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Why Presuming Potential Matters + Interviews from ASHA with Bill Binko, Cindy Halloran, Heidi LoStracco, Sarah Wilds, and Brian Whitmer

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This week, Rachel and Chris discuss the recent article in the ASHA Leader, “The Pitfalls of Presumption” by Katie O’Neil and Rebecca McCarthy. They agree with some ideas in the article, including the importance a well-planned assessment and implementation. They talk about why the phrase “presuming competence” can be confusing, and why they both prefer the phrase “presume potential.” Chris and Rachel go on to share some of their concerns about this article being misused by some clinicians to defend their role as “gatekeeper.” If not read carefully, the article seems to advocate a process where clinicians decide who is, and who is not, allowed to receive training on a robust language system. Chris and Rachel go on to discuss why they presume their clients have the potential for robust language systems until proven otherwise, and why they think others should too.


Following this, we share Rachel’s interviews from ASHA with Bill Binko, Cindy Halloran from LAMP Words for Life, Heidi Lostracco of Speak for Yourself, Sara Wilds of PRC, and Brian Whitmer of Cough Drop!


First, Bill Binko talks about Lesson Pix, a resource for creating custom learning materials for classrooms and therapy. He also talks about AT makers, an organization that seeks to introduce the “maker” community to the assistive technology community (e.g. partnering school robotics teams with people with AT needs).


Second, Cindy Halloran talks about the new version of LAMP Words for Life with improved support for users with visual impairment.


Third, Heidi Lostracco stops by to talk about Speak for Yourself. Rachel and Heidi discuss some of the new updates, how they have tried to make learning the software easier, and a new 30-day trial of the software launching soon.


Fourth, Sara Wilds from PRC Saltillo discusses their new site, ExploreAACcom. It is intended to be an introductory tutorial on AAC for parents, teachers, new clinicians, and anyone else interested in AAC. Areas covered include the meaning of “AAC,” differences between communication and language, and information about PRC devices.


Fifth, Brian Whitmer stops by and chats about this year’s Cough Drop shirt giveaway, why they think the shirts are a way to start conversations about AAC, and how the Cough Drop team come up with the shirt’s theme every year.


Finally, we share Mai Ling Chan’s brief interview with Summer Loehr, winner of the Xceptional Podcast Network contest at ASHA!

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 Pitfalls of Presumptions” by Katie O’Neil and Rebecca McCarthy, ASHA Leader (December 2018)  https://leader.pubs.asha.org/doi/full/10.1044/leader.FMP.23122018.10

LessonPix: www.lessonpix.com

ATMakers: www.facebook.com/groups/ATMakers

LAMP Words for Life: www.aacapps.com

Explore AAC: www.ExploreAAC.com

Cough Drop T-Shirts: https://shop.spreadshirt.com/coughdrop/


Hosts: Rachael Madel and Chris Bugaj

Producer: Luke Padgett

Audio Engineer: Michaela Ball

Music: “Ebb and Flow” by Fabian Measures


Pearson provides a variety of assessment and intervention materials for speech and language pathologists, audiologists, and related practitioners, which can lead to greater insights, better decisions, and successful outcomes for children and adults. Our respected products include the PPVT™-5, EVT™-3, GFTA-3, GFTA-3 Spanish, KLPA-3, CELF®-5, and PLS-5.

January 15, 2019

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