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 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 will be presenting an oral seminar and a poster presentation at the 2019 American Speech-Language Hearing Association (ASHA) Convention in Orlando, FL in November, 2019. Please copy & paste the web link below into your browser's address bar to learn more about Dr. Hajjar's upcoming ASHA presentations: