MontCOMM ’24:

Our 6th Annual Conference Focused Solely on Augmentative and Alternative Communication

MontCOMM means yearly access to national and international experts in AAC (Augmentative and Alternative Communication). It means quality training in Montana’s own back yard to help therapists, teachers, paraeducators, direct support professionals, and family members build their capacity to help people of all ages with communication challenges.


MontCOMM ’24 Is Happening August 9th and Features Lauren Enders Gonzales and Brenda Del Monte

Together, Lauren and Brenda offer a wide breadth of expertise in alternative communication, ranging from AAC evaluations and ways to access communication devices to implementation, gaining buy-in with families and education teams, and incorporating tools like Canva in creative ways. MontCOMM ’24 will feature exciting sessions you will not want to miss; you’ll get information you can incorporate immediately into your sessions, your classrooms, or your family life.


Check out these session titles!

  • Connection, Communication, and Checking Your Assumptions
  • Basics of AAC Evaluations
  • AAC and Neurodiversity/Autism
  • AAC and Complex or Medically Fragile Bodies
  • Empowering Communication partners of AAC Users

Session Abstract:

This full-day course is designed for speech-language pathologists, special educators, occupational therapists, and other professionals working with individuals who use or need augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) systems. The course will focus on AAC implementation skills that are critical, yet often missed or misunderstood.

Learn how to support every communicator’s connection with their important people through heightened understanding of how neurodiversity and physical or medical complexity impacts the development of communication. Explore the basics of AAC evaluations that reveal language potential. Learn partner strategies that nurture each AAC users’ autonomy and self-expression.

Join presenters Lauren S. Enders and Brenda Del Monte as they share practical AAC implementation strategies, encourage reevaluation of assumptions, and create an inclusive environment where all communicators capitalize on strengths and interests and develop skills that reflect their potential.

Learning Objectives:

  • Describe two positive outcomes for AAC learners when the professionals and others supporting them presume that EVERY individual has the potential to learn to communicate.
  • List two evidence-based strategies you plan to try with your selected population (a. neurodiversity/Autism or b. complex bodies/medically fragile) to foster development of autonomous communication.
  • Identify two newly-learned printable resources that can be used to guide and enhance collaboration with communication partners of AAC users.

MontCOMM is affordable (no increase in registration fees since inception in 2019)

$50.00 to attend remotely or in person in Missoula – no CEUs
$100.00 to attend remotely or in person in Missoula – CEUs approved for OPI, pending for ASHA and MOTA


Our speakers for MontCOMM ’24:

Close up of Lauren. She is smiling and looking up at the camera. She has brown curly hair.Lauren Enders Gonzales (CCC-SLP) is a frequent presenter
presenter at national and international conferences including ASHA, ATIA, Closing the Gap, and ISAAC Connect. She is well known for sharing creative resources through social media, using Canva and other tools in therapy sessions, and teaching about AAC for neurodiverse populations. She is an Adjunct faculty member at Delaware Valley University where she teachers graduate-level courses in assistive technology and AAC. She also currently serves as an Augmentative Communication and Assistive Technology Consultant for Bucks County in Pennsylvania. She is passionate about advocating for individuals with complex communication needs and strives to share best practices with all AAC professionals, allies, and champions.

 

 

 

Headshot of attractive woman in outdoors, smiling, with long blonde hair.

Brenda Del Monte (CCC-SLP) has 20 years’ experience as an assistive-technology evaluator
and facilitator in addition to her work as an SLP  through her private practice. She is co-founder of Believe Beyond Ability, a nonprofit that evaluates, provides assistive tech (AT), and trains those with multiple disabilities on AT to increase independence. Beyond Ability is focused on increasing accessibility for “the 1%”, children with complex physical disabilities.

Brenda is also the author of “I See You in There,” a collection of stories from her 20+ years of experience working with children and adults with disabilities. She is currently co-host of the Awe and Wonder Podcast hosted by the Special Ed Tech Center.

 

 


MontCOMM ’24 Agenda – Subject to Change

8:30-10:00 Session 1 – Connection, Communication and Checking Your Assumptions (L. Enders & B. Del Monte)

10:00-10:15 Break

10:15-12:00 Session 2

2a: AAC and Neurodiversity/Autism (L. Enders)

2b: AAC Evaluation Basics (B. Del Monte)

12:00-1:00 Lunch

1:00-1:20 AAC in Action – Recorded Interviews

1:20-2:20 Session 3 – Empowering Communication Partners of AAC Users (L. Enders & B. Del Monte)

2:20-2:30 Break

2:30-3:30 Session 4

4a: AAC and Complex or Medically Fragile Bodies (B. Del Monte)

4b: Crowd-driven Q&A (L. Enders)


Find Presentation Handouts and Resources Here:

 


MontCOMM ’24 is happening Friday, August 9th. Join us in-person on the beautiful U of M campus or remotely.

Questions? Contact shawna.hanson@mso.umt.edu 


ASHA approval pending