We are extremely pleased to be able to offer the following slate. Below are nominations received. All nominees have agreed to serve:
- President-elect – Amy Goldman
- Vice-President, Finance – Sarah Blackstone
- Vice-President, PWUAAC – Tracy Rackensperger
- Director, Public Information – Lois Jean Brady
- Director, Professional Affairs – Stephanie Meehan
Here is additional information about each (short bios) candidate:
- President-elect – Amy Goldman. Amy S. Goldman, MS, CCC is technical assistance specialist for the Eastern US with the national Assistive Technology Act Technical Assistance and Training Center (AT3). She recently retired from her position as Co-Executive Director of the Institute on Disabilities at Temple University, PA’s University Center of Excellence in Developmental Disabilities where she directed local, state, and federal projects related to assistive technology (AT). Amy has specialized in augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) services, 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 as a speech-language pathologist. She is past chair of the steering committee of the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association’s (ASHA) Special Interest Group on AAC and represents ASHA on the National Joint Committee for the Communication Needs of Persons with Severe Disabilities (NJC). She has been VP for Finance of USSAAC since 2016, securing financial stability for the organization. She also serves on USSAAC’s Disaster Relief Committee as well as the editorial and education committees.
- Vice-President, Finance – Sarah Blackstone. A founder of USSAAC, Sarah recently served as its past president and is co-chair of USSAAC’s Disaster Relief and Membership committees. Dr. Blackstone is failing “retirement”. Currently, she is PI on a grant “Improving the outcomes of children with cortical visual impairment who use AAC” with The Bridge School, and CFO on a state grant, Listos California, focused on improving disaster readiness for Monterey County’s most vulnerable groups. She has written articles, chapters and books and worked at the Rehabilitation Institute of Pittsburgh, Kennedy Krieger Institute/Johns Hopkins Medical School in Baltimore, ASHA headquarters in Bethesda, Berkeley Unified School District and Augmentative Communication Inc. She is committed to improving USSAAC’s capacity to remove the barriers people who rely on AAC continue to face across settings, circumstances and communication partners.
- Vice-President, PWUAAC – Tracy Rackensperger. Dr. Rackensperger 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.
- Director, Public Information – Lois Jean Brady. Lois is CEO of iTherapy, LLC. She is a practicing Speech-Language Pathologist, Certified Autism Specialist (CAS) & Assistive Technology Specialist. She is a recipient of a National Science Foundation/Small Business Research and Innovation (NSF/SBIR) Grant, National Institutes of Health (NIH) and winner of three assistive technology Hack-a-thons, Benjamin Franklin Award for Apps for Autism and an Ursula Award for Autism TodayTV. She partnered with Microsoft to add features of artificial intelligence (AI) to InnerVoice Communication App. Lois is currently a member of USSAAC’s Disaster Relief Committee and is on the Board of Directors for the California Communications Access Foundation & Board of Advisors for the International Board of Credentialing and Continuing Education Standards.
- Director, Professional Affairs – Stephanie Meehan. Stephanie Meehan, Ph.D., CCC-SLP currently serves as the Director of Professional Affairs. She is a Clinical Assistant Professor at the University of Kansas. She currently leads a team of clinical practicum students on Promoting Access and Advocacy to Communication and Education (PAACE) team, which serves clients in a local school district as well as in the Schiefelbusch Speech-Language-Hearing Clinic. She teaches the Introduction to AAC class to speech-language pathology master’s students. Her primary professional interests include improving the pre-service education and training in the area of AAC, what contributes to long term positive outcomes for people who use AAC, and multicultural issues in AAC.