The Seminar Team
Bruce Baker, AM, LHD, (Hons. caus.) (1943-2020), the creator of the Minspeak® language system, spent 40 years developing and teaching in the field of AAC. The team at Semantic Compaction Systems hopes to continue to share his work and language-first message.
“If you sow language, you will reap communication.”
Deborah Laurent Witkowski, MA, CCC-SLP, is a speech-language pathologist with 32 years of experience in AAC. She is an employee of Semantic Compaction® Systems where she provides professional development trainings in AAC. She is one of the developers of the UNIDAD language system, a bilingual AAC software. Deborah has specialized in AAC and AT for most of her career. She has worked in a variety of settings including public and private schools, residential facilities, and in private practice. She has also worked as a private consultant. Deborah earned her Bachelor of Science degree in Speech Pathology and Audiology from West Virginia University in 1986 and a Master of Arts Degree in Communication Disorders from the University of Pittsburgh in 1988.
Tracy M. Kovach, PhD, CCC-SLP, has over 35 years of experience as a speech-language pathologist. She has worked in public schools, clinic and hospital-based programs, and currently is in private practice. Her primary focus has been in the area of augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) including assessment and intervention for children with complex communication needs and their families. As an associate clinical professor in the Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, and the Department of Pediatrics, School of Medicine at the University of Colorado Health Sciences Center in Denver, CO, Dr. Kovach taught graduate courses in AAC and Early Childhood Special Education at the University of Colorado-Boulder and Denver, and courses related to disabilities care through Metro State University – Denver and Adams State University – Alamosa, CO. Dr. Kovach authored the chapter focused on “auditory scanning” in Communicative Competence for Individuals Who Use AAC: From Research to Effective Practice (Light, Beukelman, & Reichle, 2003). She also developed and authored the AAC Profile: A Continuum of Learning (LinguiSystems, 2009/PRO ED Inc.).
Russell Cross, BSc. (Hons.), DipCST, MRCSLT. will explore the power of multi-meaning icons and core vocabulary, including how assigning multiple meanings to pictures is a natural linguistic occurrence. He will also provide participants with the opportunity to learn features of the Unity® software through hands-on demonstration using the PASS software, including therapy strategies and tools. He will demonstrate the Realize Language™ tool as a method of analyzing data and getting better outcomes.