Pampoulou, Eliada
Πάμπουλου, Ηλιάδα
Dr. Pampoulou is a Speech and Language Therapist from her first degree (Higher Technological Education Institute of Patras, 2004) and an Assistive Technology Specialist through having completed her MSc (King’s College London, 2006). Her PhD thesis (King’s College London, 2015) brought together these fields, whereby she explored the experiences of professionals regarding their work with graphic symbols, such as Makaton, PCS and Widgit symbols. For her tertiary qualifications she received four different funding awards. The most recent funding pertained to her PhD research project, which was co-funded by the Republic of Cyprus and the European Regional Development Fund of the European Union through the Research Promotion Foundation of Cyprus. As a speech and language therapist and specialist in assistive technology, Dr Pampoulou worked both in Cyprus in England in both the public and private sectors, supporting people with complex communication needs of different ages. Drawing on her clinical experience, she has created two communication books, one for children and another for adults (Pampoulou and Constanta, 2016). Additionally, she worked in England in one of the pioneering companies in the development of graphic symbols for special education, where during her employment she had the opportunity to work with a number of graphic symbol developers from both the UK and USA. Dr Pampoulou’s research interests directly relate to the still novel area in Cyprus of Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC). Specifically, her focus is on the quality of AAC assessment and intervention outcomes as well as AAC systems acceptance. One of her current pioneering research projects is the development of an assessment tool for the selection of the most appropriate corpus/es of graphic symbols for AAC experts to use during the assessment process (Pampoulou and Fuller). It is Dr Pampoulou’s aspiration that through her research work she will continue supporting people with complex communication needs in order to communicate their thoughts and ideas effectively, thus increasing their chances of reaching their maximum potential. As part of her contribution to the wider society, she has run a number of seminars and workshops in which she has been training both professionals and parents on issues concerning the AAC field. As an advocate of AAC, in 2018, she created a video (link provided below) with her undergraduate students as part of AAC awareness month, which is celebrated every October across the globe.