ECHO Voices 2022-23



To provide equitable access to best-practice knowledge through professional development, forums of collaboration and a supported learning community to those who support Oregon learners with complex communication needs. The sessions are designed to increase the capacity of educators, therapists and families for effective Augmentative and Alternative Communication systems selection and strategies for integration into learner goals.

ECHO Voices sessions will be held the first and third Wednesdays of each month, from 8 a.m. - 9:15 a.m. Pacific. Advance registration is not required. All sessions will be recorded and archived on this newsletter, for future viewing.

Each session begins with a 30 minute topic presentation plus Q&A time, followed by a case study/didactic of an unidentified student. Contact us if you would like to present a case.

Zoom Join URL for all ECHO Voices sessions:

More about ECHO (Extension of Community Health Outcomes)

Information about using Zoom Joining a Zoom webinar

Wednesday, October 05, 2022

The Many Roles of Communication Partners

Kelly Fonner, MS

Educational/Assistive Technology Consultant

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Kelly sets up the ECHO Voices year with the considerations, roles, and points of view of those who are the known and unknown communication partners to individuals who have complex communication needs. You will have an opportunity to share your ideas, concerns and questions that will impact the presentations for the entire year of ECHO voices.

Wednesday, October 19, 2022

Educating Parents to Model AAC at Home

Jill E.Senner, PhD CCC-SLP

Technology and Language Center

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Matthew R. Baud, MS, CCC-SLP

Niles Township District for Special Education (NTDSE)

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Parent education in AAC has numerous benefits to children and their families, including reducing the likelihood of system abandonment. However, in-service style trainings rarely result in increased AAC use at home. This session will introduce the SMoRRES® Training Program, which is based on decades of research on best practices in adult education, can be implemented with parents with young children who use AAC, and is primarily conducted within naturally occurring family routines in the home.

Wednesday, November 2, 2022

Down Home AAC! Bringing AAC Language Learning to Your Busy Family Life

Tanna (Tannalynn) Neufield, MS, CCC-SLP

Founder & Director of AACcessible & The AAC Academy

Click here for more info on Tanna

Are you looking for down home strategies to weave language learning into the daily grind? This session aims to meet you and your child where you are and give the tools to make magic language building moments a part of your everyday family life.

Wednesday, November 16, 2022

Making the World a Bigger Place for AAC Users

Carolyn O'Hearn

Speech-Language Pathologist

Certified PODD Trainer

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Sara Pericolosi

Speech-Language Pathologist

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“People with severe disabilities are more present and visible in today’s society than ever before, yet these individuals continue to have significant communication support needs that remain unmet” (Brady, et al., 2016).

Traditional interventions for individuals with complex communication needs (CCN) focus on communication within the school setting; however, when students exit their educational programming, they need a way to communicate and people with whom to communicate. Training communication partners within a community can improve an individual’s overall independence and quality of life.

Would you like your community to be a more AAC-friendly place? You can help make this a reality! Learn practical ways educators and families can expand access to AAC, then take AACtion for your learners.

Wednesday, December 7, 2022

Push Forward for Push In! Supporting Young AAC Users Directly in the Classroom Environment

Carolyn Parker

Speech Language Pathologist

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As educators and therapists, many of us know that push-in services can be a home-run for our young AAC users! However, many of us still struggle to implement this service delivery model due to logistics, schedules, and the fear of the unknown. According to the American Speech-Language Hearing Association, therapists typically spend over 19 hours a week in pull-out service delivery, and only 6 hours in push-in services on average. In this session, we will discuss the many benefits of push-in therapy for our AAC users, as well as strategies and activities to implement this service delivery model with confidence and ease!

Wednesday, January 18, 2023

Coaching Communication Partners
Heidi L. Rabe, M.A., CCC-SLP/L

Authentic Expression, LLC

Click Here for more on Heidi

When you hear the word coach, what do you think of? There are many different types of coaching models and styles. During this presentation, relationship-driven, stakeholder-centered, and client-centered models will be discussed, including the pros and cons of each and how they can be used in assistive technology or AAC coaching.

Wednesday, February 1, 2023

Consent in the Classroom

Sarah Weber

Speech Language Pathologist

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When it comes to new skills, practice is necessary for proficiency, and consent is no different. This need is amplified when supporting students with multiple disabilities and/or complex communication needs who may not have bodily autonomy. This presentation will discuss how to teach consent across educational settings.

Wednesday, February 15, 2023

Self-Advocacy with AAC Users and More!

Krista Howard, A.A.

AAC Mentor

Click here for more on Krista

Krista Howard is a single mom in her 30s pursuing her career with fervor and dedication. What you don’t know about Krista, without meeting her in person, is that she has a disability affecting her speech and the use of her left arm. In this ECHO Voices session, Krista, will share her lived experiences with AAC and her focus on AAC Advocacy.

Wednesday, March 1, 2023

Every AAC Family Needs a Coach

Barbara van't Westende

Speech Language Therapist with AssistiveWare

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Pam Harris

Support Specialist with AssistiveWare

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This presentation will show you, as an AAC professional, how you can support families on their AAC journey. Get practical strategies for how you can teach AAC, step into learning and problem solve the barriers to success. Every AAC family needs a coach - someone who can cheer them, support them, and guide them on this communication adventure.

Wednesday, March 15, 2023

Tips for Increasing Family Involvement and Supporting Follow Through with AAC at Home
Kelly C. Key

Assistive Technology Coordinator

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Do you feel your staff does an excellent job implementing AAC at school, but would like to provide more resources for parents at home? Come learn about how this unit school district provides coaching, training, and resources for families of children at the early childhood level to help them gain comfort and confidence with supporting their young child who uses AAC. Parent involvement begins before device implementation in an effort to empower them and create a partnership. The SETT Framework for AAC consideration (modified from Dr. Joy Zabala’ SETT Framework) is utilized as a springboard for ongoing collaboration. Many of the activity ideas, resources, and tips that we provide for families (both in person and virtual options) will be presented.

Wednesday, April 5, 2023

Am I Muted? Fostering Effective Self-Advocacy in AAC Users

Melonie Melton

Speech-Language Pathologist

New Horizons Regional Education Centers, Newport News, VA

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Heather Patton

Speech-Language Pathologist

New Horizons Regional Education Centers, Newport News, VA

Click here for more on Heather

Jamie Lawson

Speech-Language Pathologist

New Horizons Regional Education Centers, Newport News, VA

Click here for more on Jamie

Melissa Clark

Speech-Language Pathologist

New Horizons Regional Education Centers, Newport News, VA

Click here for more on Melissa

This session will provide information about facilitating self-determination and self-advocacy in AAC users. Discussion will include psychosocial competence and social-emotional development interventions that were utilized within a regional program for school aged students. Activities and intervention tools will be reviewed, including family/caregiver training, choices/opinions, and communication partner training.

Wednesday, April 19, 2023

Communication Bill of Rights and Self-Advocacy for Secondary & Transition Aged Learners
Deidre Dobbels

AAC Specialist/Speech Language Pathologist

Click here for more on Deidre

The National Joint Committee for the Communication Needs of Persons With Severe Disabilities (NJC) developed a Communication Bill of Rights citing 15 fundamental rights that allow people to participate fully in their relationships and their communities. This presentation will describe how one SLP/AAC Specialist took the Bill of Rights "off the wall" and put it into practice, in helping 18-22 year old post High School Transition students to develop communicative advocacy and autonomy skills.

Wednesday, May 3, 2023

Executive function and AAC

Paige Buckingham, MS, CCC-SLP

Owner, Buckingham Educational Services & Training, LLC

Click here for more on Paige

Executive Function Skills are the foundational skills we use daily to perform our lives

independently. What do these skills look like for a person who uses AAC? Do they have these

skills, and how do we teach these skills? Together we will look at executive function skills and

how they impact language and individuals who use AAC. Strategies to focus on building skills

will be shared along with examples of what this can look like in the classroom or home setting.

Wednesday, May 17, 2023

A Year of ECHO Voices: 2022-23 Edition
Kelly Fonner, MS

Educational/Assistive Technology Consultant

Click for more information

Kelly wraps up the year with the OTAP Team by reviewing the major takeaways from the year of ECHO Voices presentations. You will have an opportunity to share your takeaways and accomplishments from this 2022-23 school year.

Oregon Technology Access Program

1409 NE Diamond Lake Blvd., Suite 110

Roseburg, OR 97470