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Dr. Alyssa Currier-Boucher Speaks On Universal Design

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Dr. Alyssa Currier-Boucher from the Center for Applied Special Technologies (CAST) lectured to Project REMOTE fellows on the principles of Universal Design in the classroom.  Universal Design for Learning (UDL) is a guideline for encouraging equitable learning opportunities for students of a diverse range of abilities and skills.  UDL is a flexible curriculum development tool, rather than a set of strict set of rules.

Dr. Currier-Bucher lectured on the tools and techniques relevant to telepractice and Speech Language Pathology.  The talk explored methods for creating engaging therapy delivery by incorporating fun and new technologies.

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Mary Andrianopoulos, Kris Curro, Alyssa Currier-Boucher pictured at the talk

Andrianopoulos Receives $1.25 Million for Speech Language Pathology Research-to-Practice Grant

Dr. Mary Andrianopoulos, Associate Professor of Communication Disorders, and Dr. Mary Lynn Boscardin, Chair and Professor of the Department of Student Development, recently were awarded a five-year grant for $1.25 million from the U.S. Department of Education (U.S. DOE). The grant proposal, called “Training Speech Language Pathologists in the Public Schools to Deliver Reliable Evidence-based Models of Technology Effectively,” was one of nine winning proposals funded in 2012 by the federal government in this specific competition.

Read full article here.

Communication Disorders Team Launches Telepractice Recruitment Effort Winter, 2012

Telepractic Team

From left: Nerissa Hall, Michelle Boisvert, Mary Andrianopoulos

Mary Andrianopoulos, Associate Professor of Communication Disorders, along with doctoral candidates Michelle Boisvert and Nerissa Hall at the UMass Amherst School of Public Health and Health Sciences, have launched a recruitment effort targeted at some 300 rural Massachusetts school districts. The research conducted by Andrianopoulos, Boisvert, and Hall aims to provide equal access to speech-language pathology (SLP) services for individuals irrespective of geographical location, disability, or socioeconomic status via live, secure video teleconferencing over the Internet, known as telepractice.

Read full article here.

Teleconferencing therapy can help rural children, UMass language pathologists say

Facing a chronic and critical shortage of special education therapists, some 300 rural Massachusetts school districts will be approached this fall by University of Massachusetts Amherst speech and language researchers who have a plan to bring therapy to children and their families via live, secure video teleconferencing over the Internet, known as telepractice.

Mary Andrianopoulos, associate professor of communication disorders, with doctoral candidates Michelle Boisvert and Nerissa Hall at the UMass Amherst School of Public Health and Health Sciences, home of one of the top communication disorders programs in the nation, are partnering with hardware and software giant Cisco Systems to provide specialized “smart” classrooms and telepractice where students in isolated areas can link to expert therapy services without traveling for hours or braving bad weather.

Read full article here.

Faculty Awarded $799k to Train Speech-Language Pathologists with Special-Ed Focus

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Participating faculty are (clockwise from top left) are Patricia Mercaitis, Mary Lynn Boscardin, Elena Zaretsky, Mary Andrianopoulos and Shelley Velleman.

Faculty in the School of Public Health and Health Sciences and the College of Education have been awarded a four-year, $796,809 Personnel Preparation Grant from the U.S. Department of Education to support speech-language pathology doctoral students focusing on special education.

The participating faculty are Mary Andrianopoulos, Elena Zaretsky, Shelley Velleman and Patricia Mercaitis in the Speech-Language Pathology (SLP) program in the School of Public Health and Health Sciences, and Mary Lynn Boscardin of the Special Education concentration in the College of Education.

Read full article here.

UMass Provides Teleconferencing Therapy to Rural Children

As the number of children diagnosed with autism spectrum disorders continues to grow and the shortage of speech-language pathologists and related specialists gets more acute, particularly in rural areas, researchers at the University of Massachusetts Amherst (UMass) are using live, secure video teleconferencing over the Internet to provide remedial services and help more schools and families connect with professionals.

“The lack of trained specialists is a major obstacle when trying to provide services to individuals with disabilities. Rural areas are the hardest hit,” says Michelle Boisvert, a doctoral candidate in the speech language pathology concentration at UMass Amherst. With Professor Mary Andrianopoulos, she is now conducting a pilot and feasibility study, bringing speech and language services to a grade-school boy with an autism spectrum disorder by live video link between the UMass Amherst campus and his Sunderland classroom.

Read full article here.

Tele-Therapy for Autsim Services (Public Radio)

Technology has made it possible to treat a variety of medical disorders through video-streaming — which comes in handy in places where there’s a shortage of specialists. But it’s still better to be face to face, right? Not according to a group of Umass-Amherst researchers who treat communication disorders like autism.

Listen to broadcast here.

School of Public Health and Health Sciences, Student Spotlight

Teleconference Therapy

Teleconference Therapy

As the number of children diagnosed with autism spectrum disorders continues to grow and the shortage of speech/language pathologists and related specialists gets more acute, particularly in rural areas, researchers at the University of Massachusetts Amherst are using live, secure video teleconferencing over the Internet to provide remedial services and help more schools and families connect with professionals.

“The lack of trained specialists is a major obstacle when trying to provide services to individuals with disabilities. Rural areas are the hardest hit,” says Michelle Boisvert, a doctoral candidate in the speech language pathology concentration at UMass Amherst. With Professor Mary Andrianopoulos, she is now conducting a pilot and feasibility study, bringing speech and language services to a grade-school boy with an autism spectrum disorder by live video link between the UMass Amherst campus and his Sunderland classroom.

Read full article here.