Background: I entered the doctoral program immediately after completing my masters degree in speech-language pathology and completed my clinical fellowship during my doctoral program. During my masters program, I was involved with a training grant in which we supported individuals who use AAC in the general education environment. This experience led to my interest in researching the field of AAC and continuing my education.
Current Interests: My programatic plan of research is to develop effective interventions that teach individuals who use AAC, to advance their linguistic skills and increase the variety of context in which they can communicate. My first step in this line of research is to apply narrative intervention to AAC. Secondly, I am interested in developing interventions to increase the efficiency of access methods, such as eye gaze. I have conducted initial inquiries into the eye gaze patterns of typically developing infants thus far in my program.
Sample Publication/presentation and Rationale: I presented “Infant Gaze Patterns in Relationship to Social & Nonsocial Stimuli” at the 2018 ASHA conference. This was an initial inquiry into the free-viewing gaze patterns of typically developing infants. In order to understand the gaze patterns of individuals who use AAC, I first wanted to understand how gaze patterns naturally develop in infants. This initial basic research is needed to inform AAC system design and interventions.
Presentation Topic: AAC Narrative Intervention: Teaching Children to Tell Their Stories
Discussion topic: How to recruit participants, How to conduct an intervention study with limited resources (both personnel and funds)