Dr. David Beukelman, AAC Champion, NSLHA former president, and ASHA Award Recipient, Passed on Sat. Feb. 5

Hello NSLHA members,

It is with a heavy heart and deepest regret that I inform you of the passing of Dr. David Beukelman who died Saturday from complications related to COVID-19. He was fortunate to have his family with him at the time.

I would ask that your thoughts and prayers be with his family during this difficult time and in the days to come.
It's hard to know what to say about a man that was the face most associated with Augmentative and alternative communication (AAC). He was a giant in the field and his advocacy for those who used AAC, including their families, was fierce and constant.

For his efforts, Dave, a past president of NSLHA, received the Frank R. Kleffner Clinical Career Award in 2006 and Honors of the Association in 2001, both from the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA). The Honors of the Association and Fellowship in the Association are the highest honors awarded by ASHA.

Dave's impact on the field of speech pathology and AAC will leave a huge void. However, his great legacy left in the professionals he inspired, the students mentored and taught, the families, and individuals with AAC, he supported and advocated for will go on living.

I was fortunate to be one of those students as were many others in the state of Nebraska and across the world. It's up to us to continue to many of the causes he supported and the fierce advocacy he provided.

Bye for now,

Miechelle McKelvey
Nebraska Speech-Language-Hearing Association President

NSLHA Member Spotlight

February 2022 Member Spotlight: Christine Jackson

Name: Christine Jackson

Company/Organization/Institution: University of Nebraska at Omaha

Hometown: Bellevue, NE


Hobbies: Exploring the local library and reading whenever I can; Spending time with family, loved ones, and my pets; Watching movies (old and new)

Favorite Entertainment Choices: I love watching movies, whether at home or in the movie theater.

Favorite Vacation/Getaway Spot: My favorite vacation spot is San Diego, California in the US or planning a trip overseas.

Why Did You Choose to Become a Speech-Language Pathologist, Audiologist or Student?: I initially chose to become a speech-language pathology student (currently in a leveling program) because I admired the positive impact previous SLPs had on my previous students when I was an elementary school teacher. Not only were those students able to communicate better, but their confidence in themselves and their abilities grew exponentially. They found a way to express themselves and were eager to use their skills to create meaningful relationships. I hope to instill such positivity and motivation with my future clients as an SLP.

How Do You See Your Profession Changing in the Next Few Years?: The voices of so many communities that speech-language pathologists work with is growing louder, especially within the autistic community. I can see a shift happening with treatment philosophies in the field of communication sciences and disorders.

Why Are You a NSLHA Member and What Value Do You Receive From Your Membership?: NSLHA deals directly with what is happening in the community I live in and the community I work with. NSLHA membership means I am able to access relevant evidence-based research and have opportunities to participate in events happening in my state.

Share a Story About Working with a Client that You Found Was a Rewarding Experience: As a pediatric rehabilitation assistant, I am gaining some experience in the communication sciences and disorders field by working and collaborating with speech-language pathologists, occupational therapists, and physical therapists. One rewarding experience I have had is seeing the progression of AAC communication with a client I regularly assist with. This client went from being able to only express themselves through vocalizations to creating 4-5 word sentences using their AAC device.

What is one best practice or idea you’ve implemented in the past year in your school, clinic or practice that would benefit other members?: One best practice I have implemented this past year as a student is to take it one step at a time. We can sometimes get ahead of ourselves and end up feeling overwhelmed because of the never-ending list of tasks needing to be done. However, focusing on one or two tasks each day has helped me reach the 'big picture' goal with a little more ease and organization and less anxiety.

Contact me as a resource in the speech-language-hearing profession for: Experience in pursuing speech-language pathology as a leveling/lateral-entry student.

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