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Jenna Rayburn Kirk: Founder of Speech Room News & Popular TPT Contributor

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This week, TWT interviews Jenna Rayburn Kirk, school-based SLP, blogger, and successful TPT contributor! Jenna shares about how she got started, the kinds of AAC resources and materials that she thinks are effective, and how she continues to create resources that people find useful at home and in therapy! Before the interview, Chris and Rachel discuss their own experiences with making materials and, in Rachel’s case, why she recently decided to create a Teachers Pay Teachers page. Rachel and Chris also talk about some apps that they have used recently in therapy, including Choice Works and AR Dragon. Finally, Chris discusses “core kits,” a low-tech core vocabulary strategy that he uses when he needs a quick therapy idea.


Next, Rachel interviews Jenna Rayburn Kirk! Jenna talks about how she juggles being a full-time school SLP, AAC specialist, and an entrepreneur; why she is motivated to share her ideas; and how she has gotten to be so popular (over 25,000 followers) on Teachers Pay Teachers! Jenna covers useful topics in AAC and materials creation, including:


1) Why parent handouts are such an effective way to improve AAC implementation at home.

2) Why it is helpful to be specific about how to get modeling and working on core vocabulary.

3) Why we need to be flexible in how we approach asking for help from the circle of support.

4) Why getting buy-in from someone is easier when you show them how you are solving a problem they have.

5) Why it is so important to build strong relationships with teachers, caregivers, and parents.

6) Why some students need a “short term” assistive technology plan; not everyone who needs AAC needs it for years.

7) How a school can fill the gap between identification of an AAC need and getting a device funded by having devices available to everyone in the classroom.

8) Why “waiting for words” can delay language too much, because “there is no reason to stunt expressive language while we wait for speech sounds.”

We want to know what you think! You can connect with us at our Facebook group Talking with Tech, on Twitter, and Instagram (@talkingwithtech)! Also, please subscribe and post a review for us on iTunes – it helps others to find us!


The Speech Room News (includes a link to Jenna’s TPT Store): thespeechroomnews.com

Rachel’s Teachers Pay Teachers Store – includes 2 free resources and the Building Sentences board discussed on this episode: bit.ly/RachelMadelTPT


Hosts: Rachael Madel and Chris Bugaj

Producer: Luke Padgett

Audio Engineer: Michaela Ball

Music: “Ebb and Flow” by Fabian Measures



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November 13, 2018

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