MontComm 2019 Conference

Holiday Inn Downtown
200 S. Pattee Street
Missoula, Montana

MontComm logo

Don’t miss out on MonTECH’s first conference devoted entirely to augmentative and alternative communication (AAC)!  Join us for a day of learning with a nationally recognized AAC expert on August 5th, 9:00-5:00, at the Holiday Inn Missoula Downtown.  Educators, direct support staff, family members, therapists, and other professionals are all welcome to come learn about technology for complex communication needs.  Following a day of learning and sharing, stay to network and enjoy an evening at Montgomery Distillery, in the heart of Missoula’s hip downtown.  A percentage of proceeds will be donated to our next AAC conference, as MonTECH is committed to providing future AAC education opportunities.

  • Lunch Included
  • Registration cost is $100

Featured Speaker:


Gail M. Van Tatenhove

Gail M. Van Tatenhove, PA, MS, CCC-SLP, ASHA Fellow

Gail has 40+ years of experience working with individuals who use AAC systems. She began her career working with children with multiple, severe disabilities in a school setting. Later, serving on Florida’s statewide AAC assessment team, she traveled the state providing assessments and assisting in the implementation of AAC programs in schools.  Since 1988, Gail has maintained a private practice, providing therapy services for children and adults using AAC systems. Her specialty is teaching core vocabulary and supporting those using icon-based communication devices.


Financial Disclosure: Gail is receiving a speaking fee for this presentation.

Non-Financial Disclosure: Gail is the owner of a private practice. She also is a member of the ASHA SIG 12 and lead the team that developed the Pixon Project Kit.

Workshop Schedule:


  • 9:15 – 11:15 The Why and How of a Core-Driven AAC System (120 minutes)
  • 11:15 – 11:30 Break, Visit Vendors
  • 11:30 – 12:30 Panel of AAC Users (60 minutes) LUNCH provided during panel discussion
  • 12:30 – 1:30  Essential Communication Partner Skills (60 minutes)
  • 1:30 – 3:30 Teaching Core Vocabulary Systematically (120 minutes)
  • 1:30 – 3:30 Break-out Session: Overview and What’s New at MonTECH + App Smackdown (Share your Favorite AT Apps!)
  • 3:30 – 3:45 Break for Sopapilla, Visit Vendors
  • 3:45 – 5:00 Descriptive Teaching and Talking (90 minutes)
  • 3:45 – 5:00  Focus Group: AAC Needs in Montana – Let’s Talk About It!
  • 5:00 – 8:00  Moscow Mules at Montgomery Distillery. Celebrate the close of MontComm and network with others in the field, all while raising $1 per drink for future MonTECH trainings


Find Presentation Handouts and Resources Here:



Learner Outcomes:


  1. Participants will be able to select a target vocabulary of high frequency, re-useable core vocabulary words.
  2. Participants will be able to explain how core vocabulary words are NOT picture producers.
  3. Participants will be able to develop plans to create AAC systems that make core words easily accessible.
  4. Participants will be able to demonstrate change yes-no questions into open-ended and “soft probes.”
  5. Participants will be able to explain at least 1 prompting and at least 1 response strategy when interacting with someone using an AAC system.
  6. Participants will be able to create a plan for making a set of visual supports for teaching core vocabulary in the classroom.
  7. Participants will be able to describe the difference between teaching core vocabulary through immersion vs. explicit instruction.
  8. Participants will be able to describe at least 2 explicit vocabulary instructional strategies for teaching core vocabulary.
  9. Participants will be able to discuss the use of descriptive teaching with core vocabulary to meet curriculum demands.
  10. Participants will be able to discuss strategies to inform, involve, and instruct family and friends in the use of core vocabulary.

ASHA Approved:


This course is offered for .6 ASHA CEUs (Intermediate level, Professional area).

Approved Provider ASHA Continuing Education, American Speech-Language-Hearing Association. American Speech-Language-Hearing Association is approved by the Continueing Education Board of the American Speech-Languagne-Hearing (ASHA) to provide continuing education activities in speech-language pathology and audiology. See course information for number of ASHA CEUs, instructional level and content area. ASHA CE Provider approval does not imply edorsement of course content, specific products or clinical procedures.