By: Kathy Smith, MSPA, CCC-SLP/L (retired)
Welcome to our first AAC Spotlight post! AAC Spotlight will be a series of interviews that we hope will be another resource. Reading about other people who are interested in AAC (augmentative-alternative communication) can help us connect with each other and share experiences and concerns. NWACS will occasionally interview people to help all of us learn more about each other and AAC.
In the Spotlight: Marci Revelli, MS, CCC-SLP
Our first interview is with Marci Revelli, Speech-Language Pathologist at Seattle Children's Hospital. Read about her work and one of her new endeavors in which we can all participate.
What do you do as an SLP at Seattle Children's Hospital?
I run the AAC program. That means I am responsible for doing AAC evaluations, trainings and treatment. I also make sure I stay on top of the newest technologies and research in AAC. The most favorite part of my job is collaborating with parents, community therapists and school teams. AAC can’t occur in a vacuum; we must have all the stakeholders at the table to ensure communication growth.
How did you get interested in the specialty of AAC?
Well, my first job out of graduate school was in a private school for 3-21 year old students located on the campus of Boston College. At the time, there was a range of students, from non-verbal or medically fragile to verbal but with developmental delays. I knew I wanted to work with children and I fell into AAC as a great bridge for my love of technology and my skill set as a speech-language pathologist. However, I should say, I didn’t want to specialize so early in my career. From there, I worked in public schools, outpatient clinics and in private practice. I think having a wide variety of work experience has really helped my diagnostic skills as an AAC specialist.
Do you participate in other AAC activities such as presenting at different places?
Yes, in fact, I am only part time at Seattle Children’s and the other part of my life has been sustaining a small private practice and raising my son. This past fall, I have embarked on a new adventure in my private practice, one that is more focused on training. I believe so strongly that the best people to support AAC are the ones who see the child everyday, the parents, teachers and therapists. To this end, I have been focused on training families and school teams to make sure the AAC system is meeting the child’s needs and is being implemented using the best evidence-based strategies.
Describe what AAC in Action is and who can participate.
This is a partner training program modeled after some great research called ImPAACT*. The ImPAACT program found that when you train the partners, the children benefit. AAC in Action training has three big ideas. First, watching and responding to the child’s communication signals, rather than dominating the conversation with adult-directed language. Second, learning about how to select picture vocabulary to build true communicative power. Third, helping children learn where vocabulary is located by modeling or talking and touching pictures in tandem.
Thank you, Marci, for taking a moment to participate in our AAC Spotlight series!
You can read our other posts in our AAC Spotlight series by clicking HERE.
Do you have a suggestion of someone you would like to see us interview for AAC Spotlight? Let us know in a comment below or send us an email.