Aimee DietzChair, Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders; Director, Language Recovery & Communication Technology Lab - Professor Communication Sciences and Disorders
Ph.D., University of Nebraska-Lincoln, Communication Sciences & Disorders
M.S., Florida State University, Communication Sciences & Disorders
B.A., Florida State University, Audiology & Speech-Language Pathology
A.A., Central Florida Community College, General Studies
Augmentative & Alternative Communication
Acquired Reading Disorders (Alexia)
Adapted Mind-Body Therapies; Adapted Yoga
Aimee Dietz, Ph.D. serves as the chair of the Department of Communication Sciences & Disorders. By training, she is a speech-language pathologist (SLP) who has dedicated her career to improving outcomes for people with aphasia—first as a clinician, then as a clinical researcher. She earned her bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Florida State University. During her clinical work, Dietz quickly learned that rehabilitation for people with aphasia is grossly limiting.
She reports, “During inpatient and outpatient rehabilitation we work hard to restore lost language functions and when the person ‘plateaus’ in their recovery, augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) is provided to help them communicate — leaving them to feel as if therapists have given up on them and that recovery has ended.”
For these reasons, she completed her Ph.D. under the direction of Drs. David Beukelman and Karen Hux at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, with a focus on understanding the unique considerations involved in the development of AAC interface designs for people with aphasia.
During her time at the University of Cincinnati (2008-2021), Dietz forged a line of research examining the role of AAC as a language recovery tool for people with chronic aphasia, using neuroimaging technologies to identify neurobiomarkers for AAC-induced language recovery. This work continues at Georgia State, with an added emphasis of understanding how AAC can be successfully administered to people with aphasia via teletherapy — and during the subacute stages of post-stroke recovery.
In recent years, she has cultivated a new line of research that seeks to understand how mind-body practices, including adapted yoga, might be harnessed to build resilience and coping for people with post-stroke aphasia and their co-survivors. In this work, she collaborates with Lauren Bislick, Ph.D. at the University of Central Florida and E. Susan Duncan, Ph.D. at Louisiana State University. Together they work alongside SLP Stephanie Van Allan, survivor and yogi, J. Chase Rushlow and co-survivor and yogini, Deanna Rushlow. The self-dubbed, Team Yoga met at Project BRIDGE (a PCORI-funded conference to bring together research-clinician-patient stakeholders) in 2018 and work alongside clinician, patient and caregiver stakeholders.
In 2020, Dietz completed her 200 hour Registered Yoga Teacher training to help advance this line of inquiry. Team Yoga pursues their work in honor of Terri Kersey, who first helped launch the idea of integrating yoga into stroke rehabilitation before her unexpected death in 2019.
Dietz is also the director of the Language Recovery & Communication Technology Lab and routinely supports student researchers with projects funded by various foundations, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) via the National Institute of Deafness & Other Communication Disorders (NIDCD) and the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA).
Over the years, Dietz has mentored more than 50 students, including the advising of summer undergraduate students through various programs such as McNair, University Honors Program and Women in Science and Engineering (WISE). She also enjoys mentoring Ph.D. students, post-doctoral students, as well as junior faculty. She actively pursues opportunities to enhance her mentoring skills through University-level programs, as well as through participation in programs via the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA), such as Pathways and Mentoring Academic Research Career (MARC).
^Bislick, L., Dietz, A., Duncan, E.S., Garza, P., Gleason, R., Harley, D., Kersey, G., Kersey, T., Mamlekar, C.R.*, McCarthy, M.J., Noe, V., Rushlow, D., Rushlow, J. C., VanAllan, S. (2022). Finding “zen” in aphasia: Documenting resilience & coping following mind-body interventions. American Journal of Speech-Language Pathology, Special Issue: Clinical Aphasiology Conference 50th Anniversary, 31, 133-147. https://doi.org/10.1044/2021_AJSLP-20-00330
^Authors are listed alphabetically; each provided unique contributions to the work; Aimee Dietz served as the Team Lead.
Pitt, K., & Dietz, A. (2021). Applying Implementation Science to Support Active Collaboration in Noninvasive Brain-Computer Interface Development and Translation For AAC. American Journal of Speech-Language Pathology. American Journal of Speech-Language Pathology, 1-7. Advance online publication. https://doi.org/10.1044/2021_AJSLP-21-00152
Harrington, R.M. & Dietz, A. (2021). Systematic review draws limited conclusions regarding the effectiveness of reading comprehension interventions for people with aphasia but offers guidance for future research and practicing clinicians. Evidence Based Communication Assessment and Intervention. Evidence Based Communication Assessment and Intervention,1-7. Advance online publication. https://doi.org/10.1080/17489539.2021.2008657
Jerzy P Szaflarski, Rodolphe Nenert, Jane B Allendorfer, Amber N Martin, Dietz, A., Vannest, J. et al (published online 2021). Intermittent theta burst stimulation (iTBS) for the treatment of chronic post-stroke aphasia: Results of a pilot randomized, double-blind, sham-controlled trial. Medical Science Monitor, 27. https://doi.org/10.12659/MSM.931468
McKelvey, M., Weissling, K., Lund, S., Quach, W., & Dietz, A., (published online 2021). Assessment of adults in adults with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. Communication Disorders Quarterly. https://doi.org/10.1177/15257401211017143
Langland-Hassan, P., Faries, F.R.*, Gatya, M.*, Dietz, A., Richardson, M.J. (2021). Assessing abstract thought and its relation to language with a new nonverbal paradigm: Evidence from aphasia. Cognition, 211, XXX-XXX. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.cognition.2021.104622
Dietz, A., Mamlekar, C.,* Bakas, K.,* McCarthy, M.J., Harley, D., & Bakas, T. (2020). A scoping review of the PhotoVoice methodology: Implications for use in aphasia research. Topics in Stroke Rehabilitation. https://doi.org/10.1080/10749357.2020.1806435
Dietz, A., Duncan, E.S., Bislick, L., Stegman, S., Collins, J., Mamlekar, C., Gleason, R., McCarthy, M.J. (2020). Yoga as therapy for people with aphasia. Perspectives of the ASHA Special Interest Group 2 Neurogenic Communication Disorders, 5, 853-860. https://doi.org/10.1044/2020_PERSP-20-00028
Dietz, A., Wallace, S.E., & Weissling, K. (2020). Revisiting the role of augmentative and alternative communication in aphasia rehabilitation. American Journal of Speech-Language Pathology, 29. 909-913. https://doi.org/10.1044/2019_AJSLP-19-00041
Dietz, A., Vannest, J., Maloney, T., Altaye, M., Holland, S., & Szaflarski, J.P. (2018). The feasibility of improving discourse through AAC: Clinical and fMRI correlates. Aphasiology, 32(6), 693-719. https://doi.org/10.1080/02687038.2018.1447641
Knollman-Porter, K.,* & Dietz, A., Dahlem, K. (2018). Intensive auditory comprehension treatment for severe aphasia: A Feasibility Study, American Journal of Speech-Language Pathology. [Advance online publication], 1-14. https://doi.org/10.1044/2018_AJSLP-17-0117
Dietz, A., & Boyle, M. (2018). Discourse measurement in Aphasia: Consensus and Caveats. Aphasiology, 32(4), 487-492. https://doi.org/10.1080/02687038.2017.1398814
Dietz, A., & Boyle, M. (2018). Discourse measurement in aphasia: Have we reached the tipping point? Aphasiology, 32(4), 459-464. https://doi.org/10.1080/02687038.2017.1398803
Langland-Hassan, P., Gauker, C.; Richardson, M.; Dietz, A. (2017). Impairment of metacognition in categorization tasks due to inner speech deficits. Acta Psychologica, 181, 62-74. http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0001691817300483
Nenert, R. Allendorfer, J., Martin, A., Banks, C., Ball, A.L., Vannest, J., Dietz, A., & Szaflarski, J.P. (2017). Neuroimaging correlates of post-stroke aphasia rehabilitation in a pilot randomized trial of constraint-induced aphasia therapy. Medical Science Monitor, 23, 3489-3507. http://doi.org/10.12659/MSM.902301
Griffith, J.,* Dietz, A., Ball, A., Vannest, J., Charles, A., Xie, C., & Szaflarski, J. P. (2017). An examination of changes in spoken productions within constraint-induced aphasia therapy. Aphasiology, 31(11), 1250-1265. http://doi.org/10.1080/02687038.2017.1350628
Griffis, J.,* Nenert, R., Allendorfer, J.B., Vannest, J., Holland, S., Dietz, A., & Szaflarski, J.P. (2017). The canonical semantic network supports residual language function in chronic post-stroke aphasia. Human Brain Mapping, 38, 1636-1658. http://doi.org/10.1002/hbm.23476
Lund, S., Quach, W., Weissling, K., McKelvey, M., & Dietz, A. (2017). Assessment with children who need augmentative and alternative communication: Clinical decisions of AAC specialists. Language, Speech, and Hearing Services in the Schools, 48, 56-68. http://doi.org/10.1044/2016_LSHSS-15-0086
Dietz, A., Vannest, J., Maloney, T., Altaye, M., Szaflarski, J. P., & Holland, S. P. (2016). The calculation of language lateralization indices in post-stroke aphasia: A comparison of a standard and a lesion-adjusted formula. Frontiers in Human Neuroscience, 10(493). http://doi.org/10.3389/fnhum.2016.00493
Szaflarski, J.P., Ball, A., Vannest, J., Dietz, A., Allendorfer, J., Martin, A.N., Hart, K., Lindsell, C.J., (2015). Constraint-induced aphasia therapy for treatment of chronic post-stroke aphasia: A randomized, blinded, controlled pilot trial. Medical Science Monitor, 21, 2861-2869. http://doi.org/10.12659/MSM.894291
Beukelman, D.R., Hux, K., Dietz, A., McKelvey, M., Weissling, K. (2015). Using Visual Scene Displays as Communication Support Options for People with Chronic, Severe Aphasia: A Summary of AAC Research and Future Research Directions. Augmentative and Alternative Communication. Advance online publication. http://doi.org/10.3109/07434618.2015.1052152
Langland-Hassan, P., Faries, F.,* Richardson, M., & Dietz, A. (2015). Inner speech-Deficits in people with aphasia. Frontiers in Psychology 6(528). http://doi.org/10.3389/fpsyg.2015.00528
Dietz, A., Weissling, K., Griffith, J.,* McKelvey, M., Macke, D.* (2014). The impact of interface design during an initial high-technology AAC experience: A collective case study of people with aphasia. Augmentative and Alternative Communication, 30(4), 314-328. http://doi.org/10.3109/07434618.2014.966207
• Selected for an ASHA Self-Study on AAC for Adults
Griffith, J.*, Dietz, A., & Weissling, K. (2014). Supporting Narrative Retells for People with Aphasia using AAC: Photographs or Line Drawings? Text or No Text? American Journal of Speech Language Pathology, 23(S213-S224). http://doi.org/10.1044/2014_AJSLP-13-0089
Szaflarski, J.P., Allendorfer, J.A., Byars, A.W., Vannest, J., Dietz, A., Holland, S.K. (2014). Age at stroke determines post-stroke language lateralization. Restorative Neurology and Neuroscience, 32, 733-742. http://doi.org/10.3233/RNN-140402
Dietz, A., Knollman-Porter, K.*, Hux, K., Toth, K.,* Brown, B.* (2014). Supported reading comprehension for people with aphasia: Photographic and linguistic pre-reading supports. Journal of Medical Speech-Language Pathology, 21(4), 319-331. https://www.researchgate.net/publication/262103782_Supported_Reading_Comprehension_for_People_with_Aphasia_Visual_and_Linguistic_Supports
Dietz, A., Thiessen, A.,* Griffith, J.,* Peterson, A.,* Sawyer, E.,* McKelvey, M. (2013). The renegotiation of social roles in chronic aphasia: Finding a voice through AAC. Aphasiology,27(3), 309-325. http://doi.org/10.1080/02687038.2012.725241
Keelor, J.,* Griffith, J.,* Dietz, A., Hicks, J.,* & Reinstatler, A.* (2013). Exploring the reading practices of people with chronic aphasia. eHearsay, 3(2),74-87.
Binger, C., Ball, L., Dietz, A., Kent-Walsh, J., Lasker, J., Lund, S., McKelvey, M., Quach, W. (2012). Personnel roles in the AAC assessment process. Augmentative and Alternative Communication, 28(4), 278-288. http://doi.org/10.3109/07434618.2012.716079
Dietz, A., Quach, W., Lund, S., & McKelvey, M. (2012). AAC Assessment and clinical-decision making: The impact of experience. Augmentative and Alternative Communication, 28(3), 148-159. http://doi.org/10.3109/07434618.2012.704521
Wallace, S., Dietz, A., Hux, K., & Weissling, K. (2012). Augmented input: The effect of visuographic supports on the auditory comprehension of people with chronic aphasia. Aphasiology, 26(2), 162-176. http://doi.org/10.1080/02687038.2011.628004
Dietz, A., Ball, A., & Griffith, J.* (2011). Reading and writing in the 21st century: Technological applications of supported reading comprehension and written expression. Topics in Stroke Rehabilitation, 18(6), 758-769. http://doi.org/10.1310/tsr1806-758
McKelvey, M., Hux, K., Dietz, A., Beukelman, D.R. (2010). Impact of personal relevance and contextualization on comprehension by people with chronic aphasia. American Journal of Speech-Language Pathology, 19, 22-33. http://doi.org/10.1044/1058-0360(2009/08-0021)
Purdy, M., & Dietz, A. (2010). Factors influencing AAC usage by individuals with aphasia. Perspectives on Augmentative and Alternative Communication, 19(3), 70-78. http://doi.org/10.1044/aac19.3.70
Dietz, A., Hux, K., McKelvey, M., & Beukelman, D.R. (2009). Reading comprehension by people with chronic aphasia: A comparison of three levels of visuographic contextual support. Aphasiology, 23 (7–8), 1053–1064. http://doi.org/10.1080/02687030802635832
Beukelman, D.R., Fager, S., Ball, L., & Dietz, A. (2007). AAC for adults with acquired neurological conditions. Augmentative and Alternative Communication, 23, 230-242. http://doi.org/10.1080/07434610701553668
McKelvey, M., Dietz, A., Hux, K., Weissling, K, & Beukelman, D.R. (2007). Performance of a person with chronic aphasia using a visual scene display Prototype. Journal of Medical Speech Language Pathology, 15(3), 305-317.
Dietz, A., McKelvey, M., & Beukelman, D.R. (2006). Visual scene display: New AAC interface for persons with aphasia, Perspectives on Augmentative and Alternative Communication, 15(1), 13-17. http://doi.org/10.1044/aac15.1.13
McCarthy, J. & Dietz, A. (Eds.). (2015). Augmentative and alternative communication: An interactive clinical casebook. San Diego, CA: Plural Publishing. http://pluralpublishing.com/publication_aac.htm
Kryc, M.* & Dietz, A. (in press). A case study on AAC for a Person with Aphasia. Taylor & Francis. Abingdon, UK.
Mamlekar, C.,* Dietz, A., Wendt, O., & Lloyd, L. (in press). History and Evolution of AAC In
L. Lloyd & D. Fuller Caplan (Eds.). Augmentative and Alternative Communication: A Handbook of Principles and Practices. (2nd Ed.). Thorofare, NJ: Slack Inc.
Dietz, A. (2018). Language. In J. S. Kreutzer, J. DeLuca, & B. Caplan (Eds.). Encyclopedia of clinical neuropsychology. (2nd Ed.). New York, NY: Springer.
Dietz, A. (2011). Language. In J. S. Kreutzer, J. DeLuca, & B. Caplan (Eds.). Encyclopedia of clinical neuropsychology. (pp. 1425-1426). New York, NY: Springer. doi: 10.1007/978-0-387-79948-3_893.
Dietz, A., McKelvey, M., Schmerbach, M., Weissling, K., & Hux, K. (2011). Compensation for severe, chronic aphasia using augmentative and alternative communication. In S. S.
Chabon & E. Cohn (Eds.). The Communication Disorders Casebook: Learning by Example (pp. 351-360). Boston, MA: Allyn & Bacon/Merrill.
McCarthy, J., & Dietz, A. (2014). Augmentative and alternative communication: From novice to expert clinician. Plural Community, 10(59), 1-2.
Dietz, A., & Fergadiotis, G. (2013). Perceptions of caregivers and people with aphasia following a communication course on total communication: Promising results limited by internal validity and methodological concerns. Evidence-Based Communication
Assessment Intervention, 7(1), 46-51. http://doi.org/10.1080/17489539.2013.821235
Koul, R., Dietz, A., Corwin, M., Wallace, S. (2013). AAC and aphasia: Science and clinical practice. Conference Proceedings of the 15th Biennial Conference for the International Society for Augmentative and Alternative Communication, Pittsburgh, PA.
Beukelman, D.R., Dietz, A., Hux, K., McKelvey, M., Wallace, S., & Weissling, K. (2007). Training module: Visual scene displays: Case reports. Pittsburgh, PA: DynaVox Technologies.
McKelvey, M. & Dietz, A. (2007). Visual scene displays for people with aphasia: An overview of the research. The Nebraska Speech-Language and Hearing Association: Networker, 1(6), 5-12.