SCSD Doctoral Student Attended the ISAAC Conference

School of Communication Science and Disorders (SCSD) doctoral student Brianna Coltellino attended the International Society for Augmentative and Alternative Communication Conference (ISAAC) in Cancún, Mexico, in July.

ISAAC’s goal is to improve the lives of children and adults who use augmentative and alternative communication (AAC). The conference focuses on acknowledging the accomplishments of ISAAC chapters, members, professionals, and people who benefit from AAC support. This was Coltellino’s first time attending and presenting at the conference. She presented her work, “Factors Contributing to Diversity in Parent Beliefs about AAC Telepractice Services During COVID-19”. While Coltellino presented the work herself, her co-advisors, Associate Professors Dr. Michelle Therrien and Dr. Andrea Barton-Hulsey, were co-authors of this study.

Brianna Coltellino (right) with her advisor Dr. Michelle Therrien (left).

The purpose of her work was to investigate whether income or community type had any relation to different perceptions of speech-language therapy services during the COVID-19 pandemic. Her findings showed that parents in suburban and urban communities and parents with higher income encountered more struggles with accessibility of speech services during the start of the pandemic while parents living in rural communities found that they had easy access to the services they needed.

“While sharing my work was an honor, the true highlight of this conference was my time as an attendee, learning from and connecting with leaders in the field of AAC research. I would like to thank CCI, the Congress of Graduate Students, and the leaders of the ISAAC Conference for supporting my attendance to engage with such inspirational and impactful individuals.”

Coltellino expressed that this work has sparked an interest in further exploring the perspectives and experiences of families of children who use ACC, focusing on enhancing the accessibility and feasibility of family-centered services.