Dr. Hajjar's research focuses on individuals who have complex communication needs(CCN) and their communication partners (e.g., family members, caregivers, volunteers, peers). Many barriers exist for people with CCN and their partners typically have limited skills and knowledge about creating opportunities for communication, participation, and engagement. With training, partners can more effectively support children and adults with CCN to improve their quality of life, make friendships, and achieve communicative competence.
Dr. Hajjar's dissertation was titled: Supporting Individuals with Complex Communication Needs to Capture and Share Active Recreational Experiences. His dissertation research validated an online training program for volunteers in recreation and leisure using single subject design methodology. The results of the research determined that providing access to personally relevant multi media materials (e.g., photos & videos) created opportunities for in-person and digital sharing to maintain and expand social networks.
Presently, Dr. Hajjar teaches the following graduate courses: Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC), Autism Spectrum Disorders, and Research Methods and Analysis. In addition, he teaches an undergraduate course titled: Introduction to Communication Disorders. Dr. Hajjar also provides clinical supervision in the Ewing Clinic and the Community Life Skills(CLS) Program at Longview. The CLS program provides SLP students with an inter professional practice experience supporting adults from the greater Ithaca community who have had a stroke and may benefit from further skilled services. SLP graduate and undergraduate students collaborate with students from physical therapy, occupational therapy, and recreational therapy. Inter professional programs are developed by the students to provide individual and group therapy as well as opportunities for community reintegration.
Dr. Hajjar is currently engaged in an interdisciplinary research collaboration with faculty and students from the Occupational Therapy Department at Ithaca College. The title of the project is: The Impact of Loose Parts Play on Communication and Participation for Students with Disabilities: Perspectives and Experiences of Educational Support Professionals. Also, Dr. Hajjar and his team of undergraduate research assistants are working on analyzing data from an online focus group involving people who use AAC. The title of this project is: Experiences of Individuals who use AAC and Participate in Active Leisure and Recreation.
Dr. Hajjar presented an oral seminar and a poster presentation at the 2019 American Speech-Language Hearing Association (ASHA) Convention in Orlando, FL in November, 2019. In August, 2020 Dr. Hajjar will be presenting at the 1st annual IMPAACT Summit sponsored by Nationwide Children's Hospital in Columbus, OH.
Please copy & paste the web link below into your browser's address bar to learn more about Dr. Hajjar's 2019 ASHA presentations: