener, please support our podcast at patreon.com/talkingwithtech.

This week, the TWT team is proud to present Rachel’s interviews from ASHA 2019! Before the interviews, Rachel brings on her #1 fan, Mama Madel, to chat with her and Chris! After that, we hear from:

 

🔑 Lynsey Lobdell and Brie Norton discuss their presentation about four foundational components to ensure authentic communication across all environments: 1) Improved team communication to promote a collaborative environment; 2) training; 3) support; and 4) culture.

 

🔑 Maria Kotsonis, host of SLP’s Wine and Cheese Podcast. Maria talks about hosting, working with her co-host Debbie Brooks, why she loves listening to different podcasts and learning while she does other things, and more!

 

🔑 John Kim - talks about his presentation about the SETT framework and how to incorporate AAC into the classroom curriculum. He shares about utilizing Student, Environment, Task, Tool framework to make a self-guided questionnaire for service providers to help highlight needs. He talks about working with teachers and SLPs who are not as familiar with AAC. 

 

🔑 Andrea Paulson - undergrad student at Middle Tennessee State at ASHA for the first time. She shares about her favorite talk and a upcoming conference at her school with keynote speaker Celeste Roseberry-Mckibbin on Saturday Feb 29th.

 

🔑 Nicole Tripp - discusses presentation about tracking data to drive change for AAC service delivery, working with administration with data to promote funding and training, evaluation of your own district, collaboration with teachers, and more!

 

🔑 Daisy Clay talks about creating SimpleAAC to respond to the issue of providing a device without implementation by providing guidance for parents, teachers, and others using the acronym SimpleAAC. It stands for Show, Interesting, Pause, Language, Exploration, Always available, Add words (expansion), and Commenting.

 

Visit bit.ly/twtpod for access to previous episodes, resources, and CEU credits that you can earn for listening to TWT episodes!

Nicole Bender - Moving Abroad to Support People with Complex Communication Needs

Nicole Bender - Moving Abroad to Support People with Complex Communication Needs

November 27, 2019

We need your help to keep Talking with Tech going strong! If you are a loyal listener, please support our podcast at patreon.com/talkingwithtech.

This week, Chris interviews Nicole Bender, an AAC specialist who was inspired to move from the US to Thailand to help people with developmental disabilities to communicate! Nicole shares her fascinating experiences deciding to move to another country, her challenges and successes working with AAC in Thailand, and why Nicole loves working abroad so much. Before the interview, Rachel gives her much awaited update on her experiences in Nepal, including adapting her training to help people in a developing country, traveling to far-flung locations, blending in with the locals, and more!

 

Key ideas this week:

 

🔑 Nicole makes great use of Saltillo’s  “Activity First Approach” - We pick a motivating topic, fill in words in the different sections on the visual, and think about what we need to say or do to get the child to say targeted phrases.

 

🔑 Song activities for AAC - some families with a song-based activity before working on core words. The family sings songs together and points at the pictures as they sing. It can help in some cases get the family more comfortable with picture-based vocabulary. 

 

🔑  It is important to think about culture when choosing AAC pictures to use. In some cases, the picture is not culturally appropriate’. For example, Nicole found out that a picture of someone putting their feet to signify “take a break” in Thailand isn’t used because putting up your feet and pointing them at someone is considered rude.

 

Visit bit.ly/twtpod for access to previous episodes, resources, and CEU credits that you can earn for listening to TWT episodes!

Small Talks III: Brian Whitmer, Brandi Lee Wentland, Kathy Howery, Shaun Pearson, & Kelly Key

Small Talks III: Brian Whitmer, Brandi Lee Wentland, Kathy Howery, Shaun Pearson, & Kelly Key

November 19, 2019

We need your help to keep Talking with Tech going strong! If you are a loyal listener, please support our podcast at patreon.com/talkingwithtech.

This week, we are happy to share our third Small Talks episode! We have 5 different short interviews from Brian Whitmer, Brandi Lee Wentland, Kathy Howery, Shaun Pearson, and Kelly Key! Each of them shares a key experience or strategy that is of particular interest!

 

Key ideas this week:

 

🔑 Brian Whitmer, CEO of CoughDrop, talks about the process of coming up with CoughDrop’s clever AAC-themed shirts (e.g., “I love it when a good motor plan comes together”). 

 

🔑 Brandi Lee Wentland discusses pushing into classrooms and other environments to support students in a more naturalistic environment.

 

🔑 Kathy Howery shares about working with parents, students, and SLPs at an AAC camp in Canada, including the importance of training communication partners before the camp begins.

 

🔑 Shaun Pearson shares about creating a table-top role playing game for children at AAC camp with Kathy, and all the creative ideas the students came up with! He also touches on the Argyle and Crew role playing game for kids and adults! 

 

🔑 Kelly Key talks about #coreaokey, a fun activity she came up with to work on core vocabulary! You play a song, and as it plays, you can model the language from the song! 

 

Visit bit.ly/twtpod for access to previous episodes, resources, and CEU credits that you can earn for listening to TWT episodes!

Catherine Fredericks - Increasing AAC Buy-in with Parents and Teachers in the Schools

Catherine Fredericks - Increasing AAC Buy-in with Parents and Teachers in the Schools

November 13, 2019

We need your help to keep Talking with Tech going strong! If you are a loyal listener, please support our podcast at patreon.com/talkingwithtech.

This week, Chris interviews Catherine Fredricks, a School-Based SLP & AAC Specialist with Wayne Township Public Schools. Catherine shares about her experience using AAC with students with a variety of needs (bilingual students, language-delayed students who are verbal, students with complex communication needs, etc) and how she builds excitement at school for a student’s early progress with AAC.  Hearing about how she has built success and buy-in within the schools is useful and inspiring! Before the interview, Chris and his amazing wife Melissa Bugaj catch up on the latest at Melissa’s school site! 

 

Key ideas this week:

 

🔑 Descriptive teaching is a way to reinforce and teach core language when we are discussing fringe words, especially during academic subjects. For example, instead of finding “ocean” or other fringe words during a science lesson, talk about the ocean - it is big, it is cold, etc. This allows for access to the curriculum while also reinforcing core language.

 

🔑  It can be difficult to get everyone on a school site “on board” with modeling & core language. Often, finding just one teacher to embrace AAC and work with the students can lead to others seeing the progress, which can create more buy-in for everyone.

 

🔑  When writing goals for students with complex communication needs, consider allowing for verbal responses as well as AAC responses in the goal (e.g., don’t just write the goal for AAC). This respects the student’s communication regardless of modality, and recognizes that verbal skills can grow with AAC skills.

 

Visit bit.ly/twtpod for access to previous episodes, resources, and CEU credits that you can earn for listening to TWT episodes!