Friday, June 21, 2019

Wanna Deliver Voices?

Hey Tek-Ninjas! If you are a regular reader, you know that a little over a year and a half ago, I took the big jump from 18+ years in the public school setting to work for Tobii Dynavox. It was just the move I was looking for. In my short time here, I've had to grow professionally, but still get to use my hard earned skills.

Maybe you too are looking for a new opportunity? If so, Tobii Dynavox is hiring a couple of positions both nationally and internationally. The position I'd most like to see filled now is that of Solutions Consultant for the western portion of Virginia. We'd be on the same team!

I have found this to be deeply satisfying work. In this position, you get to directly impact the lives of people of all ages. You get to work directly with clients, giving them a voice. In addition, you will get to work with professionals, to build their skills so they can make an even bigger impact for their clients than they already do. Also, working with cutting edge technology is just plain fun.

If your curiosity is piqued, you should check it out. I did, mostly on a whim, and I will always be grateful I took the leap. If you have questions, contact my excellent colleague Jasmine Galindo.


Friday, June 7, 2019

The “Random Stuff”

Hey Tek-Ninjas! Today I am breaking a cardinal rule of blogging by posting more than once in a day. But I’m excited. This evening I went for a run with elite running coach Chris Bennett, and Headspace cofounder and Tibetan Buddhist monk Andy Puddicombe. I’ll expound in a bit.

You may have noticed the blurb under my title says that I write about “the intersections of assistive technology, occupational therapy, AAC, education, and other random stuff“. This article is going to be about the “random” stuff.

I am a long time runner. Never the fastest, never the slowest, kind of a “middle of the pack” guy. Before I started this job I ran marathons and trained a decent amount of hours each week. This is no longer tenable with my work schedule. So in an effort to stay healthy and fit I am now trying to run faster but shorter distances. I want to tell you about a great piece of technology that is helping make this possible.

I have been a long time fan of the app made by Nike called “Nike Run Club” or NRC for short. NRC is free. You can install it on your iPhone, but I prefer to use it on my Apple Watch, and leave my phone in the car. If you are an android user, you’re in luck because there is a version for your phone.

NRC allows you to pick training programs based on your age, your weight, and you’re running fitness: like...even if you’re running fitness level is “sitting on a couch and eating potato chips“. As you use the app over the course of a few weeks it will adjust itself based on your progress. My youngest and I used the app to prepare for the Uwharrie 20 when he was 15.

But what I have really been enjoying of late is the pre-installed guided runs. On Tuesday I ran the “Hill, Hillier, Hilliest” run with coach and ultra-distance runner Sally McCrae. She had me engage in a 27 minute program incorporating a warm-up, a series of intervals, and a cool-down. It was hard, but it was super fun.

Today I engaged in a 45 minute run with meditation on mindfulness. Yep, that
was when I ran with Chris Bennett and Andy Petticombe. Okay, so they weren’t “with” me... but do you know what that kind of training would cost in person?! And I’m soooo not fast enough to really run with those two!

I started focusing on speed a little over a month ago using the Nike Run Club app and I already feel like I’m a bit faster. But regardless of where you are as a runner: non-runner or expert, I think the Nike Run Club app can help you choose and then achieve goals, which can ultimately help you become healthier and perhaps even happier in life.


Get your learning on in western NC!

Hey Tek-Ninjas! Here in NC, school is out for summer, or soon to be. None-the-less, you can still get after some education.

Let me recommend combining some learning this August with a trip to downtown Charlotte, the mountain village of Sylva, or mix up mountain and city life in Asheville!

My colleague Lauren Zubow is coordinating some tremendous learning opportunities with Patrick Brune.

Patrick Brune is a Speech Language Pathologist and has provided assessment, therapy, and consultation services for children and adults with severe speech and language disabilities for over 25 years. He worked as a clinical supervisor for Queens College, in New York, and as a related service provider for the NYC Department of Education. Patrick is a member of the Tobii Dynavox Learning Services team, providing implementation support and workshops. This fellow knows what he's talking about, and he is a dynamic presenter.

West Asheville Public Library: August 20, 2019
Communicating with Core Vocabulary in Snap + Core First - 9:30 am – 12:15 pm
Tips and Tricks with Snap + Core First  - 1:30 pm - 4:15 pm

Sylva North Carolina Assistive Technology Program: August 21, 2019
Charlotte North Carolina Assistive Technology Program August 22, 2019 
Tips and Tricks with Snap + Core First  - 1:30 pm - 4:15 pm  

These dynamic trainings will offer ASHA CEU's. The trainings are free, but they will most definitely fill up quickly! Follow the links to get registered. 

If you have questions, contact Lauren

Happy therapy!