33. Mindset Matters: Help Teams Consider Mindset, Escape the Expert Model, and Build Capacity

Speaker: Rachael Langley, M.A., CCC-SLP; Marlene Cummings, M.A., CCC-SLP

*These speakers will be presenting virtually.
**This session is available for in person and virtual attendance.

Teams spend a lot of time and energy on word lists, funding devices, laminating, and coming up with the activities to practice using AAC. What if some changes early on could make that work even more impactful? What if the answer isn’t “I need to become the ultimate AAC expert.” Join us as we reflect on one of the principles that is foundational to our work: our mindset & the mindset of those we work with. We will discuss the challenges that come along with self-reflection as educators shift towards being influencers rather than experts and embrace capacity building. Throughout this presentation, we will share resources to help teams consider their role in AAC learning. While it might sound great to have an “AAC Expert” on hand, this session focuses on the benefits of building sustainable support within schools and programs. Instead of putting high value on the expertise of one team member, this model recognizes that expert skills & knowledge work best when shared among a team. The AAC mindset that you help cultivate really does matter!

Credits: Act 48, ASHA

Audience: Special Education Teachers; Speech therapists; General Education Teachers; Supervisors/Administrators; Assistive Technology Specialists; Occupational Therapists and/or Physical Therapists; Parents, Guardians, Family Members; Paraprofessionals

Speakers' Bios:


Rachael Langley
is a speech-language pathologist working as an Augmentative/Alternative Communication (AAC) Consultant in Michigan. Her 19-year career has focused primarily on supporting students with complex communication needs. A two-time graduate of Michigan State University, Rachael is one of the founders and organizers of the #TalkingAAC Conference, a conference focused specifically on AAC learning. Rachael has presented at local, state, and national conferences. She enjoys creating graphics and other materials related to AAC implementation.
rachaellangleyaac@gmail.com Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/RachaelLangleyAAC 
Website: www.reachlanguage.com


Marlene Cummings, M.A., CCC-SLP
is a former early childhood educator, and current Augmentative/Alternative Communication Consultant with a passion to create environments and change culture for students with complex communication needs in AAC, language and literacy. She specializes in designing innovative implementation systems utilizing cutting edge professional learning frameworks and dynamic service delivery models to build capacity and sustainability among teams and organizations. In addition, Marlene’s past classroom experience drives her exploration and use of universal AAC supports and strategically chosen implementation strategies. She shares her 30+ years of expertise through state, national and international conference presentations, teaching, blog posts and other collegial collaborations.
Email: mkrcummings@icloud.com Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Marlene-Cummings-AAC-Consultant-102029334491623 Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/in/marlene-cummings-4a852b9/