I have been a Speech-Language Pathologist for 32 years, and have specialized in the field of AAC for 20 years. Prior, I had worked in the hospital setting as both a clinician and supervisor and a traveling SLP. As a school-based speech pathologist, specializing in AAC, I work directly with students and also consult with other educators to provide training and support so that AAC can be utilized most effectively throughout the day and also focus on empowering families to utilize AAC systems at home and in the community. My work with students with complex communication challenges has inspired me to create accessible age and grade appropriate resources that were interactive and focused on a meaningful context; usually literacy-focused. I have had the honor to present at state and national conventions on AAC and have been working on creating a transition curriculum through the Down Syndrome Connection of the Bay area, (Future Connections), based on the Bridge School's Framing a Future Program. I am also involved in Nika, a volunteer Non-Profit Organization that provides resources, training, and support to educators and students around the world.
As a Speech-Language Pathologist working with students with CCN, service provision is student-centered with a focus on IEP goals and objectives and close attention is also paid to not only their strengths, challenges but also to what motivates them. Students are now very used to technology, so weaving low and high-tech resources works well in maintaining attention and interaction. I try to be as collaborative as possible as my role is often consultative. I am humbled daily by the students and educators I meet.
In addition, to being the recipient of multiple ACE awards, I have spoken at such conferences as CSUN, CSHA, ASHA, and ATIA. I am currently serving on the Board of Directors of NIKA, a non-profit organization that provides resources, equipment, training, and services to students with complex communication challenges, learning disabilities and differences and empowers educators through training and mentoring around the world.
I have a B.A. in Speech Pathology from Nazareth College of Rochester, an M.A. in Communication Disorders from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, AT Certification from California State University Dominguez Hills and postgraduate classes at San Francisco State as part of the AAC Early Education Endorsement Program. I attended a two-day PODD training and just find that in this field, one can never learn and know enough.
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