American Speech-Language-Hearing Association

Improving Communication of People With Severe Disabilities: Interprofessional Strategies

Conference Faculty

Susan M. Bashinski, EdD, is an associate professor of special education at Missouri Western State University; she has 35 years' experience with learners who have multiple disabilities. Dr. Bashinski has directed numerous federal and state grants in low-incidence disabilities and deaf-blindness, including personnel preparation, research, model in-service training, and assistive technology. Dr. Bashinski has extensive experience in providing professional development and technical assistance across the United States, particularly in the areas of augmentative and non-symbolic communication for learners who have low-incidence disabilities, including deaf-blindness. Her research interests and areas of expertise include early communication and language development, augmentative communication, and cochlear implants, with numerous publications and presentations related to these topics.

Financial Disclosures:

  • Speaker received financial compensation from ASHA for the contents of this presentation
  • Speaker received a speaking fee from Teaching Research Institute, Western Oregon University–Helen Keller Fellows
  • Speaker received grant funds from the University of Kansas
  • Speaker is employed by Missouri Western State University

Nonfinancial Disclosures:

Speaker is a board member of Teaching Research Institute, Western Oregon University–Helen Keller Fellows grant Advisory Board

Susan M. Bruce, PhD, is an associate professor of special education at Boston College. She has more than 30 years' experience as a professional and parent supporting children and adults with multiple disabilities. She has directed federal and regional grants for personnel preparation and research. Dr. Bruce's research interests are in the areas of communication development and programming, assessment, and action research. She is especially interested in the development of symbolic understanding and expression in children with severe and multiple disabilities. Dr. Bruce is an active consultant with school districts in the United States and abroad on topics such as communication programming, assessment, and the development of teacher preparation programs in severe disabilities.

Financial Disclosures:

  • Speaker received financial compensation from ASHA for the contents of this presentation
  • Speaker received a speaking fee from Teaching Research Institute, Western Oregon University – Helen Keller Fellows Program Presentation
  • Speaker is employed by Boston College

Nonfinancial Disclosures:

Speaker is a member of the National Joint Committee on the Communication Needs of Persons with Severe Disabilities

Karena Cooper-Duffy, PhD, is a professor in the special education program at Western Carolina University. She has been teaching at the university for 16 years and specializes in teaching students with significant intellectual disabilities. Her research includes community-based instruction, supporting teachers and related service personnel, teaching literacy with thematic units, personnel preparation programs, and academic and functional skill instruction for students with significant intellectual disabilities. Karena has presented at local, national, and international conferences on her research.

Financial Disclosures:

  • Speaker received financial compensation from ASHA for the contents of this presentation
  • Speaker is employed by Western Carolina University

Nonfinancial Disclosures:

None

Kerri Eaker is the parent of a young man with mental health and developmental disability challenges. Kerri has been active in advocacy for children with special health care needs and their families for over 15 years. Since 1998, Kerri's son has received his services through a child and family team approach. Kerri credits the Child and Family Team as the reason for her son's success. Kerri and her son reside in the Asheville area of North Carolina, where she continues to help families with special health care needs.

Financial Disclosures:

Speaker received financial compensation from ASHA for the contents of this presentation

Nonfinancial Disclosures:

None

Karen Erickson, PhD, director of the Center for Literacy and Disability Studies, is a professor in the Division of Speech and Hearing Sciences, and the Yoder Distinguished Professor in the Department of Allied Health Sciences, School of Medicine, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Her research addresses literacy assessment and instruction for struggling readers of all ages, including those with significant cognitive disabilities. Karen is co-developer of the Tar Heel Reader online library of accessible books for beginning readers, as well as several other assistive and learning technologies. She is a former teacher of children with significant disabilities.

Financial Disclosures:

Speaker received financial compensation from ASHA for the contents of this presentation

Nonfinancial Disclosures:

None

Howard Goldstein, PhD, CCC-SLP, is associate dean for research of the College of Behavioral and Community Sciences and professor of communication sciences and disorders at the University of South Florida. Dr. Goldstein received his PhD in 1980 in developmental psychology and mental retardation research from Peabody College, Vanderbilt University. His contributions have been recognized as an ASHA Fellow and he is serving on the ASHA Board of Directors as vice president for science and research. He is a nationally known scholar in the field of child language intervention. His current research interests include early intervention to enhance language and literacy development in children growing up in poverty. He is the author of two books and over 100 scholarly journal articles and book chapters. He has served as principal investigator for over 30 sponsored projects and has served on numerous editorial boards and grant review panels. His research has focused on improving the communication and social skills of children with autism and other developmental disabilities. His recent work has sought to enhance the language and literacy development of students in high poverty schools who are at high risk for reading problems.

Financial Disclosures:

  • Speaker received financial compensation from ASHA for the contents of this presentation
  • Speaker receives grant funds from the Institute of Education Sciences
  • Speaker received a speaking fee from the Applied Behavior Analysis Association International & National Autism Conferences
  • Speaker is employed by the University of South Florida

Nonfinancial Disclosures:

Speaker is a board member of ASHA

Judy Lariviere, MEd, OTR/L, is an assistive technology specialist and occupational therapist with a master's degree in special education who has worked in the field of assistive technology, including augmentative and alternative communication, for the past 25 years. Judy has worked with children and adults with complex communication needs, including individuals with Rett Syndrome. Judy's expertise relates to identifying individuals' best means of access to leading edge technology for communication, learning, and leisure, while also implementing tools and strategies to support their literacy learning and active participation in various educational and community settings. She has designed unique page layouts that support ease of access using eye gaze technology, specifically for individuals with Rett Syndrome, and integrated these into eye gaze trial page sets, accessible book templates, and video and music players. Judy is the communication specialist at Katie's Clinic for Rett Syndrome at Children's Hospital & Research Center–Oakland. She presents at conferences nationally and internationally about her work with children and adults with complex communication needs. Judy is also a full-time professor and an assistive technology specialist in the Disability Resource Center at Skyline College in San Bruno, CA.

Financial Disclosures:

  • Speaker received financial compensation from ASHA for the contents of this presentation
  • Speaker receives financial compensation from Creative Communicating
  • Speaker received consulting fees from Standing Tall
  • Speaker receives speaking fees from Closing the Gap
  • Speaker receives consulting fees and intellectual property rights from her private practice
  • Speaker is employed by Katie's Clinic for Rett Syndrome, Children's Hospital & Research Center Oakland

Nonfinancial Disclosures:

Speaker is a volunteer presenter and advisory board member of lnternational Rett Syndrome Foundation

Beth Mineo, PhD, CCC-SLP, serves as director of the Center for Disabilities Studies and associate professor in the School of Education at the University of Delaware. She directs the Center's Assistive Technology (AT) Unit, which includes Delaware's AT Act Program, a model demonstration focusing on young children's use of AT, and a statewide program supporting provision of accessible instructional materials to students with print disabilities. She completed her undergraduate training at the Pennsylvania State University and her graduate degrees at the University of Pittsburgh. Specializing in supports for individuals with significant learning and communication disabilities, she has extensive experience in project design and implementation, AT development and utilization, and research and evaluation. She teaches undergraduate and graduate courses in AT, speech-language pathology, and disabilities studies, and conducts research relative to language representation, electronic screen media and autism, and AT policy and use. She serves on several state-level commissions and councils, as well as the National Joint Committee for the Communication Needs of Persons with Severe Disabilities and the Praxis Speech-Language Pathology National Advisory Board. Dr. Mineo is a frequent presenter at state and national conferences, has published many articles and book chapters, and has served as editor-in-chief of the journal Assistive Technology.

Financial Disclosures:

speaker received financial compensation from ASHA for the contents of this presentation

Nonfinancial Disclosures:

speaker is a member of the National Joint Committee for the Communication Needs of Persons with Severe Disabilities

Sally Norton-Darr, MS, CCC-SLP, is an assistive technology trainer for Loudoun County Public Schools in Virginia as well as a nationally certified SLP. She has worked in a variety of venues across the United States and has fun presenting internationally, regionally, and virtually to diverse audiences on a wide range of practical low to high-tech strategies, interventions, and solutions. Sally is the also the co-author of the International Society for Technology in Education publication: The Practical (and Fun) Guide to Assistive Technology in Public Schools.

Financial Disclosures:

  • Speaker received financial compensation from ASHA for the contents of this presentation
  • Speaker is employed by Loudon County Public Schools

Nonfinancial Disclosures:

None

Billy T. Ogletree, PhD, CCC-SLP, is a professor and head of the department of communication sciences and disorders at Western Carolina University. During his 30-year career, Ogletree has worked as an SLP in schools, a residential facility for persons with intellectual disabilities, a pediatric developmental/medical center, and university clinics. His research interests include recommended communication practices for persons with severe developmental disabilities including autism. Ogletree has authored more than 60 publications and received more than $2 million in extramural grant support. He is an ASHA Fellow and chairs and serves as an ASHA representative for the National Joint Committee for the Communicative Needs of Persons with Severe Disabilities.

Financial Disclosures:

None

Nonfinancial Disclosures:

Speaker is an ASHA representative for the National Joint Committee for the Communicative Needs of Persons with Severe Disabilities

Judith Schoonover, MEd, OTR/L, ATP, is an occupational therapist and former elementary school teacher. She is certified as an AT professional by RESNA and is a founding member of the Loudoun County (VA) Public Schools AT team. Judith has worked in schools for more than 35 years, publishing and presenting on the topics of school-based occupational therapy, transition, literacy, UDL, and assistive technology. She is the vice president of the Virginia Occupational Therapy Association, and has served as the communication liaison for the American Occupational Therapy Association Early Intervention and School Special Interest Section. Judith is a member of AOTA's Transition Task Force, and an AOTA Representative to the National Joint Committee for the Communication Needs of Persons with Severe Disabilities (NJC).

Financial Disclosures:

  • Speaker received financial compensation from ASHA for the contents of this presentation
  • Speaker is employed by Loudon County Public Schools

Nonfinancial Disclosures:

  • Speaker is vice president of the Virginia Occupational Therapy Association
  • Speaker has served as the communication liaison for the American Occupational Therapy Association Early Intervention and School Special Interest Section
  • Speaker is the AOTA Representative to the National Joint Committee for the Communication Needs of Persons with Severe Disabilities (NJC)

Lorraine Sylvester, PhD, PT, is clinical assistant professor in the Department of Rehabilitation Sciences at the University of Oklahoma's Health Sciences Center, continuing her 29 year-long career working in pediatrics, assistive technology, and developmental disabilities. She teaches and consults on related services for youth and adults with developmental disabilities across the lifespan, at local, national, and international levels. Her research, clinical work, and professional liaisons promote the relationship between PT interventions, self-determination, transition to postsecondary life for children growing up with developmental disabilities, health and wellness, and aging with lifelong developmental disabilities. She represents APTA's Section on Pediatrics (SOP) at the National Joint Committee for Communication Issues for People with Severe Disabilities; she is a member of TASH, AAIDD, and CEC. Lorrie is vice-chair of the APTA Pediatric Section's Special Interest Group, Adolescents and Adults with Developmental Disabilities, and is Oklahoma's representative to the APTA's Pediatric Section.

Financial Disclosures:

Speaker received financial compensation from ASHA for the contents of this presentation

Nonfinancial Disclosures:

  • Speaker is the American Physical Therapy Association's representative, from the section of pediatrics, to the National Joint Committee for the Communication Needs of Persons with Severe Disabilities (NJC)
  • Speaker is a member of and vice-chair of program planning for APTA Pediatric Section's Special Interest Group, Adolescents and Adults with Developmental Disabilities

Carole Zangari, PhD, CCC-SLP, is a professor of speech-language pathology at Nova Southeastern University where she teaches master's and doctoral courses in AAC, coordinates the AAC Lab, and provides clinical supervision to graduate student clinicians. In addition to her work in AAC, Dr. Zangari has interests in the use of best practices in online instruction and the use of digital resources to support professionals, families, and clients. She is a frequent presenter on AAC topics and is co-editor of the book Practically Speaking: Language, Literacy, and Academic Development of Students with AAC Needs. Dr. Zangari blogs at www.PrAACticalAAC.org.

Financial Disclosures:

Speaker received financial compensation from ASHA for the contents of this presentation

Nonfinancial Disclosures:

Speaker is co-owner and co-author of the blog PrAACtical AAC and associated social media accounts

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