Talking With Tech-logo

Talking With Tech

Health & Wellness Podcasts >

Three top Speech-Language Pathologists and their guests demystify technology in special education.

Three top Speech-Language Pathologists and their guests demystify technology in special education.
More Information


United States


Three top Speech-Language Pathologists and their guests demystify technology in special education.






Traci Peplinski: Funding Options for AAC

This week, the Talking with Tech team discusses how to obtain funding for alternative and augmentative communication (AAC) devices with speech-language pathologist and nonprofit founder, Traci Peplinski! Before the interview, Lucas, Rachel, and Chris chat about how to find funding for AAC devices and the need for more financial help for individuals who require AAC but cannot pay for it themselves. Then, the team examines why funding for implementation (e.g., training the AAC user’s circle of...


Jill Senner & Matt Baud: Teaching Communication Partners to Model Effectively

This week, Talking with Tech is joined by Dr. Jill Senner and Matt Baud! Jill and Matt are AAC experts who promote an evidence-based, systematic method for coaching communication partners how to implement AAC through partner-augmented input (PAI). Before the interview, Rachel and Chris discuss why training and coaching communication partners should be thought of as an ongoing process rather than something that happens once or twice in a “training.” Rachel and Chris also talk about why it is...


Betsy Furler: Running a Successful Private Practice

Talking with Tech is joined this week by Speech-Language Pathologist, Author, AAC Specialist, and CEO of Communication Circles, Betsy Furler! Before the interview, Rachel and Chris engage in a discussion of several “back to school” topics, including: the importance of presuming that all of our students are competent enough to communicate, using the excitement of a new school year to promote AAC intervention, what to do when teachers and/or staff are more familiar with one app than another,...


Carrie Baughcum: Using Drawing to Teach Language

Talking with Tech is joined this week by Carrie Baughcum, a special education teacher who teaches language and literacy using a form of drawing called “sketchnoting”! Before the interview, Chris and Rachel discuss how to make drawing a language-rich activity, the benefits of child-directed therapy, and ways they incorporate drawing into their own therapy. Next, Chris is joined by Carrie Baughcum to talk about how she uses sketchnoting to improve visualization and teach language. During...


Nicole Wingate & Angie Sheets: Using Videos to Teach Core Vocabulary

This week, Chris interviews Nicole Wingate and Angie Sheets! Nicole is a Speech-Language Pathologist and Angie is an Intensive Intervention Specialist who created a series of online videos teaching high-frequency, versatile vocabulary words (i.e., core vocabulary). Before the interview, Rachel and Chris discuss topics related to using videos in their own practice, including: the difference between using videos for instruction and as a reward, using short animated films to model core...


Barbara Fernandes: CEO of SmartyEars, Developer, and “GeekSLP” Blogger

Rachel and Lucas discuss entrepreneurship and app development with Barbara Fernandes, CEO of SmartyEars, a company that has created over 60 apps for speech, language, and communication! Before the interview, Lucas and Rachel have a lively conversation about their experience starting a private practice, their reasons for doing so, and some of the pitfalls they ran into starting their practice. Following this discussion, Lucas and Rachel sit down with Barbara to talk about her experiences as a...


Stacey Landberg: Should we Limit Screen Time for Young AAC Users?

This week, Lucas and Rachel discuss their experiences with screen time and ways that they have tried to make screen time more meaningful for clients. Rachel and Lucas also discuss situations when they have disagreed with a family member about how to proceed with an AAC intervention, and why parent buy-in is so critical. Next, Rachel and Chris discuss screen time recommendations for children under the age of three with Stacey Landberg, a speech-language pathologist who specializes in early...


Calum Hartley: Why Do Some Children Have Difficulty Understanding Pictures?

Rachel, Lucas, and Chris are joined this week by Dr. Calum Hartley, Professor of Psychology at Lancaster University. Dr. Hartley’s research focuses on why some young children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and complex communication needs may have a difficult time learning the meaning of pictures (e.g., icons, drawings, photographs). One reason a child with ASD may understand one picture over another is its “iconicity,” or how closely the picture resembles its referent (i.e., what the...


Tabi Jones-Wohleber: Supporting Communication Partners in the Classroom

In this episode, Rachel, Lucas, and Chris first discuss the work/life balance for SLPs, including the integration of social media into our professional lives and the need for balancing career growth vs. personal time when pursuing work-related interests. Then, Chris is joined by school-based AAC Specialist Tabi Jones-Wohleber! Tabi is creator of “Model as a MASTER PAL”, a training series that emphasizes the importance of environment and the communication partner’s responsibility to model....


Rachael Langley: AAC Specialist, Educator, and Conference Co-Founder

In this week’s episode, Rachel, Lucas, and Chris are joined by Rachael Langley, AAC specialist, educator, and co-founder of the #TalkingAAC Conference. Rachael Langley is also a well known resource for AAC information on Facebook (@RachaelLangleyAAC). Rachael discusses her experience co-founding a successful conference, shares about working as an AAC specialist in the schools, and speaks about her experience using social media and online groups to spread the word about AAC...


Carole Zangari: AAC Educator and Co-Founder of Praactical AAC

Rachel, Lucas, and Chris are joined this week by the amazing Carole Zangari! Dr. Zangari, co-founder of the Praactical AAC website and professor of speech-language pathology at Nova Southeastern University, shares some of her ideas about improving the experience for pre-service (i.e., unpaid and new to the field) teachers and SLPs who work with AAC users. The team also discusses the need for greater funding for AAC research, ways that people can get involved in AAC education, and the...


Susan Berkowitz: How can we Support AAC in the Summer?

Rachel, Lucas, Chris, are joined by SLP, author, and AAC consultant Susan Berkowitz for a discussion of how to help AAC users maintain their communication skills during the summer months (and any other break from school). Topics include: What is the "summer slide"? How can parents support AAC best during the summer? Do devices need to go home with students in the summer? How can parents support language during play activities? Finally, Susan discusses her work creating and sharing online...


Gideon Grossman: Inventor of Noisybands

This week Rachel, Lucas, and Chris talk about their upcoming presentations on autism, AAC, education, and, yes, escape rooms at AAC in the Cloud and the Assistive Technology Industry Association. Then, Rachel and Lucas sit down with Gideon Grossman, engineer and inventor of Noisybands, a talking bracelet that is activitated by a high five! Gideon discusses his device, how they could be used in play and therapy, and his plans for developing them into an assistive technology device in the near...


Eric Sanders: How do we Support Reading and Writing Skills with AAC?

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...


Chris Klein: Why Does Motor Planning Matter in AAC?

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...


Scott Badesch, CEO of the Autism Society of America

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...


Roundtable: When Should We Start Using AAC?

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, or @talkingwithtech on Instagram or Twitter. Like what we do at Talking...


Ellen Winchester & Andrea Gardner: Building On Demand and Interactive Supports for Communication Partners, Students, and the Community

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, or @talkingwithtech on...


AAC Agreements: Universal Principles for AAC Intervention

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...


Roundtable: Modeling

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, or @talkingwithtech on Instagram or Twitter. Like what we do at Talking With Tech? Take a moment to leave us a review on iTunes...