Dr. Hajjar's research focuses on individuals with complex communication needs(CCN) and their communication partners (e.g., family members, caregivers, volunteers, peers). Many barriers exist for people with CCN and their communication partners typically have limited skills and knowledge about creating opportunities for communication, participation, and engagement. With training, partners can enhance experiences while supporting children and adults with CCN to improve quality of life, make friendships, and improve 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 capturing personally relevant multi media materials (e.g., photos & videos) expands opportunities for in-person and digital sharing which can maintain and expand social networks.
Presently, Dr. Hajjar teaches the following graduate and undergraduate courses: Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC), Autism Spectrum Disorders, Introduction to Communication Disorders and Research Methods and Analysis. Dr. Hajjar also provides clinical supervision in the Ewing Clinic and the Community Life Skills(CLS) Program at Longview. The CLS program provides SLPA students with an inter professional practice experience supporting adults who have an acquired neurological condition. SLPA graduate and undergraduate students collaborate with students from the following departments: physical therapy, occupational therapy, and recreational and leisure studies. Inter professional programs are developed to provide individual and group therapy as well as opportunities for community reintegration.
Dr. Hajjar is currently involved in three research projects with the assistance of graduate and undergraduate students from Ithaca College. The first project is titled: Inter professional Experiences Across a Community Based Setting: Perspectives of Students in Speech-Language Pathology and Recreation and Leisure Studies. Focus group data has been collected and the purpose of the study is to investigate how speech-language pathology and recreation and leisure students collaborate to support adults with acquired neurological conditions. The second project is titled: Active Recreation and Leisure: Perspectives from Individuals with Developmental Disabilities who use Augmentative and Alternative Communication and will commence in April, 2019. Finally, the third project will commence in August, 2019 and is titled: The Impact of Loose Parts Play on Communication and Participation for Students with Disabilities: Experiences of Educational Support Professionals.