Access Tech for Adults & AAC

Course Number

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Presenters: Leigh Ann Porter, MA, CCC-SLP and Susan Koch Fager, PhD, CCC-SLP
Dr. Fager specializes in research connecting AAC with persons with severe physical and/or cognitive impairments. In today’s episode, Dr. Fager discusses her research on assistive technology and how the work she is completing translates to clinical practice. We also cover the progression from low tech AAC to high tech AAC a patient may experience across their recovery stages. Dr. Fager provides case studies to illustrate creative problem solving and overcoming obstacles to provide patients with a means to express themselves.

By the conclusion of this Podcourse, participants will be able to:

  • Identify two access technologies for people with complex communication needs to access AAC devices.
  • Identify an online resource that provides free journal articles, webcasts (video demonstrations), and posters for SLPs to increase their skills with access technology and AAC.
  • Describe how to implement AAC early in the recovery stages and how to advance from low to high tech AAC as the PT progresses.

About Leigh Ann: Leigh Ann earned her master’s in Communication Sciences from the University of Central Florida in 2013, and has enjoyed being an SLP ever since. While at UCF, Leigh Ann was part of a grant to prepare SLPs to work with English Language Learners, earning a graduate certificate of TESOL (Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages). Leigh Ann now resides in Kansas City where she divides her time working across outpatient, acute, and inpatient rehab settings. She has presented for ASHA CEUs to regional SLPs on topics such as how the respiratory system and cough influence dysphagia, a review of the literature on dysphagia exercises, and generating measurable dysphagia goals. For multidisciplinary continuing education with PTs and OTs, Leigh Ann has presented on topics such as Cognitive Retraining with an emphasis on memory strategies, and the SLP’s scope of practice & making appropriate patient referrals to the SLP. 
About Susan:
Susan Fager is the Director of the Communication Center of Excellence in the Institute for Rehabilitation Science and Engineering at Madonna Rehabilitation Hospital. Susan has more than 18 years of experience in the area of assistive technology and augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) and completed her doctoral training in AAC and motor speech disorders at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. Her research focuses on assistive technology options for persons with severe physical and/or cognitive impairments due to acquired neurological or degenerative conditions, such as traumatic brain injury, brainstem stroke, spinal cord injury, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, Parkinson's Disease, or chronic Guillain Barre syndrome.

Additional Information

This course is offered for 0.1 ASHA CEUs (Introductory Level, Professional Area)

Time-Ordered Agenda:

1-5: Welcome and guest background.

5-15: Describing the various access technologies available.

15-20: Background and services of the Rehabilitation Engineering Research Center (RERC on AAC).

20-30: Case study on multi-input access, failures and successes evaluated.

30-40: The progression of low to high tech in a patient’s rehab course.

40-50: Colleagues that have impacted guest’s practice, and parting thoughts

50-60: Q & A

Disclosure Statement for Susan Fager:

Financial: Susan Fager is a presenter for and receives royalties.

Nonfinancial: No relevant nonfinancial relationships exist.

Disclosure Statement for Leigh Ann Porter:

Financial: Leigh Ann Porter is a presenter for and receives royalties.

Nonfinancial: No relevant nonfinancial relationships exist.

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