Release Date: August 14, 2014
BUFFALO, N.Y. — D. Jeffery Higginbotham, PhD, of Buffalo, professor and chair of the Department of Communicative Disorders and Sciences in the University at Buffalo College of Arts and Sciences, will be named a fellow of the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA) at the association’s 2014 annual convention being held Nov. 20-22 in Orlando, Florida.
Higginbotham is a researcher, clinician and educator whose work confronts human issues associated with disability, including the question of how disabled identities are constructed.
He directs the UB Signature Center for Excellence in Augmented Communication (CEAC) and is a partner in the university’s Rehabilitation Engineering Research Center for Communication Enhancement (AAC-RERC).
Fellowship is one of the highest honors bestowed by the ASHA, the national professional, scientific and credentialing association for more than 173,070 audiologists; speech-language pathologists; speech, language and hearing scientists; audiology and speech-language pathology support personnel; and students.
Robert Burkard, PhD, professor and chair of the Department of Rehabilitation Science in the UB School of Public Health and Health Professions, says the ASHA honor “recognizes Higginbotham’s excellence in scholarship, teaching and mentoring, and his service to the profession of speech-language pathology.”
In announcing the award, the ASHA said that while “thousands in this field fulfill their professional responsibilities competently, only a small percentage, by virtue of the quality and number of their contributions, distinguish themselves sufficiently to warrant this recognition.”
Higginbotham’s research assesses how individuals with impaired movement — including those with cerebral palsy or motor neuron diseases like amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) — use their bodies and assistive communication technologies to interact with others.
“Much of my work focuses on the distortions in interaction time related to slowly composed productions, and on the consequent adaptations made by those using the technologies to accommodate to increased demands on attention, vigilance, memory and so on,” he says.
“As a clinician and educator, I also study the process by which disabled identities are co-created by individuals with impairments, those who serve them, the institutions that produce clinicians and teachers, and the companies that make assistive technology products,” he says. “My goal is to help patients/clients engage in competent social interactions, and maintain and express their identity in the face of perceived impairment.”