The American Speech-Language and Hearing Association 2010 Convention in Philadelphia, PA is officially over and it was quite amazing to meet some of the faces behind the creations out there this year. Although in the past there has been no lack of technological offerings, this year’s convention showcased a far greater number of do-it-yourselfer technophile clinicians and advocates showing-off the fruits of their labor. As a clinician turned software developer, it is inspiring beyond to words to find myself surrounded by like-minded individuals who share equally as much as passion and dedication.
This year’s convention showcased some incredibly innovate and interesting new products/advances from some really interesting individuals. The gentle trickling of iOS (iPod, iPad, iPhone) apps in the past, has turned into a full-blown monsoon of new treatment and assessment applications for said devices. Companies like Smarty Ears, Assistyx, and AssistiveWare have taken great advantage of the market’s seemingly incessant appetite for anything iOS. Although larger companies continually, and expectedly, churn-out new products, it is amazing to see how much work one person is willing to put in order to keep up with demand (i.e. Barbara Fernandes).
In addition to all of the specific technological offerings at this year’s ASHA convention, I found it extremely inspiring to meet a number of self-starters with a passion for what they love: technology. ASHA 2010 may be best remembered as the year that the technology buffs came out to the world to proclaim their zeal for technology in the world of speech pathology. Can anyone deny the enthusiasm that Chris Bugaj has for his work after witnessing his impassioned performance describing the intricacies of advocating for enhanced technological resources in the classroom? Did Sean Sweeney’s presentation not make you want to incorporate as many Web-based learning tools as possible into your treatment sessions?
Perhaps it was the 7am Tweetup in the overlook café that provided me with the impetus to write so fondly about my colleagues. Or maybe it was some of my peers’ responses to seeing my own interest in augmentative communication that excited me. I think what really stood out to me is that behind every web-post, or every line of code, there is a human who is working himself/herself to the bone to create something for the world to use and enjoy. I appreciate all of the work of my peers and colleagues, and look forward to ASHA 2011.