Oregon Health & Science University UCEDD co-Director Receives Honor

August 11, 2023

Dr. Fried-Oken holds up a clear glass award with red and white lettering 'isaac the fellowship award' wearing a black and white top, and a wide open smile that reaches her eyes behind red rimmed glasses that match the red accent.
Dr. Fried-Oken holds up a clear glass award with red and white lettering 'isaac the fellowship award' wearing a black and white top, and a wide open smile that reaches her eyes behind red rimmed glasses that match the red accent.

Dr. Melanie Fried-Oken was named a fellow of the International Society for Augmentative and Alternative Communication (ISAAC) at their biennial conference this July 2023 in Cancun, Mexico. Dr. Fried-Oken is a speech-language pathologist, clinical researcher and professor of neurology, pediatrics, biomedical engineering and otolaryngology at OHSU. For the past 45 years, she has been developing and evaluating tools, strategies, technologies and intervention protocols with adults, children and their families who experience complex communication needs.

She co-edited, with Dr. Hank Bersani, Speaking Up and Spelling It Out, a collection of 28 personal stories written by people who rely on AAC. She developed the Communication Support Inventory-Children and Youth (CSI-CY) with Dr. Charity Rowland, a tool that helps educators and clinicians write AAC IEP goals based on the WHO’s International Classification of Function-Children and Youth edition.  As an expert in AAC within medical settings, Dr. Fried-Oken has lectured internationally and provided mentorship to young professionals as they impact the AAC and assistive technology fields. She currently is Associate Editor of the international AAC Journal. At OHSU, she is co-director of the OHSU UCEDD, responsible for our research core function, and leads the externally funded, multi-disciplinary REKNEW lab (Realizing Expressive Knowledge in Everyone With communication challenges). For the past 15 years, Dr. Fried-Oken’s lab has developed and evaluated non-implantable communication brain-computer interfaces for adults who experience locked-in syndrome. Her work and leadership continue to be innovative, exciting and important.