Augmentative and Alternative Communication: From Novice to Expert Clinician

By John McCarthy, PhD, CCC-SLP and Aimee Dietz, PhD, CCC-SLP

Augmentative and Alternative Communication

Augmentative and Alternative Communication by John McCarthy and Aimee Dietz

Understanding the personal story of an individual who uses augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) can have a positive impact on the attitudes of people without disabilities toward that individual (McCarthy, Donofrio-Horwitz, & Smucker, 2010). Almost any AAC specialist has story after story of moments when they have helped reveal the true abilities of an individual through AAC:

• The eight-year-old boy with cerebral palsy who everyone assumed had below average intellectual ability and presymbolic language skills, was in fact bilingual.
• The forty-year-old woman with bulbar onset amyotrophic lateral sclerosis who cannot dress or feed herself, but still manages her finances, parents her children, and makes end-of-life decisions.
• The eighteen-year-old girl with autism spectrum disorder whose potential to contribute to society was doubted, yet planned for employment after high school and managed a new mobile device-based communication system.
• The fifty-two-year-old man with stroke-induced aphasia who medical staff assumed was “incompetent”; however, still made informed decisions about medical care and enjoyed friendly banter on the golf course with his adult sons.  Continue reading

Ten Advances in Cochlear Implant Technology and Services

By: Jace Wolfe, PhD

Over the past several years, there have been numerous advances in cochlear implant technology and services. As recent as a decade ago, there were little to no technological solutions available to assist a cochlear implant candidate/recipient, who presented with severe to profound hearing loss, with speech recognition in difficult listening situations—understanding speech in noisy and reverberant settings, over the telephone or television, and when spoken from a distance. Today, cochlear implant manufacturers offer a wide variety of solutions to meet the needs of patients with hearing aids or cochlear implant processors who struggle to communicate. This article identifies ten ways in which cochlear implant technology and services have evolved and improved in the past few years.

10. Automatic scene classification: Hearing aids have featured acoustic scene classifiers for almost a decade. Through these systems, hearing aids classify an environment as one that possesses background noise, speech in quiet or in noise, music, wind, and so forth. Once the listening situation is classified into one of these environments, the hearing aid selects the appropriate form of signal processing that will theoretically optimize performance in the given environment. This technology can be quite valuable as many users are unlikely to manually switch to programs designed for specific, challenging situations. Furthermore, this system will likely be well-received by cochlear implant users as it makes its way to implant sound processors.

9. The development of new speech recognition materials that provide a more realistic assessment of how hearing aid and implant users perform in real-life listening situations: Cochlear implant technology has improved so much that many users score near 100% correct on sentence recognition tests in a quiet environment with a single talker who is male and speaks at a slow to moderate rate. Additionally, many hearing aid users who struggle substantially in realistic situations also often score too well on these tests to meet the indications for cochlear implant candidacy. This fact makes it difficult to distinguish between excellent implant and hearing aid users and good users who may benefit from additional services.

Continue reading

Ground-Breaking Book on the Mind-Body Link in Singers

Mind-Body Awareness for Singers by Karen Leigh-Post

Mind-Body Awareness for Singers by Karen Leigh-Post

Mind-Body Awareness for Singers: Unleashing Optimal Performance provides a fundamental understanding of functional anatomy and cognitive neuroscience to guide singers and teachers of singing to unlocking the mystery of the mind-body link involved in the complex audio-motor behavior that is singing.

New theories and concepts, rooted in both the wisdom of masters in the field and current scientific research, are introduced from the unique perspective of the performer. Practical application exercises train the singer to work with, rather than against, the systems of singing to integrate the cognitive and conscious with the unconscious sensory and motor processes of our nervous system. Continue reading

Brand New Practical Resource for Voice Coaches

Body and Voice: Somatic Re-education by Marina Gilman

Body and Voice: Somatic Re-education by Marina Gilman

Body and Voice: Somatic Re-education by Marina Gilman, MM, MA, CCC-SLP, is an excellent resource for teachers of singing, voice coaches, and speech-language pathologists who work with singers and other voice professionals. It provides a new paradigm for working with singers in a way that allows for improved kinesthetic awareness needed to work with their body rather than against it. The text contains a series of lessons designed to train singing teachers, coaches, and voice therapists to recognize in their students the patterns of use and posture that interfere with respiration, phonation, and/or resonance. In addition, it provides tools for the teacher to guide the student to a level of self-awareness of habituated patterns along with strategies to implement change from the inside out. Continue reading

Invaluable Resources for Anyone Who Uses or Trains the Singing Voice

The Vocal Athlete

The Vocal Athlete by Wendy LeBorgne and Marci Rosenberg

The Vocal Athlete and the companion workbook The Vocal Athlete: Application and Technique for the Hybrid Singer are written and designed to bridge the gap between the art of contemporary commercial music (CCM) singing and the science behind voice production in this ever-growing popular vocal style. These books are a must have for the speech pathologist, singing voice specialist, and vocal pedagogue. Continue reading

New Release of Counseling in Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology

Counseling in Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology

Counseling in Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology by Dr. Anthony DiLollo and Dr. Robert Neimeyer

For Immediate Release (San Diego, CA – June 6, 2014) – Counseling in the field of communication disorders is an essential dimension of professional practice, but just what it entails is often a bit of a mystery. Counseling in Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology: Reconstructing Personal Narratives addresses this common concern of students and practitioners by illustrating how to integrate the concept of counseling into clinical practice. Replete with a variety of case studies, clinical guidelines, and actual transcripts of counseling interventions with clients and their families, as well as a practical “toolbox” of specific counseling methods, Dr. DiLollo and Dr. Neimeyer offer a comprehensive, novel, and empirically informed approach to counseling, applicable to a broad range of speech, language, swallowing, and hearing disorders. Continue reading

Plural Authors- How to Make Your Book More Promotable

Hello Plural Authors,

This post is for you! Brian Feinblum, creator and author of BookMarketingBuzzBlog and Chief Marketing Officer for Media Connect, recently invited us to share one of his blog posts, Making Your Book More Promotable. We felt that much of it would be informative for you wherever you may be in the book-creation process and so condensed and edited it with you in mind.

We are always here to help you!

-Plural Team

Making Your Book More Promotable 

Write Your Next Book with The Media in Mind

bookThe world of book publishing has changed immensely over the past decade –and certainly over the past three years, thanks to Amazon, Apple, tablets, e-books, Borders, and social media.

The role of book publicity has not changed though the methods have been altered. PR is needed to give a book a chance at succeeding in an overcrowded marketplace and a noisy media landscape. With more books being published than ever before, and more media outlets, there is a lot of competition.

Technology has no doubt impacted many industries including publishing. As a result, readers and consumers have been changed as well. Writers are changing, too. They have become writers and promoters.

There is no way of getting around it. To embrace PR as an author is to embrace your future.  The good news is there is plenty that you can do to promote your book:

collaboration

  • Think like the media and about their needs
  • Change your attitude about your PR role
  • Brand beyond the book – brand yourself
  • Network
  • Partner with other authors

Lots of authors have hang-ups about publicity. They often feel that they aren’t “mainstream” enough to be promotable or are too shy and uncomfortable to promote their book. You need to take ownership of your book and that means quarterbacking your PR campaign.

Give yourself a “PR audit” to see where you can begin:

  1.  Think of the connections you have and the people you know – do you have connections who could “hook you up” or can you drop names to the media?
  2. What is in your book that the media will find interesting?

Next think seriously about what it is you want to accomplish through publicity. Do you want to build your career, establish a voice, sell your book, influence others, get a job out of it? Knowing what your end goal is from PR will help you decide how to go about getting there. Not knowing why you are doing publicity won’t get you anywhere positive. Always keep an eye towards the future. In deciding what your goal is, consider realistically how much time and energy you will actually have to dedicate towards promoting your book. This will help you determine what publicity goal is attainable and feasible given your busy life.

The most promotable books, of any genre, are:

  • Unique in how they tackle a well-known subject
  • Reveal news or raise great questions
  • Lend personal insight on an industry, person, or organization

What’s Today’s Media Landscape?

In today’s media landscape there are more outlets and opportunities, their value is also more diluted than ever before. You will need a certain quantity of quality media placements

PR is not just about giving away free downloads of chapters and books, or of tweeting and making videos, or of e-blasting a press release. It is about making a sustained, strategic effort to influence the influencers and get media coverage that will help you in the short and long-term.

pen&paperYour writing can help you get media coverage and how you talk about what you wrote matters. Are you an expert in the field? If so, sound like it. Find a way to summarize without the details. Get to the heart of why someone should read your book. You should formulate your 15-second elevator speech about your book before it is written. Express it in a way that serves a need, fulfills a desire or feeds a want.

If this sounds like a lot to take in, it is; but don’t worry. Planning and practice makes perfect. Here are some tricks that can help get media recognition:

  • Socialize or “regionalize” the book
  • Get early reviews & build “buzz”
  • Ask for specific favors from those you know
  • Exploit personal experience/standing
  • Use PR as a means to an end- remember your end goal
  • Coincide your media pitches and efforts with upcoming events, holidays, anniversaries, honorary days, and timely news hooks
  • Create a website at least 5-6 months prior to your book launch date
  • See your launch date as a coronation – not Day 1. From your launch date, you have 30-90 days to make an impression.

Green Apple on BooksRemember to focus on your goal and keep an eye on the future. Plan ahead and begin your PR campaign before the book publishes. The last thing you want is a huge stack of inventory with no one interested. Keep your audience excited by doing daily publicity- even if it is just a simple tweet. Always meet your deadlines so everything comes in on schedule with no unexpected surprises. Test your ideas out on other people to get feedback. If at first you don’t succeed, try again.

There is nothing more rewarding having written a great book than to have a lot of readers and media attention. By actively promoting your work you position yourself to break through the clutter and heard successfully.

Just Published: New Literacy Book For Mutlicultural Issues

Language and Literacy Development: An Interdisciplinary Focus on English Learners with Communication disorders by Linda I. Rosa-Lugo, Florin Mihai, and Joyce Nutta, was just published!

This new book shows how the disciplines of speech-language pathology and English as a second language view and incorporate the roles of professionals in working with English Learners. Few resources have directly and intentionally addressed the merging of the two disciplines – speech-language pathology and English as a second language, in effecting change in language and literacy.

For more info on this and similar titles, click here! 

The Art and Science of Laryngology

Plural has several great titles that delve into the art and science of laryngology (click here to see them). One such title is the forthcoming Techniques of Botulinum Toxin Injections in the Head and Neck.

 

This title provides you with all the information you need to perfect your technique, illuminated with outstanding graphics, across a range of procedures – from cosmetics, through headache, to neurologic and functional disorders – order it now to ensure your get your copy immediately on publication by clicking here.

Plural’s Here’s How Series

We are delighted to bring to your attention three new and eminently practical tools that you should have in hand. From empowering parents of young children, to learning strategies, to apraxia of speech, you’ll find hints and tips as well as case examples that you can quickly adapt and adopt for your own clinic.

Here’s How to Do Early Intervention for Speech and Language: Empowering Parents by Karyn Lewis Searcy, M.A., CCC-SLP

Here’s How Children Learn Speech and Language: A Text on Different Learning Strategies by Margo Kinzer Courter, M.A., CCC-SLP

Here’s How to Treat Childhood Apraxia of Speech by Margaret Fish, M.S., CCC-SLP

 

For more details and to order today, click here!