Jacqueline Schoeman (née Leuvennink)

Jacqueline Schoeman (née Leuvennink) matriculated (head girl) in 2008 and has since received three degrees, deciding to specialize in the field of AAC after ending top of her class in speech-language therapy. Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC) refers to a field of research, clinical, and educational practice aimed at assisting individuals with severe communication disabilities who struggle to express themselves adequately using speech and/or struggle to comprehend spoken language. AAC describes communication methods that either supplement the speech of such individuals or provide a complete alternative way of communication – for those who cannot speak at all, e.g. after a brain stem stroke. AAC may also be implemented as an alternative or supplementary method of supporting comprehension. Jacqueline’s research specifically focused on the latter – finding ways to support the communication of persons with Wernicke’s aphasia (primarily a comprehension disorder post-stroke). She was invited to present at the 2020 Annual Conference of the South African Speech, Language and Hearing Association and at the 2022 Biennial Conference of the International Society for Augmentative and Alternative Communication in Mexico. Most recently, she co-authored an internationally published article about AAC for persons with Wernicke’s aphasia, together with three professors from the University of Pretoria, The University of Texas at Austin, and Duquesne University in the US, respectively.

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