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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 30 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.


          Financial: Cindy Halloran is a salaried employee-owner 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.


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

         Non Financial: No relevant non-financial relationships to disclose

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.


          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

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

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.


          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 and is a LAMP Educator for The Center for AAC and Autism.

Stefanie received her B.S., and M.S., degrees at the University of Tulsa, and has worked primarily with individuals with significant and/or multiple disabilities for the past 25 years.

She previously worked at the Little Light House in Tulsa, OK as the Assistive Technology Coordinator, and at the Oklahoma Assistive Technology Center as the program director providing AT evaluations, consultations, and professional trainings for Oklahoma Public Schools. 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.


          Financial: Stefanie Olson is a salaried employee-owner of PRC-Saltillo

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

Lydia MacKay, M.A., CCC-SLP, BCBA

Lydia MacKay HeadshotLydia MacKay graduated from the University of California, Santa Cruz, with a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology. She received her Master’s degree in Speech Pathology and Audiology from California State University, San José. Lydia specializes in helping people use Augmentative Alternative Communication in school, clinic, and home settings. She received her Assistive Technology Applications Certificate from California State University, North Ridge, in 2000.

She currently works in a Phoenix school district with preschoolers who use AAC. She provides Spanish and English AAC evaluations and trainings in home and community settings. She is passionate about helping families and providers find ways to build language during meaningful routines. Lydia obtained her certification in Applied Behavior Analysis in 2003 and is a licensed behavior analyst. She draws on speech pathology and applied behavior analysis to encourage collaboration among providers who serve people with complex communication needs.


          Financial: Lydia MacKay is contracted by The Center for AAC and Autism 

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

Josie Randles, M.S., CCC-SLP

Josie Randles HeadshotJosie 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.


          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

Laurie Shaw, M.S., CCC-SLP

Laurie ShawLaurie Shaw is a Speech-Language Pathologist who has worked with non-speaking communicators in home-based, inpatient, outpatient, school, and telehealth settings since 2008. Her clinical home base is at Anna Shaw Children’s Institute in Dalton, GA where she primarily serves pediatric patients with autism and related disorders. Laurie has a Bachelor of Science in Communication Sciences and Disorders from The University of Texas at Austin and Master of Science in Speech-Language Pathology from California State University Northridge. Laurie maintains her certificate of clinical competence through the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association, is a recipient of the 2023 ASHA Distinguished Early Career Professional certificate, and is a LAMP Certified Professional and mentor through The Center for AAC and Autism. With professional experience in applied behavior analysis and specialized training in alternative communication modalities, Laurie is a highly sought after speaker at local and regional conferences and has been featured in the documentary film “Beautiful Faces” which details the challenges families face when caring for a child with special needs.


          Financial: Laurie Shaw is contracted by The Center for AAC and Autism

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


Leanna Fox

Leanna Fox Headshot Leanna Fox, a Speech Pathologist, is The Center for AAC & Autism’s Regional Clinical Associate providing training and support in Australia. She has over 20 years’ experience in the disability sector implementing AAC systems for a wide range of children and adults. She has worked across government, hospital, school, non-government and private organisations in both rural and metropolitan areas. She also maintains a small caseload in Sydney providing support to children and adults who use AAC.

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.

New Zealand

Sam Brydon

Sam Brydon

Sam Brydon is a speech-language therapist with over 25 years of experience in the field of disability, including as a social worker. Sam originally trained and worked in England, before emigrating to New Zealand in 2007. She has worked in early intervention and special education, and now works for The TalkLink Trust, which is the national assessment agency for AAC in New Zealand. Last year Sam completed her doctoral studies at Massey University in the field of AAC. This research focused on coaching parents to be successful communication partners for their children.

Sam first discovered LAMP WFL when she was reading and researching for her PhD. She attended the first training in New Zealand in 2019 and has since implemented and supported LAMP with many children and young people and has been excited to observe how successful this approach can be with children who have previously struggled to use AAC.