Our Staff

Meet the dedicated Speech-Language Pathologists of the iTAWC team:

Alisa Ferdinandi, Consultant Speech-Language Pathologist & iTAWC Lead Clinician

  • Master of Science, Speech-Language Pathology, University of British Columbia
  • Bachelor of Arts, Psychology, McGill University

Alisa is the lead clinician and driving force behind iTAWC, rallying our entire team with her boundless energy and gentle nature!  She loves interacting with people and believes that communication is what connects us with others and enhances our quality of life.  Alisa is a 15-year veteran of the field and has spent most of her career providing community-based rehabilitation for adults who have communication difficulties as a result of stroke or brain injury.

Working with people with aphasia is Alisa’s particular passion and she has carved a specialty in this area, running not only iTAWC but also two “social participation” group programs for people with chronic aphasia.  Alisa is also an active and popular clinical instructor, training as many as eight speech pathology student interns each year.

Wendy Duke, Speech-Language Pathologist, Director & Administrative Lead for iTAWC

Wendy Duke, the founder and Director of Columbia Speech and Language Services Inc, has assisted Alisa Ferdinandi in the development of iTAWC from the outset and shares Alisa’s passion for this work.  Wendy is a 34-year veteran of speech-language pathology and has worked with people with aphasia in acute care, rehabilitation, extended care and in the community.  In addition, she has been active in clinical teaching for 30 years, holding the rank of Clinical Assistant Professor in the UBC School of Audiology and Speech Sciences where she is also a sessional instructor, teaching students about acquired language disorders including aphasia.  She is not only committed to her clients but also to her students;  she feels strongly that new graduates entering speech-language pathology need more practical experience getting to know people with aphasia and is pleased to be able to provide experiences that are as rewarding to her students as they are to her clients.

iTAWC is the second of three aphasia treatment projects developed collaboratively by Alisa and Wendy at Columbia Speech and Language Services Inc.  They also developed a long running group program for people with chronic aphasia which is funded by the Fraser Health Authority Acquired Brain Injury Program and is free to eligible residents of the Fraser Health Region of British Columbia, as well as a new group program that is run in partnership with the Semiahmoo House Society Brain Injury Program.

Megan Sutton, Consultant Speech-Language Pathologist & Technology Consultant

  • Master of Science, Speech-Language Pathology, Boston University
  • Bachelor of Arts, Linguistics & Cognitive Science, Rutgers University

Megan is our guest technology specialist and is the Director of Tactus Therapy Solutions, where she develops apps for communication rehabilitation.  She has worked in acute care, inpatient and outpatient rehabilitation, extended care, and home health in both Canada and the US.  Megan is an expert in using technology with aphasia and other acquired communication and swallowing disorders and is a frequent and popular international speaker on the topic.

Megan is passionate about helping people with aphasia to live life to the fullest and receive the respect they deserve, and is our go-to person for a technology consultation if one is needed. We are thankful for her willingness to share her vast store of specialized knowledge about communication technology with us!

KaKarenren Salamon, Consultant Speech-Language Pathologist

  • Master of Science, Speech-Language Pathology, San Francisco State University
  • Bachelor of Arts, English Linguistics and French Literature, Hebrew University, Jerusalem

Karen brings an amazing breadth and depth of experience to iTAWC, having worked with adults with aphasia at Columbia Speech and Language Services Inc. for over ten years after previous clinical work as an SLP in the US, Israel and Europe.  We are very grateful for the broad perspective and experience she brings to the iTAWC team!  She loves her hands-on work with clients and their families as well as her clinical teaching with UBC speech and language interns. Karen always maintains a “focus on function” in her approach to aphasia treatment and her clients benefit from both her practical nature and her passion.  She is happy to be returning to iTAWC this year and we are happy to have her back.

Katelyn Eng, Consultant Speech-Language Pathologist

  • Master of Science, Speech-Language Pathology, University of British Columbia
  • Bachelor of Arts in Linguistics, Simon Fraser University

Katelyn knew that speech-language pathology was in her future ever since she learned about it as a teenager. She believes that communication therapy should focus on both practical applications as well as quality interactions. Her main practice areas are rehabilitation for stroke and acquired brain injury. Working with people with aphasia has been a particular area of passion for her since her pre-SLP days when she ran an aphasia group for a stroke club. It is Katelyn’s second year with the iTAWC program; her experience with technology for people with aphasia is a great asset to our program!

KathyKathy Yoshida, Consultant Speech-Language Pathologist

  • Master of Science, Speech-Language Pathology, University of British Columbia
  • Bachelor of Arts, Child and Youth Care, University of Victoria

Kathy believes that communication is a human necessity – a fundamental part of life.  She personally witnessed the tragedy of language loss after her grandparent’s stroke and wanted to learn how this loss could be turned around.  Since then, she has found the broad scope of her field fascinating. Kathy’s clinical teaching includes supervising graduate students from UBC and other universities.

Kathy’s areas of practice include adult and teen therapy in acquired brain injury rehabilitation, including providing aphasia group treatment for a portion of the year.  Her common sense and compassion are highly valued not only by her clients and families, but by our whole team.  As is the case with our entire team, she is returning to iTAWC because she loves the opportunity it provides her to work intensively and closely with clients during their recovery.

Combined, our team has close to a century of experience providing aphasia therapy and an unparalleled passion for our work.  We look forward to working with you!