You are viewing the website for the aac-rerc, which was funded by NIDRR from 2008-2013.
For information on the new RERC on AAC, funded by NIDILRR from 2014-2019, please visit rerc-aac.psu.edu.
David R. Beukelman, Ph.D (ude/lnu//1namlekuebd) David R. Beukelman, Ph.D. is the Barkley Professor of Communication Disorders at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and Director of Research and Education of the Communication Disorders Division, Munroe/Meyer Institute of Genetics and Rehabilitation, Omaha , Nebraska . He is also a Senior Researcher in t he Institute for Rehabilitation Science and Engineering at Madonna Rehabilitation Hospital in Lincoln , Nebraska , focusing on augmentative and alternative communication, dysarthria, and oral cancer. Dr. Beukelman is a past Editor of Augmentative and Alternative Communication Journal and has published numerous articles and co-authored several books relating to AAC. He is a past recipient of the President's Award from the International Society for Augmentative and Alternative Communication as well as the Fred Strache Leadership Award 16 th Annual International CSUN Conference.
Frank DeRuyter, Ph.D (ude/ekud//retyured/knarf) Chief of the Division of Speech Pathology & Audiology and Associate Professor in the Department of Surgery at Duke University Medical Center . In addition to being the Principal Investigator (PI) of the RERC on Communication Enhancement, he is also the PI of the NIDRR-funded Center for Assistive Technology Outcomes Research (CATOR), and was the Project Director of the RERC on Technology for Children with Orthopedic Disabilities at Rancho Los Amigos Medical Center . Dr. DeRuyter has served on the editorial boards of six disability-related journals, and has published over 50 articles and books relating to AAC.
Melanie Fried-Oken, Ph.D, CCC/Sp (ude/usho//mdeirf) Certified speech-language pathologist and Professor of Neurology, Pediatrics, Biomedical Engineering, and Otolaryngology at the Oregon Health & Science University. Dr. Fried-Oken is a leading international clinician and researcher in the field of Augmentative and Alternative Communication, and provides expertise about assistive technology for persons with acquired disabilities who cannot use speech or writing for expression. She is associate editor of the international journal, Augmentative and Alternative Communication; adjunct faculty at Portland State University where she taught the AAC graduate course in 2006; and editor of the book Speaking Up and Spelling It Out, a collection of essays written by adults with disabilities using speech technology. In the policy arena, Dr. Fried-Oken has worked in the past to add speech generating devices to the DME list for the Oregon Medicaid program, and is a member of the Medicare Implementation Team that changed the CME rulings so that speech generating devices are now provided to Medicare enrollees. She has a number of federal grants to research communication technology for persons with Alzheimer's disease, ALS and other neurodegenerative diseases, and the normally aging population. She is director of Augmentative Communication Clinic through the Otolaryngology department at Oregon Health & Science University.
Jeff Higginbotham, Ph.D (ude/olaffub//ffejsdc) Jeff Higginbotham, Ph.D is an Associate Professor and Director of the Communication and Assistive Device Laboratory in the Department of Communicative Disorders and Sciences and State University of New York at Buffalo. At UB, Dr. Higginbotham teaches courses in AAC and research design and serves as Director of the Center for Excellence in Augmented Communication. A partner in the current RERC on Communication Enhancement, Dr. Higginbotham's research focuses on the interplay between language use and AAC technologies. Among Dr. Higginbotham's awards are ASHA's Psi Iota Xi Research Award, the Editor's Award for Augmentative and Alternative Communication Journal, and the U.S. Department of Education's Mary E. Switzer Distinguished Research Fellow.
Tom Jakobs, MS, PE (gro/ketovni//sbokajt) Tom Jakobs, MS, PE is a licensed professional engineer and President of InvoTek, Inc. He has been PI on 17 Small Business Innovative Research (SBIR) grants funded by NIH and NIDRR for the research and development of assistive devices. He received the national Tibbetts Award for outstanding contributions to the SBIR program and is inventor on eight US patents.
Janice Light, Ph.D (ude/usp//4LCJ) Janice Light, Ph.D is a Professor in the Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders at The Pennsylvania State University, teaching graduate courses and seminars in augmentative and alternative communication. In addition to being a partner with the current RERC on Communication Enhancement, she has also been the PI of 5 major multi-year funded grants, served on expert panels for NIH and NIDRR, and published over 20 AAC-related articles. Dr. Light has received the Journal of Augmentative and Alternative Communication Editor's Award, and ISAAC's Distinguished Lecturer Award; and from Penn State , the Dorothy Jones Barnes Teaching Award for Excellence, Teaching Hall of Fame, and Evan G. and Helen G. Pattishall Outstanding Research Achievement Award.
David McNaughton, Ph.D (ude/usp//2MBD) David McNaughton, Ph.D is a Professor in the Department of Educational and School Psychology and Special Education at The Pennsylvania State University. He teaches classes on assistive technology, and professional communication and collaboration skills. His current research interests include the development of vocational opportunities for individuals with severe disabilities, and the effective use of web-based instructional materials to support pre-service and in-service instruction. Dr. McNaughton is a partner with the current RERC on Communication Enhancement, and has published over 25 AAC-related journal articles and book chapters. He has received ISAAC's Editor's Award and the Outstanding Dissertation Research Award from the Council for Learning Disabilities. He currently serves as Co-Editor of the AAC journal.
Howard Shane, Ph.D (ude/dravraH/HCT//enahs/drawoh) Howard Shane, Ph.D . is the Director of the Communication Enhancement Center (CEC) at Children's Hospital Boston. Dr. Shane is a Fellow of the American Speech and Hearing Association and the recipient of the Goldenson Award for Innovations in Technology from United Cerebral Palsy Association. He is the author of numerous papers and chapters on severe speech impairment, lectured throughout the world on the topic, and produced numerous computer innovations enjoyed by persons with cerebral palsy. He is an Associate Professor in the Department of Otolaryngology at the Harvard Medical School .
Michael Williams, MA (moc/liamg//klatgua) Michael Williams, MA has been in the forefront of the disability rights movement. He was the first severely disabled person to attend Pasadena's John Muir High School in the 1950s; earned an AB degree in English from Pasadena City College and Occidental College in 1961; and a Masters of Library and Information Studies from the University of California in the mid 1980s. He writes Alternatively Speaking ( AS ) from a historical perspective and articulates the view of augmented communicators. He is a partner with the current RERC on Communication Enhancement. He is a lifelong user of AT, a mentor to numerous users of AAC technologies, and a strong leader in the disability rights movement.