Tuesday, April 15, 2014

ASHA Healthcare and Business Institute 2014

I had the great opportunity to present at and attend the ASHA Healthcare and Business Institute at Green Valley Ranch in Las Vegas this past weekend. It was a great learning experience, and as you know, Vegas is no fun at all.

I presented three sessions: Inside and Outside the Box Apps for Pediatrics/Adults (2 sessions) and Tech Up! (a sort of day-to-day incorporation of technology to increase productivity and engagement in private practice settings). All went well, and the audience was terrific!

On the first day, I attended several sessions before mine, and especially enjoyed Audrey Holland's presentation on new directions in aphasia therapy. She discussed the value of contextual, functional group therapy (including narrative, which I am all about) and applications of technology- here was my tweet from her session.

Oops, I said Skype twice. I guess I thought it was important.

Now, my background includes a clinical fellowship year working in adult neurogenic rehab, some work helping with the initial offerings of Boston University's Aphasia Resource Center (specifically, what was then known pre-iPad as the "Aphasia Computer Club), and development of presentations including apps for adults. I work extensively with adolescents in transition from high school and some adults with autism, but I am primarily working in pediatrics and with kid-related topics and interventions, so the "refresher" was certainly welcome.

I especially appreciated Dr. Holland's reference to a VERY recently published issue of Seminars in Speech and Language (February, 2014) dedicated to the use of mobile tech in aphasia treatment. As electronic access to journals is not so easy for those of us not-in-school, I immediately texted my graduate intern from BU and asked if she had time to download and send me the articles (she did- thanks, Lauren!). One in particular, delightfully co-written by Elizabeth Hoover, my graduate placement supervisor back in 1999, and classmate Anne Carney, ended up providing me with the following additional slide for my presentation:

What I loved about this new information was that it provided a powerful context to demonstrate some of these tools, particularly Keynote, Reader (which provides a clean, uncluttered view of many test-based webpages in Safari), and Speak Selection (which is one way to access text-to-speech) as tools for clients to access text.

On the matter of Keynote, it is really one of my go-to apps whenever I need a "blank slate" to work with when creating or displaying visuals, which is exactly how this article framed it. Keynote ($9.99, free on new iPads purchased after fall 2013) is in short Apple's version of PowerPoint, though in many ways I like it more. Look to Keynote as a way to create a slide or two to break down a concept, display pictures, or even create picture stories. How do you use Keynote? It's as simple as this image I created for a recent workshop:

So, the conference went well, and I hope this information is helpful for clinicians and educators working with clients of all ages and populations.

I may have a few more posts related to this trip, but for now, I will leave you with a #selfie of me waiting to see Olivia Newton-John! I did make it to the strip a couple times...


  1. Tech Up!, the new suit up a la How I Met Your Mother? ;-) Clever.

    Nice overview. I hope your 3 sessions went well.

  2. OMG! It's so great to hear about Dr. Holland, one of my all time favorite professors at UA!!! Even though I live and work in MA mostly with kids, my training was with aphasia groups. I would be using apps like crazy if I ever had a client in my private practice with aphasia! Naming TherAppy immediately comes to mind. https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/naming-therappy/id451093640?mt=8 Thanks for all, Sean!