100 episodes

How do people with complex communication needs learn to use augmentative and alternative communication (AAC)? Join speech-language pathologists (SLPs) Rachel and Chris as they answer your questions, discuss relevant research and give you updates on the latest and greatest developments in the field of AAC! Interviews with industry thought-leaders, clinicians, parents, researchers, users, and app developers help you stay up-to-date on the latest devices and apps, best practices for device selection and implementation, ideas for working with communication partners, and more!

Talking With Tech AAC Podcast Rachel Madel and Chris Bugaj

    • Education

How do people with complex communication needs learn to use augmentative and alternative communication (AAC)? Join speech-language pathologists (SLPs) Rachel and Chris as they answer your questions, discuss relevant research and give you updates on the latest and greatest developments in the field of AAC! Interviews with industry thought-leaders, clinicians, parents, researchers, users, and app developers help you stay up-to-date on the latest devices and apps, best practices for device selection and implementation, ideas for working with communication partners, and more!

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

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

    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!

    • 47 min
    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

    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!
     

    • 48 min
    Interviews from ASHA - Part 4

    Interviews from ASHA - Part 4

    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!

    • 46 min
    XPN Holiday Episode 2019

    XPN Holiday Episode 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!

    • 42 min
    Interviews from ASHA 2019 - Part 3

    Interviews from ASHA 2019 - Part 3

    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!

    • 41 min
    Interviews from ASHA 2019 - Part 2

    Interviews from ASHA 2019 - Part 2

    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!

    • 44 min

Customer Reviews

Interactor ,

Makes driving fun & stimulating for roving AAC consultants

Thanks for keeping me thinking and building this community--your work represents some of the best things about the internet!

Magella's Mum ,

Fabulous professional development, but fun too!

I am the parent of two students who use assistive technology, one who is nonspeaking. I also work in the field of special education and AT. So I was excited by this new podcast, but then quickly turned off by the chatty small talk at the start of each podcast. I’m so glad I went back and gave it a second chance! It is like being a fly on the wall when some of the most knowledgeable people in AT gather to discuss current issues. As a parent, it deepens my understanding of the experience of the professionals who work in the trenches. As a consultant, it is so affirming to discover how universal my challenges are. It is like attending an AT conference, for free, from the comfort of my own home and car. I think of AAC as a highly visual medium, so it has been a great surprise to learn that a purely audio format can be so effective. I can’t wait for each episode!

Top Podcasts In Education

Listeners Also Subscribed To