Special Interest Group 12, Augmentative and Alternative Communication I joined SIG 12 in November 2006. My interest in augmentative and alternative communication [AAC] and the need to learn more about the field made me join. I have enjoyed being a member of the SIG. It has given me an opportunity to learn more about AAC and ... SIG Spotlight
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SIG Spotlight  |   February 01, 2017
Special Interest Group 12, Augmentative and Alternative Communication
Author Notes
  • Meher Banajee, PhD, CCC-SLP, is an associate professor of communication disorders at Louisiana State University’s School of Allied Health Professions and the 2015–2017 coordinator of ASHA SIG 12. mbanaj@lsuhsc.edu
    Meher Banajee, PhD, CCC-SLP, is an associate professor of communication disorders at Louisiana State University’s School of Allied Health Professions and the 2015–2017 coordinator of ASHA SIG 12. mbanaj@lsuhsc.edu×
Article Information
Augmentative & Alternative Communication / SIG Spotlight
SIG Spotlight   |   February 01, 2017
Special Interest Group 12, Augmentative and Alternative Communication
The ASHA Leader, February 2017, Vol. 22, online only. doi:10.1044/leader.SIGS.22022017.np
The ASHA Leader, February 2017, Vol. 22, online only. doi:10.1044/leader.SIGS.22022017.np
When did you join your SIG—and what made you want to join?
I joined SIG 12 in November 2006. My interest in augmentative and alternative communication [AAC] and the need to learn more about the field made me join.
How has your involvement with the SIG helped you in your career?
I have enjoyed being a member of the SIG. It has given me an opportunity to learn more about AAC and to incorporate it initially in my clinic and early intervention class and then later while teaching and training students in the area of AAC. I am a site visitor for the Council on Academic Accreditation, and I can now knowledgeably determine whether students at the facilities are being provided with the necessary knowledge and skills for AAC.
How do you carve out time to volunteer with the SIG while working in your full-time job and balancing other commitments?
I usually do not get compensated to attend conferences and workshops; however, my institution is open to giving me time off to work on SIG-related tasks as well as attend SIG-related meetings, etc. It also is required for us as faculty to be involved in nationally based committees. This area of practice is of great interest to me and a big passion of mine, so I make sure it is a priority to expand the awareness of AAC to other SLPs, families, clients and caregivers.
What upcoming events related to or sponsored by your SIG should everyone know about? Chats, conferences or convention events?
We are in the process of planning two live ASHA chat events in the spring of 2017. A panel of AAC users will be participating in one of the chats, whereas the other chat will focus on telepractice and AAC.
Four Perspectives articles planned for the next year will include a) AAC and dual-sensory impairment, b) multimodal communication, c) alternate means of access (including brain–computer interface, eye-control systems, etc.), and d) AAC and adult neurogenics.
The coordinating committee is also working on developing guidelines for pre-service training. We invite affiliates to provide input for topics for future chat events, articles for Perspectives, and ideas for short courses and invited speakers for the 2017 ASHA Convention.
What is your favorite recent Perspectives article, and why?
The September 2015 Perspectives issue was particularly of great interest for me as it looks at the changing face of AAC, as well as what has remained the same. It also confirms that we are, indeed, first and foremost speech-language pathologists, and language should play an integral part in our clinical practice.
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February 2017
Volume 22, Issue 2