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Talking With Tech AAC Podcast
David Tobin: Using Audio-Based, Wordless Stories to Generate Language & Foster Creativity

David Tobin: Using Audio-Based, Wordless Stories to Generate Language & Foster Creativity

October 16, 2019

This week, the TWT team is pleased to share Rachel’s interview with David Tobin, former TV producer and CEO of Audiojack! First, Chris and Rachel discuss how they have gone almost 2 years making the podcast, and haven’t yet met in person (but almost did last week). Chris and Rachel also connect about using audio as a tool in therapy, and the importance of being able to visualize and use our imaginations. Next, Rachel connects David Tobin, former TV producer and CEO of Audiojack (www.audiojack.com), to talk about his company and how Audiojack is being used in classrooms and therapy rooms to improve student engagement and foster creativity. Finally, the episode ends with a short Audiojack, with Rachel and Chris comparing what they heard in the clip!

 

Key ideas this week:

 

🔑 “Audiojacks” are audio-based, wordless stories created by layering lots of different sounds together.

 

🔑 Rachel  has used Audiojacks to help clients produce more language and get better engagement in therapy. 

 

🔑 Some of Rachel’s clients used vocabulary Rachel didn’t know they had when trying to describe an Audiojack.

 

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

Brandi Lee Wentland: Strategies for AAC Collaboration with Behavior Analysts, SLPs, & More

Brandi Lee Wentland: Strategies for AAC Collaboration with Behavior Analysts, SLPs, & More

October 8, 2019

This week, Chris interviews SLP & AAC Specialist Brandi Lee Wentland, owner of We Speak AAC!  Brandi shares lots of helpful strategies for working with AAC users, including collaborating with other professionals, using a reinforcement matrix, helping others to get started on their AAC journey, and more!

 

Key ideas this week include:

 

🔑The cost of agreeing to increase speech therapy minutes can be much greater for a district than vs the cost of a device, but a request to increase speech minutes may be much less scrutinized in some settings than a request for AAC.

🔑BCBAs want research, preferably research of a certain type. Instead of debating the merits of some AAC research, more productive conversations can be had about video modeling, functional language, and utilizing AAC with motivating activities.

🔑Increasing the number of communication partners that model AAC with an AAC user both a) increases their exposure to language overall and b) demonstrates respect for the AAC user’s chosen mode of communication.

 

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

Supporting AAC Users with Aggressive Behaviors

Supporting AAC Users with Aggressive Behaviors

October 1, 2019

This week on TWT, Rachel shares about her recent experience with a client who became aggressive, self-injurious, frustrated during a therapy session, and what she was thinking and feeling as the situation felt like it was slipping out of her control. Rachel and Chris discuss the wide variety of emotions and thoughts that can occur after an experience like this, and they consider how we can best support students with complex communication needs who also demonstrate challenging behaviors.

 

Key ideas this week include:

 

🔑 Chris wonders whether videotaping sessions with the client could be helpful in figuring out what may have caused the client’s aggressive outburst. 

🔑 Gradual exposure to a disliked item, like a particular food being moved closer to the client each session, can be effective in some cases where students become upset or disregulated interacting with it.

🔑It is worth considering whether we can we make therapy that is engaging and fun that in order to reduce aggressive behaviors overall?

 

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

Meghan Betz: Improving Collaboration & Communication with Parents & Teachers

Meghan Betz: Improving Collaboration & Communication with Parents & Teachers

September 24, 2019

This week, Chris interviews SLP and AAC Specialist Meghan Betz about her experiences with AAC and what she has learned about reflective listening, working collaboratively in IEP meetings, working successfully with parents in the home, chunking information for parents & teachers, and more!

 

Key ideas this week include:

🔑 Rachel & Chris talk iPad stands - Rachel talks about her favorite sturdy and inexpensive iPad stand on Amazon and Chris shares about making iPad stands with 3D printing at thingaverse.com. 

🔑 Chris discusses his article for USAAC on using block coding to teach language.  Learn more about coding at code.org and about the robots Dash & Dot at https://www.makewonder.com/robots/dash/

🔑 Meghan & Chris discuss the importance of listening as much as we talk when interacting with parents and teachers in order to build their confidence and buy-in with therapeutic interventions.

 

Visit bit.ly/twtpod for access to the AAC After Work conference with Lauren Enders, Jill Senner, Matt Baud, and others. Chris and Rachel present today, 9/24/19. Sign up by September 30 for free access to live and recorded sessions! 

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

Kelly Key: Supporting Core Words & AAC Implementation School District Wide

Kelly Key: Supporting Core Words & AAC Implementation School District Wide

September 17, 2019

This week, Chris interviews Kelly Key about her role as Assistive Technology Coordinator with the Barrington 220 School District! They discuss promoting core vocabulary in Kelly’s district, using the SETT framework to evaluate AAC needs, helping to find communication opportunities in the school day, and more!

 

Key ideas this week include:

 

🔑 Discussion of the story on Twitter about Rachel Romeo teaching a young boy with ASD basic AAC skills during an 8 hour-flight.

🔑 Rachel & Chris’ experiences helping others with assistive technology out in public.

🔑 Kelly shares about growing her school district’s “Core Vocabulary Initiative” from 5 to 75 professionals!

 

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

Gail Van Tatenhove: Aging and its Possible Impact on AAC Users

Gail Van Tatenhove: Aging and its Possible Impact on AAC Users

September 10, 2019

This week, Chris & Rachel connect with the amazing Gail Van Tatenhove about her career, working with adults with developmental and intellectual disabilities who use AAC, and more!

 

Key ideas this week:

 

🔑 Gail shares from her wealth of experiences, including how communication needs change as young AAC users grow into adulthood and beyond.

🔑 The idea that people with verbal speech don’t benefit from AAC is a myth - the first “A” in AAC is for “augmentative” communication!

🔑 If we rely only upon verbal speech to develop language, then language can be delayed when speech sounds are delayed. “Visual supports” are a great way to teach language while speech sounds develop.

 

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

Charlotte DiStefano: Researching ASD and Complex Communication Needs

Charlotte DiStefano: Researching ASD and Complex Communication Needs

September 3, 2019

This week, the TWT team is pleased to share Rachel’s interview with Charlotte DiStefano. Charlotte is a researcher at UCLA with the Center for Autism Research and Treatment, as well as a Clinical Psychologist at the UCLA Neurodevelopmental Disabilities Clinic. Charlotte shares about being a researcher at UCLA, her involvement with JASPER, her research on autism & language development, ways therapists can improve interventions, and more!

 

Key ideas this week include:

 

🔑 The importance of school districts providing access to AAC devices after school and during the summer. 

 

🔑 When making device selections, try and involve parents, private SLPs, and teachers where possible! This can improve buy-in and help us make the most informed decision possible. 

 

🔑 JASPER (Joint Attention, Symbolic Play, Engagement, and Regulation) is a treatment approach that "targets the foundations of social communication and uses naturalistic strategies to increase the rate and complexity of social communication.” 

 

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

Productivity “Hacks” to Improve Efficiency, Effectiveness, and Collaboration - Part 3

Productivity “Hacks” to Improve Efficiency, Effectiveness, and Collaboration - Part 3

August 27, 2019

This week, the TWT team presents their third “Productivity Hacks” episode! This episode covers additional “hacks” that Rachel and Chris were not able to get to during their AAC in the Cloud presentation, including Slack, Trello, Voxer, ITT, Doodle, and more!

 

Key ideas this week include:

 

🔑 Using Slack to coordinate and organize messages between groups of people, such as an IEP team.

🔑 Rachel is “obsessed” with Voxer, a walkie-talkie app for team communication that allows sharing of short voice and video messages.

🔑 Doodle makes scheduling easier for meetings by highlighting the times everyone is available at the same time.

 

Before Rachel and Chris share these “hacks”, the adorable Margaret Bugaj joins the podcast to share about modeling using LAMP Words for Life with a new AAC user while they watched movies together. Margaret also shares about being a temporary LAMP user herself when she recovered from stitches, and her advice for new LAMP users!

Productivity “Hacks” to Improve Efficiency, Effectiveness, and Collaboration - Part 2

Productivity “Hacks” to Improve Efficiency, Effectiveness, and Collaboration - Part 2

August 20, 2019

This week, TWT presents the second half of the presentation “Tech Hacks that Support Team Collaboration, Productivity, and Efficiency.” This session was originally presented by Chris and Rachel as part of the AAC in the Cloud 2019 conference!

 

Key ideas this week include:

  

🔑 Rachel discusses how she uses TheraNest to help her schedule multiple clinicians at once.

🔑 Summer vacation gives some AAC users a chance to work with different communication partners. We can use this opportunity to see how AAC skills are generalizing outside of the therapy room. 

🔑  This week’s half of the “Productivity Hacks” presentation continues to share lots of ideas to help you become more productive and effective, including using Google for to do lists, sending screen captures with Loom, holding team meetings with Zoom, and more! Slides at bit.ly/AACproductivityhacks.

 

Before we present the second half of “Productivity Hacks”, Chris and Rachel talk about the end of extended school year services, using technology to schedule clinicians, assessing how skills learned in the therapy room are generalizing, and more!

Productivity “Hacks” to Improve Efficiency, Effectiveness, and Collaboration - Part 1

Productivity “Hacks” to Improve Efficiency, Effectiveness, and Collaboration - Part 1

August 13, 2019

This week, the TWT team presents the first half of their presentation “Tech Hacks that Support Team Collaboration, Productivity, and Efficiency.” This session was originally presented by Chris and Rachel as part of the AAC in the Cloud 2019 conference!

 

Before we present the first half of “Productivity Hacks”, Chris and Rachel talk about working with impulsive clients, using wait time and eye contact to distinguish communication attempts, doing therapy alongside communication partners, and more!

 

Key ideas this week include:

🔑 Developing “care plans” for communication partners - e.g., “next week, we will practice expanding utterances by one word” - is a great way to think more about coaching.

🔑 Rachel uses her Core Word Bundle every week to explain core words, language expansion strategies, parts of speech, and more to parents. https://www.rachelmadel.com/shop/core-word-vocabulary-bundle

🔑  This week’s “Productivity Hacks” presentation shares lots of great ideas about how to become more efficient and effective in your AAC practice, including making QR codes and using bit.ly links. Slides for this presentation: bit.ly/aacproductivityhacks 

ABCs of AAC - Part 2 (Earn CEU Credit)

ABCs of AAC - Part 2 (Earn CEU Credit)

August 6, 2019

This week, the TWT team presents the second half of the “ABCs of AAC.” This session was originally presented by Chris and Rachel as part of the SLP2B 2019 conference!

 

Before we present the second half of the “ABCs”, Chris and Rachel talk about augmented reality in therapy, the “Do Not Touch” app, supporting literacy, and more!

 

Key ideas this week include:

🔑 Rachel loves to use some slang in therapy because shared use of slang fosters peer acceptance. We need to program and teach users how to communicate in the same way others are communicating.

🔑 It helps to get the community involved with AAC, so more people know more about how to connect and interact with AAC users.

🔑  Avoid repeating phrases too often for children who use scripts. instead, teach language concepts as individual units so kids can say whatever they want to say, whenever they want to say it. 

 

Listen to part 1 of the “ABCs of AAC” and this week’s episode, then head to bit.ly/techceu to earn CEU credit for listening!

ABCs of AAC - Part 1 (Earn CEU Credit)

ABCs of AAC - Part 1 (Earn CEU Credit)

July 31, 2019

This week, the TWT team presents the first half of the “ABCs of AAC.” This session was originally presented by Chris and Rachel as part of the SLP2B 2019 conference!

 

Before we present the first half of the “ABCs”, Chris and Rachel discuss using the power of core vocabulary, changes to their schedules from summer, celebrating an AAC user’s circle of support, and more!

 

Key ideas this week include:

🔑 Modeling looking for vocabulary (and using the search function) on a device is a great way to help everyone feel more comfortable looking for vocabulary.

🔑 “Think-alouds” can be used in combination with modeling on the device(e.g., “Hmmm…how do I search?”) to help clients think about solving the problem themselves.

🔑  The “ABCs of AAC” from Rachel and Chris is an excellent introduction into AAC and is intended for anyone interested in a better understanding of the fundamentals of AAC. 

 

Listen this week and to part 2 of the “ABCs of AAC” next week, then head to bit.ly/techceu to earn CEU credit for listening to these episodes!

The Golden Rules of AAC Competency - Part 2 (Earn CEU Credit)

The Golden Rules of AAC Competency - Part 2 (Earn CEU Credit)

July 23, 2019

This week, the TWT team is pleased to share the second 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!

 

Key ideas this week include:

🔑 Overlapping treatment with other professionals can teach you strategies you did not learn in your own professional training.

🔑 It is important to support an AAC user’s “operational competency” - the ability to turn on the device, change the volume, plug it in, etc.

🔑  The COLE (Continuum of Language Expression) is a free tool used by therapists and IEP teams to evaluate early language development. http://bit.ly/colegooglesheets

 

Before we present the second half of the “Golden Rules”, Chris and Rachel discuss accessible programming, learning from other professionals, operational competency, and more!

 

Listen to part 1 of the “Golden Rules of AAC Competency in a New Era of Communication” and this week’s episode, then head to bit.ly/techceu to earn CEU credit for listening!

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

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

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!