Emily Hillaker, DO, Worked with Local Organization to Install Communication Board, Enabling Non-Verbal Users to Better Communicate

August 18, 2022 by

Emily Hillaker, DOEmily Hillaker, DO, a chief resident in the School of Medicine’s Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation Department, received a $1500 Rob Gotlin Community Leadership Grant from the American Osteopathic College of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation to fund installation of a communication board at Pen Park in Charlottesville. The communication board is a sign displaying photos, symbols or illustrations that non-verbal children and adults may use to facilitate communication with each other. Emily applied for the grant on behalf of Bennett’s Village, an organization that is working to make Pen Park more accessible and inclusive. Emily says, “Not only do communication boards provide a means for our non-verbal neighbors to communicate wants, needs and desires, but these boards also send a message to the entire community that this is a space where we want all to feel welcome and included.”

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