- Communication Sciences and Disorders - CSD
- Graduate Faculty
- Ph.D., The Pennsylvania State University, 2016
University Park, PA 16802
My research seeks to improve poor literacy outcomes for individuals who use augmentative and alternative communication, specifically through the use of technology to train relevant stakeholders (i.e., the individual who uses augmentative communication, family members, speech-language pathologists, special educators, and para educators). Currently a gap exists between researcher outcomes and stakeholder uptake in the implementation of evidence based literacy instruction for individuals with complex communication needs who require the use of augmentative and alternative communication (AAC).
My research aims to:
- Investigate system design changes to the current technology that individuals with complex communication needs use, as a potential mechanism for literacy instruction.
- Investigate ways to use technology (e.g., online modules, video, etc.) to optimally transfer knowledge and implementation of evidence based literacy instruction to relevant stakeholders.
Effectively translating the current positive findings of adapted literacy instruction with researchers, to relevant stakeholders (i.e., the individual who uses augmentative communication, family members, speech-language pathologists, special educators, and para educators) could potentially increase quality literacy opportunities and access to adapted instruction, as well as change outcomes for individuals with complex communication needs.
The AAC Collaboration Project. (Co-Principal Investigator with David McNaughton, and Janice Light, Co-Investigator). This project is designed to address the urgent need for highly qualified speech language pathologists (SLPs) and special educators to provide research-based services in the schools to improve the language and literacy skills and enhance the academic achievement of children with severe disabilities who require Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC) /assistive technologies (e.g., children with autism, cerebral palsy, Down syndrome, traumatic brain injuries, etc). Funded by the U.S. Department of Education Office of Special Education Programs (2017-2022). Grant H325K170130. http://aac.psu.edu/?p=3866
Rehabilitation Engineering Research Center on Augmentative and Alternative Communication. (J. Light, Principal Investigator; D. McNaughton, Co-Leader and Investigator; J. Caron, Co-Investigator). The AAC-RERC is a virtual multicenter collaborative research center. The mission of the AAC-RERC is to improve outcomes for people who require AAC across the life span. For further information, visit https://rerc-aac.psu.edu/ (National Institute on Disability, Independent Living, and Rehabilitation Research - NIDILRR grant #90RE5017)