Updates in Supporting Patients Communication with New Technologies


Description: This webinar will focus on Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC) options for healthcare professionals working with patients with communication needs. A review of strategies and materials healthcare professionals can implement to help their patients communicate, including low tech and midtech AAC will be introduced. Communication apps for tablets and smartphones will be reviewed.   Components of determining a functional access method will be explored, as well as accessibility options for smartphones/tablets, including mounting/positioning solutions to allow for optimal patient access.  Finally, an interdisciplinary model for assessing patients' communication strengths and needs will be discussed to allow for carryover into daily life.

Objectives: Upon completion of this course, participants will be able to:

  • Describe 2-3 low tech/no tech and midtech AAC options to support communication needs of patients with language or speech production disorders.
  • Identify 2-3 communication apps for tablet or smartphone.
  • Discuss the process of determining a functional access method for Augmentative/alternative communication systems.
  • Experiment with accessibility features on your smartphone/tablet and identify 3 of the most useful features to modify for your clients.
  • Compare features of 2 switch mounts and 2 wheelchair mounts.

Instructors:  Janet Bischof-Rosario, OTR/L, Manager of Technology Center/ Occupational Therapist Shirley Ryan AbilityLab

Kathleen Ruppert, MA, CCC-SLP, Speech Language Pathologist, Technology Center, Shirley Ryan AbilityLab

Audience:  Occupational Therapists, Occupational Therapy Assistants, Physical Therapists, Physical Therapist Assistants, Speech-Language Pathologists, Nurses

Note: You will have 3 months from the date of purchase to complete and review the course material. You will receive a reminder email 2 weeks before the expiration date.

Continuing Education Credits

Physical Therapy 

The Illinois Physical Therapy Board has approved this course for 1.5 Contact Hours.  Approval #216-000069

The Shirley Ryan AbilityLab is recognized by the New York State Education Department’s State Board of Physical Therapy as an approved provider of physical therapy and physical therapist assistant continuing education.  This course has been approved by the New York Physical Therapy Board for 1.5 Contact Hours

Occupational Therapy

The Shirley Ryan AbilityLab is an AOTA Approved Provider of professional development. Course approval ID# 00543. This distance learning – independent and interactive webinar is offered at .15 CEUs [intermediate, OT service delivery]. AOTA does not endorse specific course content, products, or clinical procedures.

Speech-Language Pathology

This course is offered for 0.15 ASHA CEUs (Intermediate level, Professional area).


The Shirley Ryan AbilityLab (P0609-11/30/2022) is accredited as a provider of nursing continuing professional development by the American Nurses Credentialing Center’s Commission on Accreditation.

This CNE is being offered for 1.5 contact hours of continuing nursing education.


Janet Bischof-Rosario, OTR/L
Financial: Receives a salary from Shirley Ryan AbilityLab
Non-financial: No relevant non-financial relationships to disclose.

Kathleen Ruppert MA, CCC-SLP
Financial: Receives a salary from Shirley Ryan AbilityLab
Non-financial: SLP Consultant for Misericordia Home

Basic Computer Requirements: You will need access to a computer with an Internet connection. High speed broadband access (LAN, Cable or DSL) is highly recommended.

  • PC: Compatible Operating System: Windows XP, Vista, 7, 8, 8.1 Web Browser: Mozilla Firefox & Google Chrome
  • MAC: Compatible Operating System: OS X Web Browser: Firefox, Chrome, Safari
  • Do NOT use Internet Explorer or Microsoft Edge as they are not supported.

Cancellation Policy: To request a cancellation of an on-demand program, please provide written notice by letter, email, or fax or contact us by phone within 24 hours of placing your order and we will refund you the full course fee. If you cannot give notice within 24 hours, a credit towards a future course of equal value would apply.


Nurses Occupational Therapists Occupational Therapy Assistants OTA and PTA Physical Therapist Assistants Physical Therapists Speech Language Pathologists Online Learning