Patricia Lara, PhD, CCC-SLP
Dr. Lara is involved in clinical research and is the Director of the Brain Voice and Language Lab where she developed and oversees the Voice Modification/Affirmation Clinic for Transgender Persons. Her research interests include voice outcomes and effects of voice modification treatment on quality of life in transgender persons. In addition, Dr. Lara is involved in Interprofessional Education (IPE) research in health sciences and is actively involved in scholarly work that focuses on educating professionals to work with vulnerable and underserved populations. Finally, a third research interest for Dr. Lara is aging and health literacy.
Vanessa Mueller, Ph.D.
- Electronic Books for Bilingual Children – The proposed research seeks to examine ways in which the shared reading experiences of children whose first language is Spanish and who are learning English as a second language in the schools can be enhanced through the use of technology. An experimental software program will be used which is designed to expose children and their caregivers to early bilingual literacy experiences in the home environment in an attempt at enhancing literacy skills both in the families’ home language as well as in English. Additionally the effects of this experimental software will be investigated relative to:
- time spent during storybook reading in the home,
- the children’s and caregiver’s acquisition of English and Spanish vocabulary,
- children’s written story-retelling abilities.
- High Functioning Autism and AAC – The goal of this project is to ascertain whether there are any language differences produced by verbal children with high functioning autism when using augmentative communication devices. The language produced during a story retelling with a high-tech communication device, a low-tech communication device, or no communication device is analyzed in terms of the number of echolalic utterances produced, and the syntactical complexity of the utterances.