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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

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    • 5.0 • 1 Bewertung

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!

    TWT Live: Access to Education Conference - Part1

    TWT Live: Access to Education Conference - Part1

    This week, we present part 1 of TWT Live: Access to Education Conference 2020! Before the TWT Live session, Chris and Rachel briefly discuss the importance of using captions, both as a tool to learn to read and to support people who are hard of hearing. There are many small tweaks we can make to make things more inclusive, such as enabling a feature on iPhones that allows captions to be turned on automatically when they are available. 
     
    Key ideas shared this week:
     
    🔑 If you start with PECS, are you considering what that person will use as an adult? PECS often isn’t a good long-term robust solution compared to something like a high-tech AAC device. Its OK to use many different kinds of AAC but you want a primary method of communication that is robust and can grow with the user.
     
    🔑 Virtual learning is a great opportunity to coach family members and communication partners. Service providers can change every year but the family will often be a consistent source of communication and support for the user over the years. 
     
    🔑 Look beyond your own discipline for professional development. There are trainings (e.g. cognitive coaching, difficult conversations) that apply to working with AAC but are not listed under the umbrella of education, speech pathology, or AAC. 
     
     
    ATIA - AT Connected will take place this year Jan 25-28th and Feb 1-4th. There will be more than 150 courses covering AAC, Assistive Technology, Education, and more. Registrations options include full conference, single strand, one day, and even a free option! Go to atia.org/talkingwithtech and enter registration code ATIAVISION21 for 20% off of the full registration! Also, don’t forget to check out Rachel & Chris virtual seminar at ATIA on Jan 30th and Feb 6th at bit.ly/TWTATIA21  
     
    Help us develop new content and keep the podcast going strong! Support our podcast at patreon.com/talkingwithtech!
     
    Visit talkingwithtech.org to access previous episodes, resources, and CEU credits that you can earn for listening to TWT episodes!

    • 44 Min.
    Talking with Tech Year in Review 2020

    Talking with Tech Year in Review 2020

    This week, Chris and Rachel review highlights of the Talking with Tech podcast during 2020. They talk about which countries listened the most to the podcast, the ways the podcast grew in 2020, and a breakdown of the most downloaded episodes of the year and of all time!

    • 31 Min.
    Coaching Call w/ Michaela Ball: Supporting a Severely Apraxic Emergent Communicator (Part 2)

    Coaching Call w/ Michaela Ball: Supporting a Severely Apraxic Emergent Communicator (Part 2)

    This week, we continue with part 2 of Chris and Rachel’s coaching call with TWT’s Audio Engineer & SLP grad student, Michaela Ball! Michaela continues to discuss her severely apraxic student who is a multi-modal communicator with Rachel and Chris. They continue to explore the importance of picking a larger iPad when possible, ways to promote direct selection skills, choosing motivating vocabulary to start with, and how to train staff and communication partners.
     
    Before the interview, Chris and Rachel discuss the “Pygmalion effect” and the ways that belief in someone can promote greater performance from that person. This includes the Rosenthal experiments in mice, in which mice who were labeled “intelligent” actually performed better. Experiments with students also indicate that belief in the student promotes better performance on average. This supports the idea that “presuming potential” can actually improve the performance of those we work with.
     
    Key ideas this week: 
     
    🔑 Visual supports help all students, especially early learners, Consider a classroom approach to aided language input so that everyone gets more practice with core words and how to use them.
     
    🔑 Consider putting core words into other places like the playground. For example, you can laminate key rings or core boards and place them on the playground for any kid to use and engage with.
     
    🔑 If teaching action words like “go”, instead of having adults model demands on the AAC user with that word, try having the AAC user make demands of others in a fun way, like in “red light, green light”. 
     
    🔑 When an AAC user communicates in multiple modalities, whenever possible, avoid “double demands” by communication partners, e.g. saying it verbally and then on the device. It is better to accept what they said and model without expectation.
     
    To get 20% off registration for the virtual conference ATIA 2021, go to ATIA.org/talkingwithtech and enter code ATIA21VISION (in all caps).  Chris and Rachel will teach virtual seminar Jan 30th and February 6th - check it out at bit.ly/twtatia2021! 

    • 49 Min.
    Coaching Call w/ Michaela Ball: Supporting a Severely Apraxic Emergent Communicator

    Coaching Call w/ Michaela Ball: Supporting a Severely Apraxic Emergent Communicator

    This week, we share a coaching call between Chris, Rachel, and our amazing Audio Engineer & SLP grad student, Michael Ball! Michaela asks the TWT team about a severely apraxic student she is working with who is a multi-modal communicator. With limited therapy time with this student, should Michaela focus more of her time on implementing a device, using sign language, or promoting verbal speech? How can she promote AAC best during the school day?
     
    Before the interview, Rachel shares with Chris about a another apraxic student she recently consulted with. Rachel talks about her approach to the difficult conversations that occur when a family is wary of AAC and holding out hope for verbal speech without AAC. Chris poses the option of bringing in more experienced families of AAC users to talk with the new client's family about the benefits of AAC. Chris also brings up the argument that AAC can often be the “lest dangerous option”, especially when compared to doing nothing differently. 
     
    Key ideas this week:
     
    🔑 When someone communicates in several different modalities, and we have to prioritize which modality to support, one good question to consider is “what modality will be most understood by unfamiliar listeners down the road?”
     
    🔑 When we are choosing what word to target first when working with an AAC user, it can be helpful to choose a word that is both really motivating to them in particular and one that he or she will use in many different contexts. 
     
    🔑 When choosing between an iPad mini or a full-sized iPad for AAC, it is important to consider the extra “real estate” that the full-sized iPad screen can give. More space often means for more symbols! It can also mean more space between the symbols, which can help students with fine motor challenges.
     
    Help us develop new content and keep the podcast going strong! Support our podcast at patreon.com/talkingwithtech! 
     
    Visit talkingwithtech.org to access previous episodes, resources, and CEU credits that you can earn for listening to TWT episodes!

    • 43 Min.
    Small Talks 4: Candice Steel, Chris Ramirez, Monique Madrid, Sarah Gregory, and TJ Haley

    Small Talks 4: Candice Steel, Chris Ramirez, Monique Madrid, Sarah Gregory, and TJ Haley

    This week, TWT presents four more short interviews, aka "small talks", covering a variety of topics related to AAC and Assistive Technology!
     
    Before the interviews, Rachel talks about a contentious IEP she recently attended for a student she consults with.  Rachel had some ideas about supporting literacy that she shared with the team, but the team was resistant to Rachel’s input as an SLP and didn’t seem interested in changing any goals. Chris shares about a situation early in his career where he was told SLPs “don’t do reading” - but those same people couldn’t say who was responsible for helping the student succeed. Chris then connects this to ASHA’s perspective that reading falls under the scope of practice for SLPs. Rachel touches on some of the mistakes that are often made when teaching a minimally verbal student to read, presumably because teachers don’t know how to support a student’s reading effectively if he or she can’t read out loud. 
     
    This week's Small Talks are:
     
    🔑 Candice Steel, an SLP & AT specialist working for Gompers, a non-profit in AZ, talks about empowering paraprofessionals to support AAC. Her training focuses on concepts like core vocabulary, operational competence, evaluative feedback, and communication facilitation. You can email her to learn more at empoweringparas101@gmail.com.
     
    🔑 Chris Ramirez & Monique Madrid are SLPAs who work with young children, AAC, and home health. Monique shares about being a parent of a child with autism and introducing AAC to her daughter. Chris talks about working with bilingual families and working with a supervisor who supervises SLPAs from out-of-state. 
     
    🔑 Sarah Gregory, SLP and AAC specialist, talks about the benefits of using Seesaw and videos to connect with families and teachers. Sarah likes to take videos and share them with families, including videos of students (with permission) that she shares with families. With Seesaw you don’t have have everyone’s email address to be able to contact them instantly. 
     
    🔑 TJ Haley - high school SLPA who discusses ways to engage students, including augmented reality. You can broadcast augmented reality for groups and classes using software that is often free and easy to use. He finds augmented reality is a great way to elicit expressive language. Sketch Fab and Jig Space are two apps he uses.
     
    Do you have burning AAC questions for Chris and Rachel? Sign up for our Patreon at patreon.com/talkingwithtech and join our TWT Live show for Patreon members only on December 9th 7:30-8:30 pm Eastern Time (4:30-5:30 pm Pacfic)!
     
    Visit talkingwithtech.org to access previous episodes, resources, and CEU credits that you can earn for listening to TWT episodes!

    • 54 Min.
    TWT Live from New Jersey - Part 3

    TWT Live from New Jersey - Part 3

    This week, we present the final episode in our three part series of TWT Live from New Jersey! This week, Rachel, Chris, and the participants tackle user questions about using eye gaze during teletherapy, how to decide if social media is accessible, maintaining attention and motivation during virtual sessions, and the language-system-first approach to AAC. 
     
    Before Part 3, Rachel and Chris get a tutorial on the popular video game Among Us! Rachel and Chris discuss how concepts from this game could be used to make therapy more fun and to work on vocabulary.
     
    Key ideas this week: 
     
    🔑 Consider incorporating sensory movement breaks into virtual therapy to make therapy sessions more engaging. You can also incorporate a direct therapy hybrid where you include some coaching for communication partners during the session.
     
    🔑 Using less technology and more physical items , like a puppet or toy, during a teletherapy session can make a session more interesting for some students. Check out @thespeakbotique on Instagram for ideas. (https://www.instagram.com/thespeakboutique/)
     
    🔑 Incorporating items from the child’s environment and helping parents participate in therapy can be more useful for generalization and motivation then engaging them with our therapy items.
     
    Help us develop new content and keep the podcast going strong! Support our podcast at patreon.com/talkingwithtech!
     
    Visit talkingwithtech.org to access previous episodes, resources, and CEU credits that you can earn for listening to TWT episodes!

    • 55 Min.

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