Dr. Kathy Drager

Kathryn Drager, Ph.D., CCC-SLP, is an Associate Professor in the Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders at the Pennsylvania State University in Pennsylvania, USA. She obtained her master’s and Ph.D. degrees in Speech Pathology at the University of Minnesota. Her research interests include augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) and applications for young children, beginning communicators, children with autism; listeners' comprehension of speech output; and assessment and intervention for individuals with severe disabilities with challenging behaviors. 
Dr. Drager has had extensive experience in clinical instruction and research in augmentative and alternative communication options for learners with severe disabilities. She is a speech-language pathologist, certified by the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association since 1996. She has served as a Principal Investigator on a grant funded by the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders (NIDCD) of the National Institutes of Health (NIH). Dr. Drager has also served as a Co-investigator on several federally funded research and personnel preparation grants funded by the National Institute for Disability and Rehabilitation Research (NIDRR) and the Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services (OSERS) of the United States Department of Education, in the areas of augmentative and alternative communication and autism spectrum disorders.
Dr. Drager has published more than 23 papers in peer-reviewed journals and 4 book chapters, and has presented more than 75 papers at national and international conferences. Dr. Drager has been invited to present her research in other countries, such as Norway and Sweden. She also contributes to the publication of the special interest division of augmentative and alternative communication for the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association. Since 2005, Dr. Drager has served as an Associate Editor for the journal Augmentative and Alternative Communication. In 2004, a paper she co-authored with Dr. Janice Light received the Augmentative and Alternative Communication Editor’s Award for Outstanding Research Article. 
Dr. Drager teaches undergraduate and graduate courses in augmentative and alternative communication, autism, and dysphagia. Examples of courses include an introductory course in augmentative and alternative communication, a seminar in multicultural foundations of services for children who use AAC and their families, a technical laboratory seminar, and a seminar in communication in autism spectrum disorders. She received Penn State’s College of Health and Human Development Alumni Society Excellence in Teaching Award in 2003.


Last Updated: August 31, 2012