Audrey Holland Tribute from Janet Patterson, Ph.D., CCC-SLP

I believe, as I am sure many of you do as well, that in our careers, work, and lives, we stand on the shoulders of those who came before us, who built strong foundations that allow us to create new and exciting pathways, which in turn, will encourage the next generation of individuals — clinicians, researchers, persons with aphasia, family, and friends — to venture in even more unique and fulfilling directions.  Despite her diminutive stature, Audrey Holland had very broad and strong shoulders on which we all stand.  Everyone here today, and many people who could not be here, have been touched in one way or another by Audrey, as students, colleagues, mentees, clients, and most importantly, as humans.  We owe Audrey a debt of gratitude for the guiding light she has been to people living with aphasia and investigating aphasia.

The mission of ANCDS is to enhance the communicative lives of people affected by neurologic disorders, and its vision is to ensure that every person affected by neurologic communication disorders receives the highest quality clinical services.  Through her life’s work Audrey embodied this mission and vision.  We are all aware of the contributions to clinical research Audrey made throughout her career, beginning with her early work in programmed speech sound discrimination treatment for children, through investigating impairment-based treatment for adults with neurologic communication disorders, her participation in the VA Cooperative study in 1986 that paved the way for thinking about group treatment for aphasia, and the guiding force she was in bringing aphasiologists to recognize the importance of client-centered care and collaborative goal setting.  The consummate advocate, guide, and coach, she never wavered from her true north of serving people with aphasia and their families.  Her publications and presentations about counseling for persons with aphasia and their families, coaching persons with aphasia, advocacy efforts, and championing activities such as meditation and yoga as important in aphasia management, were revolutionary and have become mainstream.

Audrey has been important to the ANCDS family.  She was among the first to become a member of the academy and has delivered presentations at our Annual Scientific and Educational Meeting.  In 1995, she was awarded the Honors of ANCDS, which recognizes members who have made outstanding contributions to research, teaching, treatment, and service in the area of neurologic communication disorders.

Audrey held high standards for herself and others as they guided people with aphasia and provided clinical service.  She exemplified this in ANCDS through her work developing and co-chairing, with Joe Duffy, the ANCDS Board of Clinical Certification from 1994  1998.  The ANCDS Board of Clinical Certification recognizes the advanced and stringent clinical study activities an individual completes in order to be awarded BC-ANCDS.  The goal of this program, consistent with the goals espoused by Audrey in her career, is to maintain high standards of practice in serving persons with neurogenic communication disorders and their families.  Her pioneering efforts in this area have been sustained in the current work of the BCC. 

Speaking for ANCDS members, we are grateful to have had Audrey as part of this organization and to have been part of her life.  The true north guidance she exemplified will burn brightly within ANCDS and within each of us for years to come.

Janet Patterson, Ph.D., CCC-SLP
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Kathryn Atkinson, M.A., CCC-SLP, BC-ANCDS - Thursday, November 09, 2023

Janet - thank you for your Audrey Holland tribute because you elaborate on, and increase our awareness in, the far-reaching contributions of Audrey. Her leadership, education, research and passion create a legacy in neurogenic communication disorders to continue indefinitely. We are forever grateful for her service to students, clients, and colleagues. Katie

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