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August 12, 2022

MontCOMM logo and headshots of Rachel Madel and Chris Bugaj. August 12th, 2022, U of M Campus, Missoula. Creating Empowering Experiences to Teach Language Using AAC. This high-energy, interactive event features the charismatic co-hosts of Talking with Tech: Rachel Madel and Chris Bugaj

Logo for Talking with Tech AAC PodcastWe’ve lined up TWO amazing speakers for MontCOMM 2022. Rachel Madel and Chris Bugaj, charismatic co-hosts of Talking with Tech, are recognized experts in the field of AAC (augmentative and alternative communication).  Icing on the cake? They are extremely engaging speakers; we’re going to have a great day!

Join us in person in Missoula on August 12th. Conference content is excellent for SLPs, OTs, educators, and direct support staff, but all are welcome.

Rachel and Chris will offer practical content to benefit AAC users of all ages in all settings. ASHA and MOTA offer .6 CEUs for this course; OPI credits are also available.

Registration is $100 for those needing CEUs, $50 for those who do not, and a group discount for any group of four or more registering together.  There will be a virtual-attendance option as well; cost is the same as the in-person option.

If you are interested in the group discount or need to pay with a check, please contact Molly at molly.kimmel@mso.umt.edu.

In-person attendees will spend the day on the beautiful University of Montana Campus. Lunch is provided, and MonTECH is hosting an open house for those who are interested. MontCOMM 2022 – a great day of learning and networking with others working to improve Montana’s capacity to serve people with communication challenges!

Register today

Course Description:

Explore strategies for teaching language so all communicators have opportunities for meaningful practice of language in everyday routines. Learn how to support language learning, select vocabulary, and get AAC users engaged. Explore how to design educational experiences using technologies which empower the learner and their support network. Learn how coaching empowers parents, caregivers, and educators to promote AAC systems all day, in all environments.

Learning Outcomes:

  1. Describe five contemporary tools to teach vocabulary to those learning language using AAC. 
  2. Describe one contemporary, evidence-based strategy used to teach those learning language using AAC. 
  3. Identify and develop the practice of coaching communication partners of those learning language using AAC.

The Shape of the Day:

8:30: Welcome, Overview, Introductions

8:45: Establishing a Mindset Around Teaching Language

10:15: Break

10:30 – The Importance of Motor Planning & Modeling

12:00 – Lunch (provided for in-person attendees) and MonTECH Open House

1:15: Collaborative Selection & Implementation

2:30: Break

2:45: Coaching Communication Partners

4:00: Q&A (30 minutes)

4:30: Wrap Up/MonTECH Open House

6:00: afterparty TBA!

ASHA logo. ASHA CE Approved Provider, Montana Speech-Language-Hearing Association, Introductory Level, .6 ASHA CEUs





(This course is at the introductory level and it is being offered for .6 ASHA CEUs.)

Speaker Bios:

Christopher R. Bugaj, MA CCC‐SLP, is a founding member of the Assistive Technology Team for Loudoun County Public Schools. Chris co-hosts the Talking With Tech podcast featuring interviews and conversations about augmentative and alternative communication and has hosted The A.T.TIPSCAST, a multi‐award winning podcast featuring strategies to design educational experiences. Author of The New Assistive Tech: Make Learning Awesome For All, Chris is also the co-author of Inclusive Learning 365: EdTech Strategies for Every Day of the Year and The Practical (and Fun) Guide to Assistive Technology in Public Schools. Chris co-authored two chapters for a book published by Brookes Publishing titled Technology Tools for Students with Autism. He also co‐produces and co‐authors the popular Night Light Stories podcast which features original stories for children of all ages. Chris has presented over 550 live or digital sessions at local, regional, state, national and international events, including TEDx.

Mr. Bugaj received a speaking fee for this conference. He has no relevant non-financial disclosures. 

Rachel Madel M.A.,CCC-SLP, is a Los Angeles-based speech-language pathologist and communication expert dedicated to coaching parents and professionals on how to incorporate technology to best support speech and language development. Rachel presents both nationally and abroad on the use of augmentative alternative communication (AAC) for children with complex communication needs and coaches clinicians, teachers and parents on integrating technology in classrooms and at home to support communication. When she’s not working with children in her private practice in Los Angeles, she co-hosts a weekly podcast called “Talking With Tech” that focuses on best practices in AAC. She is the founder of a digital media company that provides educational resources, therapy materials and training videos to help support parents and professionals of children with autism. Her work has been featured in Autism Parenting Magazine, Speech Science, Praactical AAC, Xceptional Ed, Teachers with Apps and ChildNEXUS. For financial disclosures, Ms. Madel received a speaking fee for this conference.

Ms. Madel received a speaking fee for this conference. She has no relevant non-financial disclosures. 


August 12, 2022
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U of M University Theater
32 Campus Drive
Missoula, MT 59812 United States
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