Ringing in 2016



2015 was an amazing year for me at Dysphagia Ramblings!  Amazing usually equals busy for me, but I really wouldn’t have it any other way!

I enjoy sharing ideas and newly learned information.  A huge thank you to ALL of you that support this blog and everything I do.  You are the reason that I get to share what I love!

As I said, this year was crazy!!  My friend Yvette McCoy and I started the year preparing a presentation to submit for the 2015 ASHA convention.  Although our talk unfortunately wasn’t accepted by the ASHA committee, it was picked up by Northern Speech Services and made into a webinar.  Through blood, sweat and tears, well, not literally, but some days it felt that way, we were able to create our webinar and it went live shortly after the 2015 ASHA convention!  You can find the webinar here.

I also joined with Tactus Therapy to create a new app called Dysphagia Therapy.   Yvette McCoy, Rinki Desai and I worked for months with the Tactus team to not only provide relevant and correct information for treatment and assessment of dysphagia.  After several months of back and forth ideas on the design, content and references, Dysphagia Therapy was released in October!!  We were ecstatic to have a very successful launch of our app that was born of a thirst for information at your fingertips.

September brought about a new course by Ianessa Humbert and Emily Plowman called Critical Thinking in Dysphagia Management.  I was honored and excited to be able to attend their inaugural course!!  The course was great as I expected it to be.  Great news!!  They are planning another Critical Thinking course coming in March in Gainesville, FL.   If you are considering going, you can read my posts on the course: Day 1, Day 2 and a link to the ChirpStory of all of my live tweets during the course.

October brought about another opportunity for me to present a webinar for SpeechPathology.com on using technology in dysphagia management.  It was exciting to be able to present my third course and to have enough of a voice to make it through the entire presentation!!

The ASHA convention was also an exciting time for me!  Not only did I have the opportunity to go to some excellent courses, work in the exhibit hall but also the opportunity to spend time with my friends.  Some were friends that I have spoken with online for years and never met face-to-face and some were friends I just hadn’t seen for a year or longer!  It’s always so much fun to spend quality time with others that understand me and what I do!  I tweeted throughout the entire convention and am planning on creating ChirpStory with those Tweets.  A link will be soon available!

To top of the ASHA convention, this year marked my 5th anniversary of blogging!!!  To celebrate I was hoping to have a few give-aways, but the response to my request for give-aways blew me away!!!  I was able to raffle off items from TheraSip, ISO-SED, Eric Blicker, Northern Speech Services, Medbridge, SpeechPathology.com, CIAO Seminars, Melanie Potock, Ampcare, SmartyEars and Tactus Therapy!  I couldn’t do what I do without so much support.  It means so much to me to have the support that I do!

To end the year on a positive note, I was able to team up with SmartyEars and my friend Barbara Fernandes to create iScreen Aphasia.  An app to screen patients with aphasia or language deficits.  I love that I was able to work with Barbara to create this app because I have used a similar paper version for some time.  During my internship, the SLP team sat down over several weeks to create the paper version, taking portions of standardized assessments to create a test that best fit their purposes.  This app is loosely based on that paper version, but created to fit a screening process for aphasic patients when a.)  there is no time for a standardized assessment, b.) standardized assessment is not available or c.) you want to track progress and use a measure for tracking purposes.

To begin the new year, I am giving away a code for iScreen Aphasia (available for the iPad).  The winner of the app is Danielle Knowlton!!  Congratulations and I look forward to more give-aways in the coming year!!

I hope everyone has the best year ever and can make the most of their 2016!

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