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About Melissa

Melissa Donovan, M.S., CCC-SLP, ATP

Melissa Donovan, M.S., CCC-SLP, ATP

Owner, Speech-Language Pathologist
AAC Specialist & Assistive Technology Practitioner

With over 12 years of experience as a speech therapist, Melissa has dedicated her career to helping clients with complex communication needs fully engage in life through the use of tailored AAC systems. She has served clients from 3 to 21 years of age with a variety of diagnoses including Cerebral Palsy, Autism, CHARGE Syndrome, Angelman’s Syndrome, Cortical Visual Impairment, and more. 

Melissa founded Garden State AAC Specialists to specialize in helping individuals with complex communication needs. She is passionate about providing those who are unable to speak with an alternative way to communicate and offering high-quality trainings to help families and schools implement life-changing AAC systems during everyday activities. Melissa is an expert in both high-tech and low-tech AAC interventions, and she is experienced in working with individuals who communicate through a variety of modalities like touch, pointing, switch scanning, and using eye gaze technology.  Her vast training and experience with communication devices from Tobii Dynavox, Saltillo, and Prentke Romich - as well as iPad communication applications like TouchChat and Proloquo2go - enables her to determine the ideal communication system for every individual. 


Melissa received her Bachelor of Science in Special Education from Seton Hall University, and she earned her Master of Science in Speech Language Pathology from Seton Hall University two years later. She then went on to get her Certificate in Assistive Technology from Stockton College in 2013 and became an Assistive Technology Practitioner through RESNA in 2016.  In order to further support individuals with communication and visual impairments, Melissa also earned a micro-credential from Perkins School for the Blind in the area of Cortical Vision Impairment in 2017. She is certified by the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA) and licensed to practice throughout the state of New Jersey. 


Melissa is married to her college sweetheart, and she is the proud mom of three children and two rescue dogs. She enjoys spending time outside, reading books, and volunteering with the Girl Scouts and her local field hockey league!

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Advanced Trainings & Certifications

  • Assistive Technology Practitioner through RESNA

  • Micro-credential in Cortical Vision Impairment from Perkins School for the Blind 

  • NJ Speech and Hearing Association AAC Committee Member 

  • ASHA AAC Sig 12 Member 

  • Assistive Technology International Association Annual Conference Attendee

  • PODD Introductory Level Trained 

  • Advanced Training in Literacy & AAC Interventions

  • AAC Systems: Tobii Dynavox, PRC, Proloquo2go, TouchChat, Ablenet, LAMP

  • AAC Access methods: touch tablets, switches, eye gaze, head pointers

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