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Our Trainers

group photo of trainers


Cindy Halloran, OTR/L


Cindy Halloran, an occupational therapist, is the Director of The Center for AAC & Autism.

She obtained a Bachelor of Science from the University of Central Arkansas and has over 25 years’ experience working exclusively in the field of pediatrics, receiving additional training in the area of sensory integration and neurodevelopmental treatment. She has worked in school, residential, home health and private clinic settings; was co-owner of Integrated Therapy for Kids, a private clinic in North Little Rock; and has served as the therapy department head for Arkansas Easter Seals and Riverdale Academy. She has a wealth of experience treating children with autism and was co-developer of the Language Acquisition through Motor Planning approach.

Cindy maintains membership in the American Occupational Therapy Association.

     Disclosures: 

          Financial: Cindy Halloran is a salried emploee-ownder of PRC-Saltillo

          Non-Financial: No relevant non-financial relationships to disclose


John D Halloran, M.S., CCC-SLP

John Halloran, a speech-language pathologist, is the Senior Clinical Associate for The Center for AAC and Autism.

John has worked in the field of AAC since 1994 and is co-author of the Language Acquisition through Motor Planning approach. He has a special interest in children who are challenged by severe physical or cognitive disabilities. He also finds much reward in exploring ways to best implement assistive technology with children who have autism.

John graduated from the University of Arkansas at Little Rock in 1990 with a bachelor's degree in Communication Disorders. He received his master’s in Communicative Disorders from the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences in 1992. After graduation, he worked at Arkansas Easter Seals Rehabilitation Center, specializing in assistive technology. He has also owned a pediatric therapy clinic and after-school care for children with disabilities. He teaches augmentative communication at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences.

John maintains membership in several professional organizations, including the American Speech Language Hearing Association and the Arkansas Speech Language Hearing Association. He has presented extensively in the United States and internationally.

     Disclosures:

          Financial: John Halloran is a salaried emploee-owner of PrC-Saltillo


Janie Cirlot-New, M.S., CCC-SLP

Janie Cirlot-New is a speech-language pathologist and provides trainings for The Center for AAC and Autism. She has worked in the field of AAC for over 35 years, and has a special interest in children with autism and other disabilities who are nonspeaking. Janie has taught classes in assistive technology at Mississippi State University and in augmentative and alternative (AAC) communication at Mississippi University for Women and the University of Southern Mississippi.

Janie graduated from the University of Southern Mississippi with a Bachelor’s degree in Speech and Hearing Sciences, and received a Master’s degree from the University of South Alabama in Speech Pathology. She is licensed as a Speech Language Pathologist in the state of Mississippi.

Janie has provided augmentative and alternative communication services to individuals of all ages. She holds the Certificate of Clinical Competence from the American Speech Language Hearing Association.

Janie is retired as Director of the T.K. Martin Center for Technology and Disability at Mississippi State University where she developed the augmentative and alternative communication evaluation and training program and provided evaluations, intervention and training in the area of augmentative communication. She served as principal investigator on a U.S. Department of Education funded project to assist local education agency teams in utilizing assistive technology to allow students access to the general curriculum and to improve literacy skills of students with expressive communication disorders.

     Disclosures: 

          Financial: Janie Cirlot-New is contracted by The Center for AAC and Autism

          Non-Financial: Janie receives free equipment from The Center for AAC and Autism to use for her presentations


Julie Butterworth, MCD, CCC-SLP, BCBA

Julie Butterworth is a Board Certified Behavior Analyst and a licensed Speech-Language Pathologist. She holds a Bachelor's of Science and Master's degree in communicative disorders from Arkansas State University in Jonesboro, AR.

Julie completed her certification process for behavior analysis through Florida Institute of Technology and received certification from the Behavior Analysis Certification Board in 2011. She is currently a Behavior Support Specialist at Crowley’s Ridge Educational Cooperative in Harrisburg, AR.

Julie has been involved in working with children with autism spectrum disorders implementing LAMP strategies for many years, and is very passionate about her work and the children she serves. Julie has been fortunate to be in many different settings such as early intervention, home, school, private school and clinical. She has had the unique opportunity to follow several children using AAC for many years, allowing her to share the difficulties and triumphs along the way.

     Disclosures:

          Financial: Julie Butterworth is contracted by The Center for AAC and Autism 

          Non-Financial: Julie receives free equipment from the Center for AAC and Autism to use for her presentations


Amy Bereiter, M.S., CCC-SLP, ATP

Amy Bereiter received her Bachelor's degree in Communication Sciences and Disorders from the University of Kentucky and her Master's Degree in Speech-Language Pathology from the University of Redlands. She is a Board Certified Specialist in Child Language (ABCLLD) and a RESNA Certified Assistive Technology Professional.

Amy has been a speech-language pathologist since 2004, working with toddlers through young adults, and has worked in a wide range of settings including in-home early intervention, early childhood special education, elementary self-contained programs, pediatric rehabilitation, University clinic, and private practice. In addition, she has developed AAC evaluation teams at several sites. Amy has held Clinical Professor positions at two Universities.

Amy specializes in Augmentative/Alternative Communication (AAC) and working with children who exhibit complex communication needs. She has worked extensively with occupational therapists and other related professionals to best understand and treat children with sensory processing disorder, visual impairments and motor impairments. She works closely with families to educate, train and support implementation of AAC in the home environment and has led support groups for parents of AAC users. She has experience presenting locally, regionally, and internationally to SLPs, teachers and assistants, occupational therapists and other assistive technology professionals. She also co-developed and taught a graduate course on AAC, and has guest lectured in undergraduate and graduate level courses on numerous occasions. Amy is an active member of the American Speech Language Hearing Association (ASHA) and several ASHA Special Interest Groups.

     Disclosures:

          Financial: Amy Bereiter is contracted by The Center for AAC & Autism 

          Non-Financial: Amy receives free equipment from The Center for AAC & Autism


Stefanie Olson, M.S., CCC-SLP

Stefanie Olson is a speech-language pathologist (SLP) working as the Assistive Technology Specialist at the Little Light House, a Christian, developmental preschool for children with disabilities and LAMP Center of Excellence located in Tulsa, OK.

Stefanie received her bachelors' and master’s degrees at the University of Tulsa, and has worked primarily with individuals with significant and/or multiple disabilities for the past 19 years.

She previously worked at the Oklahoma Assistive Technology Center, University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center, as the program director of a statewide contract with the Oklahoma State Department of Education providing assistive technology evaluations, consultations and professional trainings. Stefanie has also worked as a special education teacher, clinical, school and early intervention based speech-language pathologist, contract SLP providing AAC intervention services in an adult residential facility for individuals with developmental disabilities, and as an adjunct professor at Oklahoma State University teaching their graduate level AAC class.

Stefanie has experience presenting at the local, state and national level on a variety of topics related to AT and AAC. She is passionate about helping parents, teachers, and other service providers acquire the knowledge they need to best serve the children in their care. She maintains membership in the American Speech-Language Hearing Association and with the Oklahoma Medical Licensure Board of Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology.

     Disclosures:

          Financial: Stefanie Olson is contracted by The Center for AAC and Autism

          Non-Financial: Stefanie receives free equipment from The Center for AAC and Autism to use for her presentations


Melissa Pouncey, M.S., CCC-SLP

Melissa Pouncey graduated in 2010 from The University of Alabama with her Master of Science in Communicative Disorders. Since the day after graduation, she has been joyfully serving children in natural environments, inclusive preschool, and the outpatient program with United Ability.

In 2016 and 2018, she travelled to China to train caregivers in a foster center and several orphanages in low-tech AAC and feeding for children with multiple disabilities.

Melissa has been an invited presenter at Alabama’s State SHAA Convention, #TalkingAAC, and has given a TEDx Talk through Samford University. She was named SHAA’s AAC Professional of the Year in 2020. Her specialties include serving in natural environments, family and caregiver training, Autism, AAC for children with multiple needs, and oral placement therapy for speech and feeding. LAMP has been a part of Melissa’s practice from the beginning, and she has been teaching in her community for many years.

Melissa is state board certified and American Speech and Hearing Association (ASHA) certified. She works at United Ability in Birmingham, AL.

     Disclosures:

          Financial: Melissa Pouncey is contracted by The Center for AAC and Autism 

          Non-Financial: Melissa receives free equipment from The Center for AAC and Autism to use for her presentations


Josie Randles

josie randlesJosie Randles received her Bachelor’s degree in Speech & Hearing Sciences and her Master’s degree in Speech-Language Pathology from the University of Washington.

Josie began her career in her hometown of Seattle, Washington, where she spent her first several years as a speech-language pathologist working at Seattle Children’s Hospital in the Autism Center and outpatient speech clinic. In 2011 she moved to Phoenix, Arizona for love and sunshine, and currently works in a school district in the Phoenix area where she primarily supports students with autism, many of whom are AAC users.

Josie has been a LAMP Certified Professional since 2013 and is passionate about AAC. She is especially interested in working with teams and families supporting AAC users.

     Disclosures: 

          Financial: Josie Randles is contracted by The Center for AAC and Autism

          Non-Financial: Josie receives free equpment from The Center for AAC and Autism to use for her presentations


Australia

Peter Hockley

Peter Hockley graduated from Speech Pathology at Sydney University in 2000, and completed a Masters of Applied Linguistics in 2017 at Macquarie University. He has worked in Tasmania, the Northern Territory in Australia and the United Kingdom. Peter works at Hockley Speech Pathology, a private practice in Tasmania, specialising in Augmentative and Alternative Communication.

He is passionate about supporting children, adolescents and adults to use AAC, and providing customized AAC training and workshops. Peter is a member of Speech Pathology Australia and AGOSCI.

Ellen Winchester

Ellen Winchester graduated from Speech Pathology at Sydney University in 2008. She has worked for Autism Spectrum Australia (Aspect) since 2009 in various roles within the Early Intervention & Therapy and Aspect Schools teams. She is currently the Discipline Supervisor for the Speech Pathology for Aspect Therapy in the Illawarra and Southern Sydney regions of New South Wales, Australia.

Ellen is passionate about supporting children with Autism to use AAC and to meet their communicative potential, and is also a specialist in Positive Behaviour Support. She is committed to training other professionals to have a deep and respectful understanding of Autism and behaviour, and to believe in the potential of children with disabilities to communicate effectively using the LAMP method.

Ellen has been involved in many quality improvement and research projects at Aspect focusing on supporting teachers to conduct accurate communication assessments for students with complex communication needs who use AAC, and using these assessments to directly inform intervention and classroom programming integrated with the school curriculum.