Introducing our Co-Chairs


Shelley Deegan, Conference 2016 Co-Chair

Shelley Deegan is currently Clinical Coordinator for the Technology Access Clinic, an AAC clinic at Hamilton Health Sciences in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada. She has worked clinically in the field of AAC as a speech-language pathologist for 38 years.

First becoming interested in AAC as an undergraduate student at university, Shelley volunteered in one of the first classrooms to use Blissymbolics with non-speaking children. In the past she has been an Instructor for the Blissymbolics Communication Institute and taught sign language courses. In 1991 Shelley had the opportunity to teach a Blissymbol course in Zimbabwe.

Shelley is a founding member of the Hamilton-Wentworth Communication Collective, an AAC advocacy group that won the Shirley McNaughton Exemplary Communication/ISAAC Award at the 1994 ISAAC conference. She has been a member of ISAAC since its inception in 1983 and has been to most of the ISAAC biennial conferences. In 2000 she became the Ontario representative for the National Council on behalf of the ISAAC Canada Chapter. She was President of ISAAC Canada from 2004 to 2008. Shelley was Chair of the Council for ISAAC International from 2008-2012.


Tracy Hunt, Conference 2016 Co-Chair

Tracy Hunt is a speech-language pathologist and educator who has worked as an AAC clinician in a variety of clinical and educational settings. She has taught graduate students and professionals throughout Ontario, Canada.

Tracy is currently working with the Children’s Treatment Network of Simcoe York (hosted through The Speech Clinic). She is the Specialty Team Facilitator for the Augmentative Communication Consultation Service and provides AAC consultation to children and youth with complex communication needs. As well, Tracy is the current President of the ISAAC Canada Chapter.

Previously, Tracy worked with the Simcoe County District School Board as a member of their Autism Support Team. She was involved in establishing five elementary special education-ASD/PDD classrooms within the Board. She provided speech-language consultation, programming suggestions, and training to educational staff in a variety of educational settings. Tracy has also worked for the Communication and Writing Aids Service at Holland Bloorview Kids Rehabilitation Hospital, providing augmentative and alternative communication services. Before that she worked for the Children’s Rehabilitation Centre Algoma as their AAC lead and autism lead.


Tracy Shepherd, Conference 2016 Co-Chair

Tracy Shepherd is a speech-language pathologist with a long-standing passion for AAC. As a student she worked part-time doing in-home support for a family who had two young girls who used AAC. It sparked her interest and love of this field that enables people to share themselves with the world! She has been practicing clinically in AAC since 1991.

Tracy works in the Augmentative Communication Service at Thames Valley Children’s Centre in London, Ontario, Canada, and as a Clinical Education Coordinator at the Centralized Equipment Pool (operated by Holland Bloorview Kids Rehabilitation Hospital) in Toronto, Ontario. She has co-developed an educational program to train clinicians in Ontario, working in the area of AAC. Tracy is also involved with Communication Disabilities Access Canada, a national non-profit organization, working on a variety of projects related to communication accessibility and human rights.

Her research interests span many areas, including reliability of speech-generating devices (SGDs), abandonment of technology, outcome measurement, as well as other areas of clinical interest (teamwork, listening and family impact). Along with colleagues she has implemented the Libraries for All program in London, Ontario, which encourages communication access in the community.

Tracy was President of the ISAAC Canada Chapter from 2009 to 2013, and was on the organization’s Executive Committee from 2006 to 2009. Tracy is currently VP of Conference Planning on the ISAAC International Executive Board. She has been a member of ISAAC in good standing since 1990. In addition, Tracy is a member of the organizational committee for the Breaking the ICE conference, a national consumer-focused conference for people who use AAC.