Communication Sciences and Disorders

Brazilian Government Sponsors Visiting Educator

Written By: CAMILLE DOLAN ‘98 | April 12, 2019

Brazilian Government Sponsors Visiting Educator
Visiting scholar Dr. Catia Walter works with graduate and undergraduate students in the AAC and Autism Research Lab on preparing AAC technologies for research participants. (left to right) Diana Abarca, Ashka Thakar, Grayson Bishop, Catia Walter, Erika Daly and Kristie Montooth

Cátia Crivelenti de Figueiredo Walter, Ph.D., an educator from the State University of Rio de Janeiro and the graduate program in education, is studying augmentative and alternative communication devices with Oliver Wendt in the School of Communication Sciences and Disorders.

Walter received funding from CAPES to conduct research at UCF. CAPES is a foundation within the Ministry of Education in Brazil that coordinates efforts to improve the quality of Brazil’s faculty and staff in higher education through grant programs.

Walter’s goal is to become more familiar with augmentative and alternative communication programs and to improve existing technology to train teachers and parents how to provide better communication skills.

She and Wendt are looking to make modifications to SpeakALL, an AAC device that Wendt developed. Walter will use the device in Brazil for students who have autism spectrum disorder.

The modifications will account for the environmental and cultural differences between American and Brazilian students, Walter said. “My students have autism, which is a communications disorder, not an intellectual disorder,” Walter said. “This is their door to the world.”