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Katya Hill: Developing an ASHA Specialty Certification for AAC

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If you are interested in learning about the proposed ASHA AAC Clinical Speciality Certification, don’t miss this week’s interview with Dr. Katya Hill! Before the interview, Rachel shares why her jury duty was not as bad as she had expected, and why taking a step away from work can be so helpful. Next, Rachel and Chris discuss new AAC users who repeatedly press all (or only one) of the buttons on their device, and why this doesn’t need to be actively discouraged for the behavior to fade. Finally, Chris talks about his experience touring schools to evaluate classroom seating and lighting design. 

Next, Chris and Rachel interview Dr. Kayta Hill, Associate Professor at Pitt and leader in developing the new AAC Clinical Specialty Certification! First, Katya shares about how she came up with the phrase “SNUG” (spontaneous novel utterance generation) while working on her dissertation. Next, Katya discusses her role in gaining approval for an AAC Specialty Certification and why a specialty certification for AAC is being sought. Katya also covers why graduate-level AAC instruction will hopefully improve as a result. The process of developing the certification, including identifying specific AAC competencies, is also discussed.

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ASHA’s page for New Specialty Areas: https://www.asha.org/Certification/specialty/Approved-Petitioning-Groups-for-New-Specialty-Areas/


Clinical AAC Research Conference at Howard University, October 17th-19th: https://aacinstitute.org/2019-caac/

About the Guest:

Katya Hill has twenty years of AAC clinical and teaching experience. Her interest in AAC and assistive technology started when she was working with children with significant disabilities in the public schools and AAC was emerging as a field. As the use of AAC interventions expanded and the number of technology interventions increased she became aware of the growing complexity of the decision-making process and need for evidence to support clinical decisions. Hill’s clinical experiences led to a keen desire to conduct research to develop methods to measure AAC performance and outcomes. She found that the School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences at the University of Pittsburgh to offer the most student-centered, multidiscipline and collegial doctorate program in the country to launch this area of research. Hill has mentored student research projects that resulted in over 20 student papers being accepted for publication or presentation.


Hosts: Rachael Madel and Chris Bugaj

Producer: Luke Padgett

Audio Engineer: Michaela Ball

Music: “Ebb and Flow” by Fabian Measures

April 3, 2019

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