In the arena of Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC) and assisting individuals with severe communications problems and their families, I provide the following services.
Speaker Events and Webinars
I engage in speaker events as well as webinars on a variety of topics for the general public, professionals, and parents. Topics include:
- “Communication for All”—What Does It Mean?
- Is There a Secret to Success in Interacting with Individuals with Severe Disabilities?
- What Is Empathetic Communication?
- Engagement and Participation in Interaction: Are They the Same?
- Augmentative and Alternative Communication—
What Is It and Why Is It Important?
- Meaning-making in Interactions: How Can We Enhance Our Interactions?
- Communication in the Workplace for Individuals with Significant Communication Problems
- Social Closeness and Dementia
- Online Interactions: Can They Facilitate Friendship Development?
To see my teaching/lecturing style in action, please visit my videos page.
Support and Training in AAC for Para-educators, Teachers, Therapists and Parents
AAC is popularly thought of exclusively as a speech-generating device or computer, such as that used by the late physicist Stephen Hawking. In reality, it encompasses a spectrum of options along a continuum, from high-tech to low-tech to no-tech, with each approach taking into account the cognitive, motor, and cultural needs of those utilizing it.
I support those who work with people with severe communication problems in helping them to become more effective in what they do. I enjoy problem-solving and taking on challenging case scenarios with team members and family.
Areas of focus in my training sessions with teachers and therapists include:
- How do we become a more effective collaborative team in dealing with students with disabilities?
- Understanding children with severe communication problems
- Interacting with children with severe speech problems
- Inclusion of children with severe communication problems in the classroom
- Meaning-making in interactions: How can I facilitate this process?
- Inter-professional training and collaboration
- Curriculum development for pre-service students in the areas of speech, hearing, and special education
Support for Parents in Advocating for their Children:
- Understanding and dealing with the IEP process
- Understanding and supporting the development of relevant IEP goals for their children
- How to enhance communication with their child in the home
- Develop strategies that can help their child in building friendships with peers
- Dealing with sibling interactions
- Suggesting resources to parents
Technology Development Services for People with Specific Communication Needs
I have significant experience in evaluating and using technology for people with severe communication difficulties. I am interested in working with manufacturing companies to design user-friendly interfaces that can facilitate social closeness between users of AAC and typical speakers.
I am also interested in how we can use technology to overcome the limitations of intercultural interactions. My own experience, as a South African living in the United States, made me aware of the need and potential scope of such technologies.
Mentoring in Research on Disability and Severe Communication Problems
I spent a large part of my academic life mentoring undergraduate and graduate students in conducting research. I enjoy engaging with students on a session-by-session basis in supporting their learning and skill-building in research. I also enjoy professional coaching of young academics and other professionals. This includes:
- Assisting schools in developing monitoring systems to measure progress of students
- Coaching undergraduate and graduate-level students in their research
- Serving as project consultant on research related to disabilities, severe communication problems, and AAC
- Coaching of teachers and therapists in achieving their set goals
- Coaching of tenure-track faculty in an academic setting
If you are interested in engaging my services in any of these areas, please contact me.
Note: Although located in Bloomington, Indiana, I am able to provide consulting and training remotely via ZOOM, Skype, FaceTime, and WhatsApp.