Melanie Fried-Oken, Ph.D.

Oregon Health & Science University UCEDD
Institute on Development & Disability
Oregon Health & Science University
707 SW Gaines St.
Portland, OR 97239
Phone: 503-494-7587
Email: [email protected]
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Last Updated: July 23, 2017

Melanie Fried-Oken

Leadership: Co-UCEDD Director
Primary Activity Coordinators: Research Director
Discipline Coordinators: Assistive Technology
Specialty Resource Contacts: Augmentative and Alternative Communication;
Assistive Technology;
Neurogenic Communication Disorders
Project/Program/Clinic Contacts: Augmentative and Alternative Communication Clinic;
Rehabilitation Engineering Research Center on Communication Enhancement;
Systematic Study of the Effectiveness of Augmentative and Alternative Communication Intervention;
Translational Refinement of Adaptive Communication System for Locked-In Patients
Discipline(s): Speech-Language Pathology
Assistive Technology
AUCD Council Membership: Council on Research and Evaluation
No Council Membership
Research: Augmentative and alternative communication
Assistive Technology
Neurogenic communication disorders
Education: Ph.D., Boston University: Interdisciplinary Study of Language Behavior
M.A., Northwestern University: Speech-Language Pathology
B.A., University of Rochester
Service: American Speech-Language-Hearing Association
International Society for Augmentative and Alternative Communication
United States Society for Augmentative and Alternative Communication
Rehabilitation Engineering Society of North America


Melanie Fried-Oken, Ph.D., CCC/Sp is a certified speech-language pathologist and a leading international clinician and researcher in the field of Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC) where she provides expertise about assistive technology for persons with acquired disabilities who cannot use speech or writing for expression.

Fried-Oken was associate editor of the international journal, Augmentative and Alternative Communication and adjunct faculty at Portland State University where she taught the AAC graduate course in 2006.

Along with Dr. Hank Bersani of Western Oregon University, Melanie edited the book Speaking Up and Spelling It Out, a collection of essays written by adults with disabilities using speech technology. Dr. Fried-Oken has a number of federal grants to research communication technology for persons with Alzheimer's disease, ALS and other neurodegenerative diseases, and the normally aging population.

She is a member of the Center for Spoken Language Understanding at the OHSU Department of Biomedical Engineering. At OIDD, she facilitates the Research and Outreach Council, a group of principal investigators and research coordinators who conduct disability-related projects. She sits on a number of national boards, review panels and committees related to augmentative and alternative communication and speech-language pathology.

Recent Publications:

Fried-Oken, M., Beukelman, D., and Hux, K. (2012). Current and future AAC research considerations for adults with acquired cognitive and communication impairments. Assistive Technology, 24: 56-66.

Fager, S., Beukelman, D., Fried-Oken, M., Jakobs, T., Baker, J. (2012). Access Interface Strategies. Assistive Technology, 24: 25-33.

Rowland, C., Fried-Oken, M., Steiner, S., Lollar, D., Phelps, R., Simeonsson, R., Grandlund, M. (2012). Developing the ICF-CY for AAC Profile and Code Set for Children Who Rely on AAC. Augmentative and Alternative Communication, 28(1), 21-32. 

Gibbons, C., Fried-Oken, M., and Oken, B. (2012). Augmented input reveals word deafness in a man with frontotemporal dementia. Behavioral Neurology. 25: 151-154

Roark, B., Fowler, A., Fried-Oken, M. (2012). Language models in keyboard emulation. Proceedings of the 2012 Computers and Human Interaction Conference, Austin, TX, USA.

Orhan, U., Hild, K.E., Erdogmus, D., Roard, B., Oken, B., & Fried-Oken, M. (2012). RSVP keyboard: An EEG based typing interface. Proceedings of the IEEE International Conference on Acoustics, Speech, and Signal Processing. Kyoto, Japan. 

Bieker, G., Noethe, G., Fried-Oken, M. (2011). Brain computer interface: Locked in and researching new heights. Speak Up: The Voice of AAC. 1: 2-5.

Orhan, U., Erdogmus, D., Roard, R., Purwar, S., Hild, K.E., Oken, B., Nezamfar, H., & Fried-Oken, M. (2011). Fusion with language models improves spelling accuracy for ERP-based brain computer interface spellers. IEEE Engineering in Medicine and Biology Society Conference Proceedings. 5774-5777.

Hild, K.E., Orhan, U., Erdogmus, D., Roark, B., Oken, B., Purwar, S., Nezamfar, H., & Fried-Oken, M. (2011). An ERP-based brain-computer interface for text entry using rapid serial visual presentation and language modeling. Proceedings of the 49th Annual Meeting of the Association for Computational Linguistics: Human Language Technologies: Systems Demonstrations. Association for Computational Linquistics. 38-43.

Roark, B., Fowler, A., Sproat, R., Gibbons, C., Fried-Oken, M. (2011). Towards technology-assisted co-construction with communication partners. Proceedings of the 2nd Workshop on Speech and Language Processing for Assistive Technologies (SLPAT). URL: 

Bourgeois, M., Fried-Oken, M., & Rowland, C. (March, 2010). AAC Strategies and Tools for Persons with Dementia. ASHA Leader.

Rowland, C., Fried-Oken, M. (2010). Communication Matrix: A clinical and research assessment tool targeting children with severe communication disorders. Journal of Pediatric Rehabilitation Medicine, 3, 319-329.

Fried-Oken, M., Rowland, C., Gibbons, C. (2010). Providing Augmentative and Alternative Communication Treatment to Persons with Nonfluent Progressive Aphasia. Perspectives on Neurophysiology and Neurogenic, 20, 21-25.

Roark, B., de Villiers, J., Gibbons, C., Fried-Oken, M. (2010). Scanning methods and language modeling for binary switch typing. Association for Computational Linguistics, 28-36

Fried-Oken, M., Rowland, C., Baker, G., Dixon, M., Mills, C., Schultz, D., & Oken, B. (2009). The effect of voice output on AAC-supported conversations of persons with Alzheimer's disease. ACM Transactions of Accessible Computing (TACCESS). 1(3).

Fried-Oken, M. (2008). Augmentative and alternative communication treatment for persons with primary progressive aphasia. Perspectives on Augmentative and Alternative Communication, 17(3), 99-104. 

Fried-Oken M, Fox L, Rau MT, Tullman J, Baker G, Hindal M, Wile N, Lou JS. (2006). Purposes of AAC device use for persons with ALS as reported by caregivers. Augmentative and Alternative Communication, 22(3), 209-221.

Fried-Oken, M., Rau, M., & Oken, B. (2000). AAC and dementia. In D. R. Beukelman et al. (Eds.).Augmentative and alternative communication for adults with acquired neurologic disorders, 375-406. Baltimore, MD: Brookes.