Susan Fager, PhD, CCC-SLP
University of Nebraska Medical Center
985450 Nebraska Medical Center
Omaha, NE 68198-5450
Susan Fager, PhD, CCC-SLP is the Scottish Rite Associate Professor and Director of the Speech-Language Pathology Department at the UNMC Munroe-Meyer Institute. Dr. Fager earned her MS and PhD in Speech-Language Pathology from the University of Nebraska at Lincoln.
Dr. Fager has an extensive clinical and research background in Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC) and Motor Speech Disorders. Her current research focuses on the development and clinical evaluation of new and emerging alternative access methods to AAC as well as the development of apps to support training and clinical decision-making for AAC and assistive technology practitioners. She has established clinical and research relationships with individuals who use AAC and their families, academic partners, and AAC and assistive technology industry partners to address AAC topics across the lifespan.
Dr. Fager has published numerous papers and book chapters and presented nationally and internationally on AAC. She has received collaborative funding through the National Institutes of Health (NIH); National Science Foundation (NSF); National Institute on Disability, Independent Living and Rehabilitation Research (NIDILRR); and the American Speech-Language Hearing Foundation (ASHFoundation) to support her research in AAC.
- American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA) certificate of clinical competence
- Nebraska state licensed speech-language pathologist
- PhD, Augmentative and Alternative Communication and Motor Speech Disorders - University of Nebraska at Lincoln, 2008
- MS, Speech-Language Pathology, University of Nebraska at Lincoln, 1997
- BS, University of Nebraska at Lincoln, 1995
Special/Research Interests and Projects
- Development of AAC access technologies and interfaces.
- Development of training tools to support AAC and assistive technology clinical service delivery.
- Identification of best practices to support AAC clinical decision-making.
Selected Publications (within the last 5 years)
- Murtaugh, B., Fager, S., & Sorenson, T. (Invited manuscript, accepted, 2023). Emergence from disorders of consciousness: Optimizing self-agency through communication. Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation Clinics of North America.
- Fager, S.K., Burnfield, J.M., & Sorenson, T. (2023). Participatory design approach to creating an accessible nurse call / hospital room control system for individuals with severe physical impairments. Assistive Technology Outcomes and Benefits, 17, 96-109. ATOB Volume 17 - Assistive Technology Industry Association (atia.org)
- Mitchell, C.L., Cler, G.J., Fager, S.K., Contessa, P., Roy, S.H., De Luca, G., Kline, J.C.,& Vojtech, J.M. (2022). Ability-based methods for personalized keyboard generation. Multimodal Technologies and Interaction, 6(8):67. https://doi.org/10.3390/mti6080067
- Mitchell, C.L., Cler G., Fager, S.K., Contessa, P., Roy, S., De Luca, G., Kline, J., & Vojtech, J. (2022). Ability-based keyboards for augmentative and alternative communication: Understanding how individuals’ movement patterns translate to more efficient keyboards. In Extended Abstracts of the CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems, Article 412, 1-7. https://doi.org/10.1145/3491101.3519845
- Fager, S.K., Sorenson, T., Jakobs, E., Koester, H., Jakobs, T., & Beukelman, D.R. (2022). Multi-modal access method (eye-tracking + switch-scanning) for individuals with severe motor impairment: A preliminary investigation. Assistive Technology. Online publication. https://doi.org/10.1080/10400435.2022.2053895
- Dietz, A., McKelvey, M., Mirenda, P., Light, J.C., Blackstone, S., Fager, S., Fischer, J., Garrett, K., Golinker, L., Thiessen, A., Weissling, K., Williams, M.B., & Yorkston, K. (2022). Lessons for the AAC field: a tribute to Dr. David Beukelman. Augmentative and Alternative Communication, 38(2), 77-81. https://doi.org/10.1080/07434618.2022.2077831
- Gormley, J., & Koch Fager, S. (2021). Personalization of patient-provider communication across the lifespan. Topics in Language Disorders, 41, 249-268. https://doi.org/10.1097/TLD.0000000000000255
- Beukelman, D.R., Thiessen, A., & Koch Fager, S. (2021). Personalization of visual scene displays: Investigations of adults with aphasia, typical females across the age-span, and young adult males and females. Topics in Language Disorders, 41, E1- E11, https://doi.org/10.1097/TLD.0000000000000256
- Fager, S., Karantounis, R. (2021). AAC assessment and intervention. In review in K Hux (Ed), Assisting Survivors of Traumatic Brain Injury (Third Edition). Austin, TX: Pro-Ed. Fager, S., Gormley, J., Sorenson, T. (2021). Access to AAC for individuals with acquired conditions: Challenges and solutions in early recovery. In B Ogletree (Ed), AAC Challenges and Solutions: Improving Everyday Service Delivery (First Edition). San Diego, CA: Plural Publishing.
- Koch Fager, S., Burnfield, J.M., Pfeifer, C.M., Sorenson, T. (2020). Perceived importance of AAC messages to support communication in rehabilitation settings. Disability & Rehabilitation: Assistive Technology. Online publication. https://doi.org/10.1080/17483107.2020.1736652
- Cler, G., Kokin, K., Noordzij, J.P., Vojtech, J.M., & Fager, S.K. (2019). Optimized and predictive phonemic interfaces for augmentative and alternative communication. Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, 62(7). 2065-2081. https://doi.org/10.1044/2019_JSLHR-S-MSC18-18-0187
- Koch Fager, S., Fried-Oken, M., Jakobs, T., & Beukelman, D.R. (2019). New and emerging access technologies for adults with complex communication needs and severe motor impairments: State of the science. Augmentative and Alternative Communication, 35(1), 13-25. https://doi.org/10.1080/07434618.2018.1556730
- Light, J., Wilkinson, K.M., Thiessen, A., Beukelman, D.R., & Koch Fager, S. (2019). Designing effective AAC displays for individuals with developmental or acquired disabilities: State of the science and future research directions. Augmentative and Alternative Communication, 35(1), 42-55. https://doi.org/10.1080/07434618.2018.1558283
- McNaughton, D., Giamblavo, F., Kohler, K., Nazareth, G., Caron, J., & Fager, S. (2018). “AAC will give you a voice”: Key practices in AAC assessment and intervention as described by persons with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. Seminars in Speech & Language, 39, 399-415. https://doi.org/10.1055/s-0038-1669992
- American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA)
- American Speech Language-Hearing Association Special Interest Groups 12 (Alternative and Augmentative Communication)
- Nebraska Speech-Language Hearing Association (NSLHA)
- United States Society for Augmentative and Alternative Communication (USAAC)
- American Speech Language and Hearing Association’s Fellowship of the Association (2021)
- daVinci Award in Communication/Educational Aid for Supplemented Speech Recognition- Jakobs, Hosom & Fager (2011)