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Janice C. Light
Professor
The Hintz Family Endowed Chair in Children's Communicative Competence
Department
  • Communication Sciences and Disorders - CSD
  • Graduate Faculty
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Education
  • Ph.D., University of Toronto, 1990
Phone
Email
Office Address
401H Ford Building
The Pennsylvania State University
University Park, PA 16802
Fax
814-865-8133
Professional Credentials

Ph.D

Grants and Research Projects

My research is focused on improving communication outcomes and enhancing quality of life for individuals who have complex communication needs, including individuals with autism spectrum disorder, cerebral palsy, Down syndrome, intellectual/ developmental disabilities and other special needs. These individuals benefit from augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) (e.g., signs, communication boards, speech generating devices, mobile technologies with AAC apps). Specifically, I am involved in a series of multidisciplinary collaborative research projects designed to:

  1. Enhance language and communication development for young children who require AAC (for further information, visit aackids.psu.edu)
  2. Improve literacy outcomes with individuals who require AAC (for further information, visit aacliteracy.psu.edu)
  3. Enhance the communicative competence of individuals who require AAC
  4. Improve the design of AAC technologies for individuals with complex communication needs and their families (for more information, visit rerc-aac.org)
Additional Information

Light, J. (Principal Investigator). The Rehabilitation Engineering Research Center in Augmentative and Alternative Communication. Funded by the National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research, October 2014-September 2019; $4,746,449.
The Rehabilitation Engineering Center in Augmentative and Alternative Communication (The RERC on AAC) is a virtual multicenter collaborative research center. The mission of the RERC on AAC is to conduct cutting edge research, technical development, training, and dissemination activities to improve outcomes for individuals with complex communication needs who require AAC and their families. For further information, please visit our website at rerc-aac.org

Light, J. (Principal Investigator). The Penn State AAC Leadership Project. Funded by the U.S. Department of Education, August 2017-August 2022; $1,250,000. The Penn State AAC Leadership Project is designed to address the urgent need for high quality researchers and university faculty with expertise in AAC. The project will prepare doctoral students to assume leadership roles in the field, conduct research, and provide evidence-based preservice training of speech language pathologists and related professionals to improve outcomes for children with complex communication needs and their families. For further information, please visit aac.psu.edu/?p=3800

Light, J. (Principal Investigator). The Children’s Communicative Competence Project. Funded by the U.S. Department of Education, October 2011-December 2017; $1,249,960. The Children’s Communicative Competence Project is designed to address the urgent need for highly qualified speech language pathologists who have expertise in the delivery of evidence-based AAC services within the school system to improve services and results for children with complex communication needs who require AAC. For further information, please visit aac.psu.edu/?p=113