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Professor Jeff Higginbotham

In April 2015, the Trinity Long Room Hub was delighted to welcome Professor Jeff Higginbotham as a Visiting Research Fellow.

Professor Higginbotham is Chair and Director of Admissions in the Department of Communicative Disorders and Sciences at the State University of New York, Buffalo.

Professor Higginbotham spent over 35 years as a researcher and clinician investigating how individuals with communication impairments use their bodies and supporting technologies to engage in interaction with their interlocutors. This research has prompted his work in technology design and his emerging interests in identity and non-linguistic means of communicative expression and artistic creation.

During his fellowship at the Trinity Long Room Hub he worked closely with the School of Linguistic, Speech and Communication Sciences to develop collaborations around issues of social interaction, technology, disability, and interactive environments.

In collaboration with the staff there and other artists, art therapists, musicians, actors, writers, etc., he investigatde the issue of creativity and interaction with individuals who were labeled disabled (diagnostically labeled as aphasic, AAC user, dysarthric, autistic, cognitively challenged) to understand how individuals “with communication impairments” engage in creative activities, in order to maximize the creative potential of our discipline’s therapeutic interaction.

He also liaised with staff and students engaged in Trinity’s Identities in Transformation and Creative Technologies research themes to learn about their ongoing work in design and physical computing for creating interactive environments and contexts for human expression.

He hoped to collaborate on new ways of creating / unleashing the expressive voice for individuals with complex communication needs. Professor Higginbotham gave a public lecture on Wednesday, 17 June 2015 at 6.15pm titled 'Talking by Eye and Hand: With, Through and Against the Machine' in the Trinity Long Room Hub.

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