My research involving augmentative communication has generally focused on how individuals with impaired movement, including those with cerebral palsy and motor neuron disease, engage in interactions with others, using their bodies and augmentative communication technology. Much of my work has focused on the distortions in interaction time related to the augmented speaker's slowly composed productions and the consequent adaptations made by the interactants to accommodate the increased demands on attention, vigilance, memory, etc. In general, my research has focused on the interactional costs inherent in the use of augmentative devices and how they can be designed to avoid some of these “designed” impediments. My research has utilized both group level experimental designs, as well as smaller and more intense microanalytic investigations.
CADL currently collaborates with the Center for Literacy and Disability Studies (UNC – Chapel Hill) on a 5-year grant from the National Institute on Disability, Independent Living and Rehabilitation, Engineering Research. The purpose of Project OPEN is to:
- Determine the role of composition delay in creating problems for individuals with CCN and their partners in carrying out in-person interactions
- Identify the strategies used by participants to stay in-time and\/or overcome problems during talk-in-interaction.
- Identify interaction similarities and differences across individuals with ALS, cerebral palsy, and intellectual and developmental disabilities.
- Build a web-based open-source AAC prototype for research and development.
Work with Industry & Technology
In the mid- 1990’s I helped to start Enkidu Research, which developed some of the first handheld AAC technologies. With David Wilkins, we developed Frametalker, a technology for the use of utterance- based communication in AAC (received 4 patents), which was licensed by the Dynavox Corporation. As a founding member of the Rehabilitation and Engineering Research Center for Communication Enhancement (1998 – 2014), my laboratory was responsible for the development of automated data logging technologies for AAC and dynamic word prediction that uses the internet for dynamic fringe vocabulary. From 2014 - 2020, I partnered with Bryan Moulton, UltraBlue LLC, to develop Therapy Science (http://therapy-science.com), a web portal which provides powerful single case design and tracking tools and curriculum material for speech-language pathology.
Current Doctoral Committee Chair & Memberships
- Antara Satchinand, CDS (committee chair)
- Mengyang Qui, CDS (committee member)
Past Dissertation Committee Work
- Nat Benda, Using cognitive work analysis to understand and improve department care providers, 2018. Department of Industrial and Systems Engineering.
- Haesik Min – Writing Development: A process-oriented Approach, CDS, (Committee co-chair)Completed. August, 2017.
- Judith Tiferes, Team Interactions During Robot-Assisted Surgery, ISE Human Factors (committee member). Completed February, 2017
- Jenn Seale, Communicative Performance Across Four Tasks in Augmented & Mouth Speaker Dyadic Interactions CDS, (Committee Chair) Completed. August, 2016.
- Katrina Fulcher – PHD Committee Chair. Dissertation Title: Utilization of an Augmentative and Alternative Communication Device Display Screen During Two Diﬀerent Communication Tasks Involving Individuals with Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis. Completed August, 2014
- Neeraja Subrahmanyan. Use of personas to facilitate AAC assessment. Dissertation co-Chair with Ann Bisantz (Industrial Engineering). Completed May, 2014
- Fei Luo, CDS (PhD Chair)
- Dawn Vogler-Elias, CDS (PhD. member)
- Dawn Radice, Rehabilitation Science (PhD. member)
- Susan Mann-Dolce, Rehabilitation Science, Ethnographic approach to analyzing disability communication and interaction, May, 2007.
- Bruce Wisenburn, CDS, The use of natural language processing for augmentative-alternative communication utterance generation, Dissertation, May, 2005.
- Kyung-Eun Kim, CDS, Eﬀect of speech rate on the comprehension and subjective judgments of synthesized narrative discourse. Dissertation, May, 2001.
- (co-chair with Duchan) Rae Sonnenmeier, CDS, The acquisition of Minspeak symbol system by normal subjects Dissertation, August, 1999.
- Sutanuka Bhattacharjya (Rehabiliation Science) Committee member.
- Jim Lenker, Industrial Engineering (Ph.D., member). Functional and Psychosocial Impact of Computer-Based Assistive Technology Devices for Adults with Disabilities, May, 2005.
- Terry Welch, Rehabilitation Science, Competency assessments of children with spina bifida., April, 2004.
- Richard Welland, CDS, Transparency and learnability of the Amerind gestural system by individuals with dementia - Alzheimer’s Type. Doctoral Dissertation, May, 1999.
- J.B. Orange, CDS, Analysis of troublesource-repair variables in conversations of the elderly and individuals with dementia of the alzheimer’s type. Doctoral Dissertation, 1992.
- Thiagarajan Palanivel, Industrial Engineering, Individual diﬀerences in information processing: Implications for interface design. Doctoral Dissertation, 1994.
- Shirley McNaughton (University of Toronto). Reading acquisition of adults with severe congenital speech and physical impairments: Theoretical infrastructure, empirical investigation, educational application. December, 1998 (Ph.D.. outside reviewer).
- Rupal Patel, (University of Toronto). Machine Recognition of Dysarthric Speech May, 1999 (Ph.D., outside reviewer).
- Cynthia Tam, (University of Toronto). Evaluating the Eﬀect of word prediction and location of word prediction list on text entry with children with spina bifida and hydrocephalus. (Ph.D., outside reviewer) May, 2001.
- Katya Hill, Performance Measurement and the Establishment of Performance Indices for Augmented Communicators Under Two Sampling Conditions. May, 2001 (Ph.D., committee member).
- Huber, Jessica CDS, Respiratory and laryngeal responses to an oral air pressure bleed during speech. May 2001 (committee member).
Thesis committee Chair
- Alexis Rayman (ongoing).
- Kayla Conner (ongoing)
- Koroschetz, Jordynn. The Impact of Composition Delay in Augmentative Communication Talk-In-Interaction. Diss. State University of New York at Buffalo, 2020..
- Antara Satchidanand, CDS. The Role of Data in Clinical Decision-Making: a Descriptive Study (Committee Chair). July, 2016.
- Alex Foote, Contemporary Commercial Music (Ccm) Singers: Examining Lifestyle Choices And Acoustic Measures Of Voice, May, 2015.(committee member)
- Carly Hanna, Learning to use an Utterance-Based AAC Device. Masters Thesis, 2012
- Sari Gilboa, Using a visual scenes display with a child with complex communication needs: a single case approach (working title). Masters Thesis anticipated September, 2007.
- Jillian Pitaro. User-centered intervention model for social communication. Masters Thesis, May, 2005.
- Laura Smith, The evaluation of automated methods for analyzing communication rate in Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC), Masters Thesis, May, 2003.
- Sumana Jana, Views of assistive technologies by persons with disabilities, their families, careproviders and clinicians. Masters Thesis, 1997.