161: Gaining a Voice on the Playground


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First Bite: A Speech Therapy Podcast


Guest: Brianna Emanuel, MC, CCC-SLP - Children who use personal AAC devices face a unique challenge on the playground. When playing outside with their classmates, taking an AAC device with them means that device can easily get broken or lost but, without it, they have no means to communicate with their friends or teachers. Today’s guest set out to address this challenge in her local community. Brianna Emanuel is an inspiring SLP working in the Appleton Area School District in Wisconsin who is passionate about augmentative and alternative communication (AAC). Together with Talk To Me Technologies (TTMT), she created a custom AAC board and had it installed at her local adaptive playground. This incredible action gives countless children a voice while they're playing with their peers, allowing nonverbal children to easily communicate without the use of personal AAC devices. In today’s episode, Brianna shares her journey to becoming an SLP and gives us a glimpse into the process of working with TTMT to design a custom AAC board with inclusion in mind. She also highlights the importance of coaching for parents and teachers and the benefits of long-term loans and trials when finding the right AAC device for yourself, your students, or your children, as well as how she handles the daily challenges that come with working with nonverbal children and children with special communication needs. Tune in today for a conversation full of passion, inspiration, and functional guidance with real-life superhero, Brianna Emanuel!