Background: Before starting my doctoral program in the Fall of 2019, I worked as a speech-language pathologist in public schools in California and New Mexico for nine years. I served students with a spectrum of disabilities ages three to twenty-three. During this time I fostered an affinity for AAC. In the cases when appropriate and well-implemented, AAC had the power to exponentially grow the functional communication capacity of children who had previously had inferior access to expressive communication. I found working in AAC in the context of public schools both rewarding and frustrating. Though there is great potential to expand communication access for kids, many barriers impede it. My frustrations with those barriers are what has led me to pursue training in research within the context of a doctoral program.
Current interests: The focus of my doctoral studies is barriers to AAC. I am interested in conducting studies that both identify and address barriers to AAC. I am specifically interested in investigating practice barriers, as well as knowledge and skill barriers. Another area of interest of research is high-tech eye-gaze controlled AAC.
Dissertation Chair: Dr Susan Johnston