“Research & Development to Enhance Language and
Communication for Individuals with Complex Disabilities”
Dr. Janice Light, The Hintz Family Endowed Chair in
the Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders at Penn State
Friday, April 7, 9:00–10:30 a.m. EDT,
127 Moore Building and virtually via Zoom
There are more than 5 million Americans, more than 97 million people worldwide, who have such complex disabilities that they are unable to rely on conventional channels of communication such as speech and writing. Without effective means to access language, these individuals are severely restricted in their participation in all aspects of life – education, employment, healthcare, family, and community living. They require access to augmentative and alternative means of communication (e.g., signs, gestures, picture or alphabet boards, speech generating technologies) to access language and express themselves. This presentation will provide an overview of the research, development, and training activities of the federally-funded Rehabilitation Engineering Research Center on Augmentative and Alternative Communication (The RERC on AAC). These research, development, and training activities are focused on advancing knowledge, improving technologies, and building capacity to improve outcomes for people who require AAC.