Background: I received my undergraduate degree in Spled K-12 from Penn State. Prior to entering the doctoral program, I worked as a K-12 Autism support teacher. The majority of my time was spent with high school students with ASD working on independent living skills, vocational skills, and transition services. During my time working with individuals with severe disabilities and complex communication needs I developed an interest in AAC and communication and the ways in which access to AAC promotes independence.
Current Interests: I am interested in implementing AAC within community, vocational, and social skills for adolescents with severe disabilities and CCN. Specifically, I am interested in the social interactions that occur during those activities and how to incorporate AAC support both the individual and the partner.
Dissertation Chair: Dr. David McNaughton
Sample Presentation/Publication and Rationale: Babb, S., Gormley, J., McNaughton, D., & Light, J. (2018). Enhancing independent participation within vocational activities for an adolescent with ASD using AAC video Visual Scene Displays. Journal of Special Education Technology, 0162643418795842.
This study used a multiple baseline across activities design to evaluate the effect of videos with integrated visual scene displays (video VSDs), presented using a tablet-based app, on the percentage of steps completed independently within vocational training tasks by an adolescent with ASD and complex communication needs (CCN). Using the video VSDs, the participant met the mastery criterion for completing three tasks (including participation in communication exchanges) in a vocational setting.
- Challenges in identifying areas of shared interests for adolescents with and without disabilities,
- Creating opportunities for more balanced social interactions that represent the reciprocity typically identified in conversations, a\
- Considerations for interventions that are easy to implement for both staff and peer partners
Additional Information: Salena Babb (from AAC.PSU.EDU)