Nancy B. Robinson, Ph.D., CCC-SLP is Professor Emerita at San Francisco State University in the Department of Speech, Language and Hearing Sciences in the Graduate College of Education. With her colleagues, Drs. Gloria Soto and Patti Solomon-Rice, Dr. Robinson developed graduate specialization in Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC) that includes a graduate certificate for SLPs and related professionals in AAC. Through a series of federal grants funded by the USDOE/Office of Special Education Programs, most recently Project Building Bridges, Drs. Robinson, Soto and Solomon-Rice have prepared SLPs to provide AAC services with children and youth with culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds.
Over the course of her career, Dr. Robinson served as Interdisciplinary Training Director at the Center for Disability Studies at the University of Hawaii from 1988-1998 where she and a team of colleagues provided outreach to improve service systems for individuals with disabilities and their families in US Pacific Jurisdictions. During her time in the California State University system from 1998-2019, first at Chico State and then San Francisco State, she served as a faculty member and in several administrative roles including Interim Dean in the Graduate College of Education at SF State. Dr. Robinson co-authored of two books: Assistive Technology for Young Children: Creating Inclusive Environments with Dr. Kathleen Sadao and AAC in the Schools: Best Practices for Intervention with Dr. Gloria Soto. In 2013, she was recognized as a CSHA Fellow of the Association and in 2014, CSHA Honors of the Association.
Sarah earned both her Bachelor and Master of Science at California State University East Bay (Hayward). Her expertise is working with individuals with complex communication needs requiring augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) and assistive technology (AT). She is a RESNA certified Assistive Technology Professional. She works primarily in the school setting providing AAC & AT assessments, direct intervention as well as team and family support. She is a senior associate at Augmentative Communication Technology Services (A.C.T.S) and supervises the adult AAC Conversation Club clinic at SFSU.
Michaela Sullivan is a Speech-Language Pathologist who has specialized in the field of AAC and AT; providing assessment, services and resources for students, educators and families. Currently, she is working within the San Francisco and San Mateo Foster City School Districts and additionally in her private practice working with children (birth – 3) and with adults who require AAC and Speech Generating Devices and services. She has been a presenter in the field of Speech Pathology and AAC at state and national conventions.
She first began working in the field of AAC as part of a grant in 1985 while attending the master’s program at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst.
Given the many opportunities Michaela has been fortunate to be involved in, she is more than ready to lend a hand in local and worldwide Nika projects to help people with Complex Communication Needs communicate and to assist educators and therapists gain knowledge in this field so that more people can have a voice!
Celia Hughell, born in Honduras, received her Master’s degree in Speech-Language
Pathology from San Francisco State University (SFSU), CA in 2015. In addition, Celia
participated in a grant called “Project CLLASS” (Collaborating for Language, Literacy
and Augmentative Services in Schools), and as a student clinical for a NIH-research
focused on narrative skills in children who use Augmentative and Alternative
Currently, Celia is an Itinerant Bilingual Speech Therapist at
Marin County Office of Education (MCOE), CA where she provides speech-language
services for school age children in school settings. During summer time, Celia works at
Down Syndrome Connection of the Bay Area (DSCBA), a non-profit organization
providing speech and language services, and volunteers internationally with The Nika
Project. Celia has presented at a national and international conferences (ASHA in Los
Angeles, CA, and ISAAC in Australia). Celia spends her free time hiking or biking
around the Bay Area with her husband and friends.
Travis first entered into accessibility through his work with Transformance Music, a music education company he co founded in 2011 in London, England. With his company he taught and developed Special Education Needs Music Technology Curriculum for UK Music Hubs resulting in a textbook that is now being printed in its second edition.
Upon moving to the San Francisco he began working with Bay Area social services, nonprofits and public institutions to build scalable assistive technology programs tailored towards supporting the accessibility of each organization’s institutional mission. Travis is currently the Assistive Technologist for San Francisco Unified School District, where he serves the accessibility needs of San Francisco’s public schools.
David has worked in the AAC/AT field since 1988, first representing 25 manufacturers through Health Science, and then as an employee with Tobii Dynavox. His passion has been to provide solutions for people with severe communication disorders including autism, Down Syndrome, developmental delay, Rett Syndrome, cerebral palsy, traumatic brain injury, stroke, ALS, MS, other MNDs. He earned his BA in Psychology from SUNY Buffalo, a BS from City College, and an MS from NYU Polytechnic University of NY. He is a certified ATP – Assistive Technology Professional through RESNA.
Dan Phillips is a speech pathologist/assistive technology specialist and the founder and director of the Tech Resource Center Marin, a technology center that serves the assistive technology needs of over 4,000 students from the ages of newborn to 22 in Marin County, California. Having previously won state-level highest honors for his work in the field of Speech Pathology, he was runner-up for Teacher of the Year for the state of California in 2016 and was awarded Outstanding Tech Director from the Edvocate Tech Awards for 2017.
He is a co-founder of the Nika Project, starting this organization in 2013 in South Africa. He lectures both nationally and internationally and has been an invited speaker in Australia, South Africa, Poland, Brazil, Portugal, the UK and Dubai.
Kati Skulski, M.S. received her Master’s degree in Speech-Language Pathology from California State University, East Bay. Kati provides AAC and AT assessments and intervention to children in home, clinic, and school settings. Kati also works in the ACTS practice, is affiliated with the Down Syndrome Connection of the Bay Area, consults with Star Academy, volunteers internationally with The Nika Project, and has presented at State, National, and International conferences on Resources for AAC Strategies and Tools.
Jeff Kwiat received his Bachelor’s degree from Northwestern University in Computer Science and currently acts as The Nika Project’s technical director and treasurer, providing years of experience both on the software side and the infrastructure side of technology. He currently lives and works in the Bay Area. During our South Africa trip, he successfully constructed a computer lab with printing capabilities using unused donated equipment.
Cindy graduated from San Francisco State University with a Cultural Anthropology and Spanish major. She lived abroad and studied in Spain for two years. She received her moderate to severe special education credential at Sonoma State University. Cindy is currently teaching middle school students with orthopedic impairments, communication disorders and medically fragile. She is a certified trainer in non-violent crisis intervention and continuing her education in Augmentative Alternative and Communication and Assistive Technology. She is a very happy mother of two teenage boys.