Amy Goldman, MS, CCC-Sp\L
Term: 2022 – 2023
Amy S. Goldman, MS, CCC-Sp/L first joined the USSAAC Board of Directors in 2016, serving two terms as the VP for Finance. A long-time ISAAC member and supporter, she served as Chair, Social Events for the 1992 Biennial Conference (Philadelphia) and co-chaired the ISAAC 2012 Biennial Conference (Pittsburgh). A past president of the PA Speech-Language-Hearing Association and past chair of ASHA’s SIG 12 (AAC), she is chair of the PA Board of Examiners in Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology. Amy represents USSAAC on the National Joint Committee for the Communication Needs of Persons with Severe Disabilities (NJC). Amy specialized in AAC services and pre- and in-service training about AT and AAC, and has been a vigorous advocate for people with complex communication needs throughout her long career.
Tracy Rackensperger, Ph.D.
Term: 2022 – 2023
Tracy lives life to the fullest! Born with cerebral palsy, she uses assistive technology for mobility, daily living, employment, computer access, and communication. She recently completed her doctorate and is a faculty member at the University of Georgia, Institute on Human Development and Disability, teaching undergraduate students, training and providing technical assistance, and preparing articles for research publication. She has conducted research and published scholarly works regarding AAC, transition and people with disabilities. When not working, you can find her fishing, rock climbing, surfing, tubing, or just about any outdoor activity she can find.
Yoosun Chung, Ph.D.
Yoosun is an associate professor in the Division of Special Education and disAbility Research of the College of Education and Human Development at George Mason University. As an AAC user, she has focused on the use of Mainstream Intelligent Digital Assistant of AAC users, the perspectives of AAC users, the attitudes towards AAC users in public, how to increase awareness of AAC in public, etc.
She was the recipient of the WORDS+/ISAAC Outstanding Consumer Lecture Award from ISAAC in 2006, the Teaching Excellence Award – Teaching with Technology from Center for Teaching Excellent at George Mason University in 2012 and the Edwin and Esther Prentke AAC Distinguished Lecture Award from ASHA in 2017. Dr. Chung received her bachelor’s degree from George Mason University and her master’s degree from Cornell University in Computer Science.
Vice President, Financial Affairs
Sarah Blackstone, Ph.D., CCC-SLP
Term: 2022 – 2023
A founder of USSAAC, Sarah remains deeply committed to addressing barriers to communication ACCESS across settings, circumstances and communication partners.
She served on several non-profit boards and recently stepped down from NIDCD’s Council. Sarah is principal investigator of The Bridge School project, Cortical Visual Impairment and Children who use AAC. She co-chairs USSAAC’s Disaster Relief Committee.
Vice President, People who use AAC and their Families
Tina Moreno, M.A. CCC-SLP, ATP
Term: 2022 – 2023
Tina is mother to Mateo, who is 22 years old. Born with apraxia and dysarthria, he has been an AAC user since the age of four. Tina has learned about AAC and assistive technology right beside Mateo—returning to school when he was eight years old to become a speech-language pathologist in order to better support him and others. Tina received her master’s degree in speech-language pathology from Cleveland State University. She is a member of ASHA and an Assistive Technology Professional through RESNA. She serves the Cuyahoga County Board of Developmental Disabilities in Cleveland, Ohio where she focuses on AAC assessment and implementation, working primarily with school-aged communicators. She is co-founder and co-director of Camp ALEC, a summer literacy camp for children with significant disabilities who use AAC. She also owns a small private practice and presents locally and nationally on AAC and literacy, sometimes with Mateo. Tina enjoys providing training, coaching, and encouragement to individuals, families, and educational teams who are just starting out on their own AAC journeys.
Amy Miller Sonntag, SLPD, CCC-SLP
Amy Miller Sonntag, SLPD, CCC-SLP, is a licensed and certified Speech-Language Pathologist and associate clinical professor at The Ohio State University in the Department of Speech and Hearing Science. She is also a faculty member in the OSU Assistive and Rehabilitative Technology Certificate Program. Through both departments, Amy teaches coursework in AAC for undergraduate and graduate students who are in a variety of rehabilitation fields including SLP, occupational and physical therapy, rehabilitation engineers, and special educators. Amy also provides clinical education and mentorship to graduate clinicians in the MA SLP program in the OSU Speech and Hearing AAC Clinic. Amy found her career because one of her friends growing up used various low and high-tech AAC equipment. This gave her a passion to help people with complex communication needs find their voice.
Lewis Golinker, Esq.
Term: 2022– 2023
Lew is a lawyer and Director of the Assistive Technology Law Center. His relevant experience includes over three decades of legal and policy advocacy and professional education services directed to expanding and protecting SGD coverage and access by health and other benefits funding programs. It also includes many years of service as a member of the USSAAC board, both as a regional representative and as its Advocacy Director. He’s also a part of USSAAC’s Advocacy and Public Policy committee.
Beth Speaker Christensen
Term: 2022 – 2023
Beth Speaker-Christensen is a speech/language pathologist who owns a private practice in Brookfield, Illinois. She graduated from Northern Illinois University in 1991 (BS. Communicative Disorders) and 1994 (MA. Speech/Language Pathology). Beth spent the early part of her career working for a contract agency servicing skilled nursing facilities, hospitals, and schools in the Chicagoland area. Beth worked for Shriners Hospitals for Children-Chicago for 14 years, a special education cooperative for 7 years, a non-profit outpatient therapy clinic for 3 years before opening her own private practice, AAC Helper, LLC. Beth joined USSAAC in 2016 and has been a member of the Awareness and Membership committees since joining.
Beth is a member of ASHA and an Assistive Technology Professional through RESNA. Beth is a member of RESNA’s Professional Standards Board. She holds an Assistive Technology Certificate from the University of Illinois at Chicago and is a LAMP Certified Provider. She has two kids, two cats and enjoys knitting and jigsaw puzzles. Her dream is to be part of the Bruce Baker Language Initiative to create more languages for AAC all over the world. There are simply too many countries, languages and families who should be included in the AAC world.
Director, Professional Affairs
Betsy Caporale, M.S., CCC-SLP, AAC/AT Specialist
Betsy has been working in the field of AAC/AT for over 20 years. In 2006 she earned her Competency Certificate in Communication Assistive Technology Applications from The National Association of State Directors of Special Education and was awarded an Assistive Technology Specialty Certificate in Communication Services from the University of South Florida. She has presented nationally and internationally on topics related to Autism and Complex Communication Needs. While working for the California Department of Education, Northern California Diagnostic Center she developed and taught an AAC Assessment and Services Certification Course, certifying over 200 speech-language pathologists serving students in educational settings. Betsy is the owner of Augmentative Communication Solutions, a private practice supporting students and school districts in California.
Director, Public Information
Alison Pentland, MA, CCC-SLP
Term: 2022 – 2023
Alison received her master’s degree in Speech-Language Pathology from San Jose State University in California where she participated in its AAC in Educational Settings grant. She focuses on AAC assessment and treatment, working with communicators of all ages in their homes and schools. She also provides indirect services and training for family members and professionals in California. Alison is an advocate and firm believer that communication is a human and civil right.
Carole Zangari, Ph.D., CCC-SLP, BSC-CL, ASHA Fellow
Term: 2023 – 2024
Dr. Carole Zangari is a Professor in the Speech Language Pathology department at Nova Southeastern University (NSU), where she teaches master’s/doctoral courses in AAC and supports graduate student clinicians. In addition, Dr. Zangari serves as the Executive Director of the Broward satellite of the University of Miami-NSU Center for Autism and Related Disabilities. Dr. Zangari is an ASHA Fellow and is a board-certified specialist in child language. She is a frequent presenter on AAC topics at international and national conferences. Dr. Zangari is the co-editor of Practically Speaking Language, Literacy, and Academic Development for Students with AAC Needs and co-author of TELL ME: AAC in the Preschool Classroom and TELL ME Más: CAA en el Aula Preescolar. She is currently working on TELL ME, Too, a classroom-based program for core vocabulary instruction with co-author, Lori Wise. Dr. Zangari blogs at www.PrAACticalAAC.org.