Talking With Tech AAC Podcast

By Rachel Madel, Lucas Steuber, and Chris Bugaj

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Description

Join speech-language pathologists (SLPs) Rachel Madel, Lucas Steuber, and Chris Bugaj as they discuss how to help people with communication challenges use alternative and augmentative communication (AAC) to find their voice and join the conversation!

Episode Date
Roundtable with Eric Sanders: How do we Support Reading and Writing Skills with AAC?
00:37:26

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 Twit [...]

Jun 12, 2018
Chris Klein: Why Does Motor Planning Matter in AAC?
00:40:18

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

Jun 05, 2018
Scott Badesch, CEO of the Autism Society of America
00:50:40

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 http://www.autism-society.org/about-the-autism-society/staff/, and we also would love to hear your feedback and opinions! Come join us on Facebook, email us at tech@speechscience.org, or @talkingwithtech on Instagram or Twitter. Like wha [...]

May 30, 2018
Roundtable: When Should We Start Using AAC?
00:30:41

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 tech@speechscience.org, 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., & Whi [...]

May 22, 2018
Ellen Winchester & Andrea Gardner: Building On Demand and Interactive Supports for Communication Partners, Students, and the Community
00:56:39

This week the team discusses community accomodations 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 - see bios below - on the same topic and more. 

We’d love to hear your feedback and opinions! Come join us on Facebook, email us at tech@speechscience.org, 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!

***

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

May 14, 2018
AAC Agreements: Universal Principles for AAC Intervention
00:59:12

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 

May 08, 2018
Roundtable: Modeling
00:39:30

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 tech@speechscience.org, 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)

Apr 30, 2018
WPS: Assessment Considerations for AAC and Assessment Authorship
00:49:06

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 https://www.wpspublish.com! Like what we do? We appreciate any gesture via http://patreon.speechscience.org - and please take a moment to leave us a review on iTunes as that helps others to find us!

Apr 25, 2018
Eva Sweeney: Consultant for ABC’s Speechless, Author, Activist, AAC User
00:26:08

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 tech@speechscience.org, and appreciate any gesture via patreon.speechscience.org.

Apr 15, 2018
Leanna Fox: Professional Development and AAC in Australia
00:55:17

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

Apr 09, 2018
Vicki Clarke: Tips on Making Clinical Decisions in AAC Assessment
00:46:45

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 www.mydynamictherapy.com.

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 tech@speechscience.org, and pl [...]

Apr 01, 2018
Lauren Enders: AAC Implementation and Consultation in the Schools
00:42:20

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 patreon.speechscience.org. Happy listening!

Mar 26, 2018
Mark Barlet: Making Video Games Accessible to All
00:29:57

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: http://bit.ly/thenewatforall

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 blos [...]
Mar 21, 2018
Jayne Clare: Criterion to Determine the Best Educational Apps
53:00

Jayne Clare, a thirty-year veteran teacher in special education, has been a leader in introducing educational technology into the classroom. She is co-founder of TeachersWithApps, a National School Boards Association “20 to Watch;” Leader Advancing Education Technology, and weekly host of EdAppTalk, an open table Facebook Group. She has worked with Brainpop facilitating webinars, served as an educational curator for many organizations and is an avid blogger. School reform, diversity, reading readiness and teacher tools are among her favorite topics. Through her extensive work critiquing educational content for TeachersWithApps, she has created a viable and valuable resource for educational technology and anything trending in the digital space.

In this episode, she joins Rachel and Lucas for an informative, inspirational, and [...]

Mar 12, 2018
Roundtable: Core Words
00:49:51

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 www.aaclivenow.com to visit AAC Live Now (seriously, reach out to lucas@speechscience.org or call him at 541-952-1699 if you wo [...]

Mar 05, 2018
Jane Odom: Resources and Strategies for Successful AAC Instruction
00:57:49

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 LanguageLab
Realize Language

Feb 26, 2018
Kevin Chaja: Using Augmented Reality to Teach Social Skills
00:31:21

In this episode Talking with Tech’s Rachel Madel interviews Kevin Chaja of Color Black’s Moment AR app to discuss brand new app that helps children with autism learn social skills. Also discussed: Clinical applications for augmented reality and the future of AR/VR in education.

Name: Kevin Chaja
E-mail: kevin@colorblack.tv
Website: www.colorblackmoment.com
twitter: @el_chakka
instagram: @madcatprimus
facebook: @kevin.chaja
Merge VR Cube: https://mergevr.com/
Developer: [...]

Feb 23, 2018
Erin Compton: Adopting Two Children with Cerebral Palsy and Getting Started With AAC
00:49:28

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 jou [...]

Feb 12, 2018
Erek Engar: A Specific Language System First Approach to AAC
00:53:21

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 tech@speechscience.org 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?


Feb 04, 2018
Kathy Howery and the Lived Experience of Speaking Through a Device
00:47:33

Kathy Howery joins Chris Bugaj to discuss her research on the lived experience of AAC users. Afterward, the team comes back together to talk about the importance of human identity - and humor - in language use.

Thanks for listening! As always, contact us at tech@speechscience.org 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.

 

Jan 26, 2018
Karen Owens of We Speak PODD
00:55:59

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 tech@speechscience.org 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.

 

Jan 16, 2018
Alex Pavtoulov and Ofir Harel of Olà Mundo: Their app Socky, Social Reciprocity in AAC, and Building Engaging Tools for ASD
00:45:02

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 tech@speechscience.org with any feedback and make sure to subscribe and share with your friends! If [...]

Dec 21, 2017
Chris Gibbons of SmartBox: The Evolution of the Industry, International Developers’ Dominance of our Field, Funding Models, and What the Future Holds
00:46:51

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 [...]

Dec 18, 2017
Tom Ladd of Smartstones on Carly Fleischmann, the Night of Too Many Stars, and Brain-Computer Interfaces
00:33:25

In this episode Talking with Tech’s Lucas Steuber and Rachel Madel sit down with Tom Ladd of SmartStones and :prose and talk about everything from gesture-based communication to brain-computer interfaces (BCI) for augmentative communication. Plus we get to hear the story about how Carly Fleischmann is a user of their app - and how he was backstage to help facilitate a reschedule for her with Stephen Colbert and crew after her interview with Jon Stewart.

For more information about SmartStones and :prose, visit speakprose.com - and don’t forget to watch Carly Fleischmann’s appearance on Night of Too Many Stars!

Dec 15, 2017
Pearson’s Q Interactive Team: The Past, Present, and Future of Tablet-Based Assessment
00:45:19

In this episode Talking with Tech’s Lucas Steuber and Rachel Madel sit down with Pearson’s Dustin Wahlstrom, James Henke, and Kristen Getz to talk about their Q-Interactive  tablet-based assessment platform, the impact of the format change (if any) on clinical outcomes, and the current state of critical SLP assessments like the Goldman-Fristoe-3 (Spanish and English), the CELF-5, the PPVT-3, and others that are coming to the platform soon. 

For more information about Q-Interactive or the assessments within visit the Q-Interactive site and feel free to email us any questions to pass along.

Thanks for listening! As always [...]

Dec 13, 2017
Kate Ahern: Thoughts, Tips, and Wisdom from an AAC Thought Leader
00:41:04

In this episode Talking with Tech’s Lucas Steuber and Rachel Madel talk to the legendary Kate Ahern about her work with special populations, the importance of presumed competence, and the need to use every skill in our toolkit to properly serve kids - not just the high -tech ones - as well as the importance of learning from teachers.

For more information about Kate, see her collected slides and presentations here, her blog here, her highly active Facebook community, and many other places around the web.

Thanks for liste [...]

Dec 12, 2017
RJ Cooper: The Past, Present, and Future of Independent AT Manufacturers and the AT Industry
00:58:06

In this episode Talking with Tech’s Lucas Steuber goes one-on-one with seasoned AT specialist RJ Cooper, from his early days doing it all himself to the future of the industry and the nature - logistically, philosophically, and ethically - of AT manufacturing.

Meanwhile, Luke, Chris, and Rachel talk about plans for the ASHA convention and properly introduce themselves after now airing four back-to-back episodes that have launched Talking With Tech - leading up to live events at ASHA!

For more information on RJ Cooper and Associates, see his store here and also the new email clie [...]

Nov 07, 2017
Pradeesh Thomas: Educational Technology & Its Role in Better Outcomes for Staff and Students
00:42:49

In this episode Talking with Tech’s Lucas Steuber goes one-on-one with entrepreneur and angel investor Pradeesh Thomas, founder of both SmartEdTech and AlphaVista, and now a member of the Stepping Stones Group.

We discuss the present and future of educational technology, the impact that it can have on outcomes for both students and teachers, and EdTech internationally from the perspective of both an engineer, technology thought leader, and past staffing agency CEO.

Nov 04, 2017
Bill Binko: DIY Assistive Technology, “Makers,” & the Convergence of Assistive Technology and Universal Design
00:41:38

In this episode, Talking with Tech’s Lucas Steuber and Chris Bugaj interview Bill Binko of ATMakers (and much more) about his work in do-it-yourself assistive technology, the growth of the “maker” movement in our field, and the future of assistive technology when so many large companies focus increasingly on usability in electronics.

For more information, see http://atmakers.org/ - and thanks for listening!

Nov 02, 2017
Ajit Narayanan: AAC Outside of the US & the Future of Universal Design
00:48:17

In this episode, Talking with Tech’s Lucas Steuber and Rachel Madel interview Ajit Narayanan of Avaz about his role as a pioneer of augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) in India, his new work in China, assistive technology for education, and the future of universal design. 

For more information, see www.avazapp.com and www.freespeechapp.com - and thanks for listening!

Nov 01, 2017