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Employees First:
Employment for People Who Happen to Use AAC

October 12, 2022 @ 7:00 pm 8:00 pm


During this lively discussion about employment, four panelists will share their own unique
experiences with conducting job searches, the interview process, securing supports in the work
environment, relationships with coworkers and, yes, communication. These presenters all use AAC
as their primary mode of communication and will detail the many ways they express themselves
while working. Throughout this session, they will highlight the importance of harnessing
relationships at the outset of the job search, while securing needed supports to ensure optimal
work performance and building important partnerships with coworkers, supervisors and customers.

PRESENTED BY: Thanh Diep, Tracy Rackensperger PhD., Patrick Regan, Tyson Renze


Thanh Diep is a Vietnamese American woman with Cerebral Palsy. She interacts with people with
the assistance of her AAC device, an Accent 1400. She is a Bridge School alumnus and graduated
from San Francisco State University in 2005 with a Bachelor of Arts in Liberal Studies. She is a
mentor to many, an artist, film maker and writer. She lives in San Francisco.

Tracy Rackensperger Ph.D. is a Public Service Assistant within the College of Family and Consumer
Sciences, Institute on Human Development and Disability at the University of Georgia. Dr.
Rackensperger has conducted a number of research studies, including published scholarly works
regarding augmentative communication and people with disabilities. She has personally used AAC
for over 35 years. She is a Project Co-Leader for Training and Dissemination with the RERC on AAC.

Patrick Regan is the Coordinator of Activities and Events for Bridging Communities Through
Alternative Communication, an adult outreach program of the Bridge School. He is also the Senior
Media Tech Coordinator for St. John Methodist Church in Anchorage, Alaska. Patrick has been
using AAC since the age of two-and-a-half. He uses an Eyegaze Edge device, as well as other low
tech communication strategies including spelling, partner assisted scanning and a trackball for
computer access. Patrick has Spinal Muscular Atrophy.

Tyson Renze works as a mentor to students who use AAC at The Bridge School where he also
teaches a class on self-determination. He has used AAC since the age of three. He communicates
using a Tobii Dynavox device accessed with eye gaze, a laptop with scanning that he accesses with
a switch at his foot or knee and various low-tech tools


  • Identify three resources or tools designed to help people who use AAC in searching for employment.
  • Identify three strategies people who use AAC can use when preparing for a job interview.
  • Name three supports that individuals who use AAC can use at work to ensure success in
    fulfilling job expectations.
  • Describe the important role coworkers play in the work environment.


  • 5 minutes: Introduction of speaker, USSAAC and topic
  • 10 minutes: The job search and application process
  • 10 minutes: Preparing for job interviews and meeting potential employers
  • 10 minutes: Utilizing supports a work
  • 10 minutes: Coworkers and everyday communication strategies
  • 15 minutes: Wrap-up, Questions

American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA) CEUs in speech-language pathology and
audiology are awarded by the ASHA CE Registry upon receipt of the CEU Participant Form from the ASHA Approved CE Provider, USSAAC. CEU Participant Forms are available onsite at Registration. ASHA CEUs are provided to full registrations. This program is offered for .1 ASHA CEUs (Introductory Level, Professional Area)

ASHA Disclosures:

  •  Speakers
    • Financial:
      • Thanh Diep has no financial disclosures to report.
      • Tracy Rackensperger is a salaried faculty member at University of Georgia and compensated by RERC on
      • AAC through Pennsylvania State University.
      • Patrick Regan has no financial disclosures to report.
      • Tyson Renze has no financial disclosures to report.
    • Nonfinancial:
      • Thanh Diep has no nonfinancial disclosures to report.
      • Tracy Rackensperger is the President-Elect of USSAAC.
      • Patrick Regan has no nonfinancial disclosures to report.
      • Tyson Renze has no nonfinancial disclosures to report.
    • Moderator
      • Tina Moreno has no financial disclosures to report. She serves on the executive board of USSAAC (nonfinancial).


To register for this Webinar please go to the following link:


PLEASE NOTE: Only the first 150 attendees to log into
the webinar will be guaranteed spots.


Betsy Caporale, Richard Hurtig, Stephanie Meehan, Sharon Redmon, Wendy Quach

Follow Us: @USSAAC #USSAAChat

Contact Us: membership@ussaac.org

Join Us: USSAAC.org/membership


October 12, 2022
7:00 pm – 8:00 pm
Event Category:

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