The AAC Research Program at Penn State: 2017 Update

JJanice Lightanice Light, in collaboration with faculty and graduate students, provided an overview of the current AAC research program at Penn State University. 

The complete presentation is available here 


The AAC program at Penn State is supported by the work of a large number of faculty, graduate students, and external partners. 

  • 27+ years of continuous funding support
  • More than 40 externally funded grants
  • More than $20 million dollars of external funding secured
  • More than $8.5 million in external funding currently

Research Collaborations

  • University of Nebraska-Lincoln / Madonna Rehab
    –Dr. David Beukelman & Dr. Susan Fager
  • Oregon Health Sciences University
    –Dr. Melanie Fried-Oken
  • Northeastern University
    –Dr. Deniz Erdogmus
  • Hershey Medical Center /Vista school
    –Dr. Michael Murray
  • Shriver Center on Developmental Disabilities
    –Dr. Bill McIlvane
  • AT manufacturers /developers

    –InvoTek, Tobii Dynavox, Saltillo/ PRC, etc

  • Wide range of schools and agencies

Research Themes

The Penn State AAC research program targets three urgent unmet needs

  • Research to improve the design of AAC systems to reduce learning demands, increase appeal, & enhance the power of communication
  • Intervention research with individuals who require AAC to increase participation and enhance language, literacy, & communication skills
  • Research on partner / professional training to increase EBPs & improve outcomes for individuals with CCN

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