Assistive Technology Team

Janice Herman, PT, MS, has been a practicing clinical physical therapist for more than 35 years. She earned a bachelor’s degree from Stanford University and master’s in physical therapy from the University of Southern California. In addition to her direct service with adults and children in schools, homes and clinics, Janice has been a prolific author, instructor and researcher. Her passion for assistive technology (AT) began in 1990 at the Rehabilitation Engineering and Assistive Technology Society of North America where she was instrumental in founding the field of seating and positioning that earned her international acclaim. Janice believes that the success of all AT relies on supportive seating and positioning to enable children full participation with their world and the opportunity to achieve their highest potential. She shares the physiology and science behind this belief with international audiences through speaking engagements, research papers, seminars and book chapters. As the lead therapist at Southwest Human Development’s ADAPT Shop, she offers specialized seating and positioning consultative services for young children with physical disabilities, as well as support services and training for their therapists and the medical community.

Fred Hirsch has been fabricating specialty items for over 20 years since his graduation from the University of Arizona. Fred has always been an early adopter of technology. He believes that through technology we can customize products to individuals instead of making individuals “fit” into a standard product. Fred received “Interface of the Year” award from PC Magazine for a children’s software program he helped create. He takes that same passion to design from the digital world into the physical world. Fred believes the ADAPT Shop is a perfect example of using technology to create a custom solution to a complex problem that cannot be solved with mass produced goods. Fred is factory trained and self-taught in both design software and computerized equipment. Fred is married and has two wonderful children. When he is not volunteering, he enjoys the outdoors.

Juliet Lutz, MA, CCC-SLP is a speech-language pathologist who has been working at Southwest Human Development since 2003. She received her undergraduate degree at Northern Arizona University and her graduate degree at the University of Iowa, focusing on child language development. Juliet specializes in early intervention, working in the home-based setting, as well as within child care and Early Head Start classrooms. Juliet is also a part of the evaluation team at the Children’s Developmental Center, providing comprehensive, team-based developmental evaluations to children ages birth to 5 and has recently joined the Assistive Technology program, providing support to families and professionals in need of alternative and augmentative communication solutions and equipment expertise to support language development in young children with disabilities.
Dr. Caroline Musselwhite, EdD, CCC-SLP, is a speech-language pathologist with 35 years experience. For the last 30 years she has specialized in assistive technology working with children and adolescents with severe disabilities. She has written a number of textbooks and “how-to” books on a range of topics, and has also authored many books and software programs for youth with disabilities. Caroline has presented thousands of workshops throughout North and South America, Australia, Europe, and Africa, and is a founding member and Fellow of the International Society for Augmentative and Alternative Communication. Dr. Musselwhite provides specialized consultative service, community outreach and literacy education for students who use alternative and augmentative communication devices through the assistive technology program at Southwest Human Development.
Beth Rank, OTR/L, is an occupational therapist who joined the ADAPT Shop in 2016. A graduate of the University of Missouri-Columbia, Beth is also a special-needs parent and combines that first-hand experience with her professional skills, striving to help every family she encounters find more hope and joy in their daily life while experiencing less struggle and strife. Beth revels in using her creative skills to collaboratively formulate solutions for children with disabilities and their families. She shares the responsibility of parenting four amazing children with her husband. Together, they enjoy traveling, fishing, music and training a service dog named Bliss.
Deanna Wagner, MS/CCC-SLP, is a speech-language pathologist with over 20 years experience providing consultations and training in the area of assistive technology with an emphasis on augmentative communication. She works with educators and families to achieve goals in the area of assistive technology selection and implementation. Deanna’s work with the assistive technology program at Southwest Human Development includes augmentative communication device evaluations, communication device training, literacy education support, and community outreach for alternative and augmentative communication device users.

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