Meeting students on the AAC Collaboration Project

Students who joined the AAC Collaboration Project in Fall 2018—Olivia, Marisa, Anna, and Ann Marie (from L to R)

Before the new semester begins (this post is past due!), we want to recognize the students who joined the Penn State AAC community as part of the AAC Collaboration Project in Fall 2018—Anna Woodford (CSD), Ann Marie Gardner (CSD), Olivia Desenberg (SPLED) and Marisa Taddei (SPLED).

The AAC Collaboration Project is a training grant that provides funding support to prepare Masters-level students as either speech-language pathologists or special education teachers with the skills needed to provide outstanding services to children who require AAC.

In addition to the standard requirements of the Communication Sciences and Disorders or Special Education programs, the four students are completing additional coursework on evidence-based practices for children who require AAC, as well as extended collaborative practicum experiences in evidence based practices for children who require AAC.       

Now that the trainees have finished their first year, they shared their thoughts on their experience thus far.  

Ann Marie shared, “The best part of being on the grant is knowing that I am fortunate enough to be mentored and taught by some of the most knowledgeable individuals in this specialty. I am confident that this opportunity is providing me with the knowledge and experience to not only effectively use AAC in my future practice, but to also share this knowledge and collaborate with other SLPs and special educators who, too often, just scratch the surface of this part of our field through their studies.”

Anna added, “Prior to coming here, I knew a select set of information about AAC, mostly regarding the functional use of a couple apps inside a classroom. Through the grant, I have been able to trial and program many different apps, as well as work with children and adults with complex communication needs. It has been a period of incredible growth for me, and I am so thankful for having received this opportunity.

We are thrilled that these students have joined the Penn State AAC community and look forward to their contributions to the AAC field!


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