Melissa Hoy

Melissa HOySpeech-Language Pathology (Rocky Mountain University of Health Professions)

Background: I received my bachelor’s and master’s degree from Clarion University of PA. Prior to entering the clinical doctorate program at RMUoHP, I worked in Pennsylvania and Washington states as a clinician in various settings (e.g., schools, private clinics, hospital, teletherapy), always with an interest in AAC. Currently, I work as an assistive technology consultant for an AAC device company, which gives me the opportunity to meet with various teams of professionals and families to ensure the success of high-tech AAC systems.

Current Interests: My clinical doctorate capstone focuses on caregiver training using dynamic display speech-generating devices. The single-subject design trained participants to use aided language stimulation with their children using AAC in the home setting. My future research interests include caregiver and professional training in the AAC field. I am also interested in qualitative data regarding different cultural perspectives in AAC and how this may affect our current training programs.

Dissertation Chair: Dr Kenneth Simpson

Presentation topic: I will present my results from my capstone project, involving caregiver training on aided language stimulation using dynamic display devices. The main objective was to determine if caregivers could effectively use aided language stimulation after a short training program. We measured the rate of spontaneously modeled opportunities, a measurement that has not been established yet in the literature. This project was essentially a pilot study which led to additional questions.

Discussion Questions/Topics:

  1. Measurements: Should the rate of modeling continue to be measured? Is this a helpful clinical marker? If so, is there an average rate between adult communication partners that translate to clinically and statistically significant outcomes for communication in individuals using AAC.
  1. Training programs: There are established AAC training programs available, including different techniques and strategies to help improve communication. Is it possible to structure these programs to reach more individuals (e.g., group training, long-distance training, etc.)?
  1. Cultural perspectives: Given the diversity among our individuals using AAC, how can cultural perspectives shape our AAC training, both for professionals and caregivers?

Hoy (2017) handout

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