Adler’s Voice brings together people with very different experiences in the field of speech disorders and speech therapy under the common objective of helping children and creating social awareness of the need for all people to have the right to communicate. From parents and grandparents, to private sector professionals and speech language pathologists, each of these individuals contributes their own unique perspectives on the detrimental impact of a child’s inability to effectively communicate.
Our Board of Directors is instrumental in promoting and fulfilling our Mission and Vision of helping children with communication disorders become effective communicators. They provide the governing and leadership necessary to ensure that we never lose sight of our “North Star.” Our Grant Review Committee consists of three speech and language pathologists who have dedicated countless hours over many years to diligently and thoughtfully reviewing each grant application that we receive.
Stephanie Utzman is a dedicated mother and advocate. She became an advocate the day her son Adler was born. At 32 weeks gestation, he had special medical needs that continue to this day. Through her experiences of advocating for access to augmentative communication for her son, she founded Adler’s Voice.
With over 20 years of management experience in both the legal and real estate fields, her professional career and educational background have prepared her for the path she has chosen to pursue. Stephanie is pursuing her Masters in Assistive Technology and is eager to help other families who are touched by a disability obtain the tools and education they need to become effective advocates. Stephanie is a certified Person Centered Plan Facilitator, a Council Member for the Oregon Council on Developmental Disabilities, and a 2012 Graduate of Oregon Partners in Policymaking.
MA, Creative Director
Alexander Haberer studied History of Art, Philosophy, and German Literature in Augsburg and Munich, Germany. He is currently pursuing his doctorate in philosophy, and the main interest of his research lies in the field of logic, hermeneutics, and the philosophy of language. He has always been interested in the workings of language and communication. Besides his academic studies, he is an enthusiast for type design and typography, and has worked on book typography and graphic design projects since his early days at the university.
In 2015, he learned about Adler’s Voice and was so moved by the story and the mission of the program, that he offered to share his knowledge and experience for further promoting the work of the organization. From that time on, he has collaborated with Stephanie on numerous projects for Adler’s Voice, such as streamlining the grant application process and creating a new application form, revising the design of the website, and setting up the new learning management system for the online courses. He is thankful for the opportunity to take part in the wonderful project of providing children with access to communication.
President & Secretary
Jennifer Cruickshank has developed a deep passion for Adler’s Voice and the children and young adults it serves. She has witnessed the positive impact on the quality of life of those deserving individuals who have been served through the educational programs, the emotional and professional support, and the AAC devices Adler's Voice promotes and distributes – all without charge to these children and their families. Her background is in Education, Social Science, and Human Resources. Her most satisfying experiences have been working with non-profits in a service leadership role. She has worked with Migrant Seasonal Farmworker Programs, is Past President of a county-wide Hispanic Chamber of Commerce and has volunteered many hours in service to others. She believes in giving back and is humbled and blessed to work with such an incredible and passionate team of caring individuals who support the Mission of Adler’s Voice.
Jennifer currently works for a large non-profit healthcare organization at the corporate level. She feels her deep connections to her community will continue to be an asset to Adler’s Voice sustainability in the future and she will work tirelessly to spread news of its efforts. She is currently pursuing her MBA. She is a mother of four, a grandmother of seven, and her first love – both grandchild and child – is the little guy and his mom who inspired Adler’s Voice and brought it into existence: Adler and Stephanie.
Melanie Brown Weber is a native Oregonian. She lives near the beautiful Pacific Ocean with her husband and two children, one with special needs. She holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Psychology from the University of Oregon and originally worked as a Child Protective Services caseworker. She then made the decision to be a stay-at-home parent to her kids.
Melanie has the unique perspective of having children who would be viewed from the outside as being on the opposite ends of the learning spectrum. Her son began taking college classes during his eighth grade year. Her daughter, equally as gifted, is on an IEP and requires support to allow her gifts to shine. Melanie has been an advocate for her own children, as well as for other children in the community who meet resistance for services. She hopes to use her experience to help others.
MA-T, MS, CCC-SLP, Director of Public Relations
Lucas Steuber is an Applied Linguist and Speech-Language Pathologist based out of Portland, Oregon. In his capacity as researcher and clinician, Lucas has published on topics as diverse as language disorders in Schizophrenia to the importance of inclusive after school programs. Lucas specializes in language and social thinking in pervasive developmental disorders such as Autism Spectrum Disorder, and a main interest of his professional work lies in the field of Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC).
In addition to evaluating and implementing AAC, he also serves as co-founder and development director of The Ignite Program, an extra- or co-curricular program for children of any learning profile that combines physical fitness, social cognition, and STEM academics. He is also honored to be the head of clinical research and development for Avaz, Inc., an AAC development firm that created an iOS and Mac app called FreeSpeech, which became the first-ever special education application recognized as the #1 Best New App by Apple and also won “Best of Show” at the Consumer Electronics Show in China in 2016. In addition, he serves on the External Affairs Committee for the Autism Society of Oregon, works in a strategic planning capacity for the Autism Society of America, and consults with many other AAC and educational technology companies in order to help them best serve children in need.
MA, CCC-SLP, Board Member
Casey Collins has been a Speech-Language Pathologist since 2006. During graduate school, she focused on the areas of bilingual language learning in children and voice, cognition and swallowing disorders in adults. Upon completion of her graduate training in Boulder, Colorado, she moved to Peru to work for the Peace Corps for two years. There she worked as a Community Health volunteer in a rural village in northern Peru, with children as a speech therapist in addition to completing nutrition, exercise and sanitation projects.
In 2008, Casey returned from Peru and began working in schools and hospitals on the east coast before eventually moving back to her hometown of Bend, Oregon. Prior to opening her own therapy practice, Sonos Neurotherapies, LLP, with her business partner Kristin Williamson in 2014, Casey worked for four years as the neonatal intensive care (NICU) feeding therapist and bilingual speech and language therapist at St. Charles Hospital System in Bend.
Casey is proficient in the diagnosis and treatment of voice disorders, pediatric feeding disorders, and language disorders affecting children who are learning two languages. She has completed research under the supervision of Dr. Lorrain Ramig who developed the widely used Lee Silverman Voice Treatment (LSVT) and is certified in this therapy. She is also certified in the Lessac Madsen Resonant Voice Technique (LMRVT) for voice disorders and has suffered from and is passionately dedicated to the treatment of vocal cord dysfunction (VCD).
In her role as a Speech Pathologist, Casey has collaborated with Adler’s Voice to support AAC access for children in Central Oregon with a focus on children learning to use AAC for both Spanish and English communication.
MS, CCC-SLP, Grant Review Committee
Caroline Skidmore is a Speech-Language Pathologist who began her clinical career in 1996. Caroline received her Bachelor’s degree in Communication Disorders from the University of California at Santa Barbara. She holds a Masters of Science degree in Speech-Language Pathology with an Early Childhood Special Education endorsement from the University of Oregon. She is certified by the American Speech Language and Hearing Association and licensed by the state of Oregon.
Caroline has focused her career exclusively on children. She has participated in a variety of post-graduate training programs including the Hanen Parent Training Program, PROMPT, Relationship Development Intervention, DIR/Floor Time, Pivotal Response Training, and the Social Thinking Curriculum. Caroline serves on the Advisory Board for Central Oregon Disability Support Network and the Grant Review Committee for Adler’s Voice.
Caroline has operated Skidmore Speech and Language Services, LLC, in Bend since 2002. Prior to starting her own practice, Caroline worked for the Hearing and Speech Institute/Artz Institute at Oregon Health Sciences University in Portland, Oregon and Clackamas County Early Intervention Program. Throughout her 20-year career, Caroline has enjoyed working closely with families and other professionals to provide a “whole child” treatment model.
MS, CCC-SLP, Grant Review Committee
Deb Hainisch has been a licensed Speech-Language Pathologist since 2007 and a volunteer on the review committee for Adler’s Voice since 2012. She was born and raised in Minnesota and received her Master’s degree from Nova Southeastern University. In 2001, Deb moved to Oregon and worked as a school-based speech pathologist. After finding beautiful Bend, she transitioned to St. Charles Medical Center to work in an outpatient pediatric setting.
MS, CCC-SLP, Grant Review Committee
Claire Powell is a practicing Speech-Language Pathologist whose focus and passion is working with children with complex communication needs. She received her Bachelors of Science in Communication Sciences and Disorders followed by her Masters of Science in Speech Language Pathology from the University of Utah in Salt Lake City. She has worked in school settings, private practice, and hospitals, and now works providing services to children in rural/remote Alaskan villages. She currently lives in Bend, Oregon.