Debra J. Zeitlin Bio

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Debra J. Zeitlin

Ms. Zeitlin is a speech-language pathologist with a specialty in assistive technology and over 40 years of experience evaluating and providing communication solutions for people with acquired disabilities including ALS. Debra worked for 35 years at the Helen Hayes Hospital, where she most recently served as the director of the Center for Rehabilitation Technology (CRT) from 2006-2017. Debra was responsible for redesigning the CRT to include an extensive demonstration center that provides state of the art assistive technology and educational outreach to the community. Debra has worked on the issues of augmentative and alternative communication on the state and local level, including co-directing a project with the NY State Office of Health Systems Management for revision of Medicaid funding for augmentative communication devices, and developing the curriculum for the statewide dissemination/education of these guidelines. In 2007, she was instrumental in the creation of the Program for Translational Neurological Research (PTNR) at the Helen Hayes Hospital, and between 2008 and 2013, she was the Principal Investigator at the Helen Hayes Site for the NIH-sponsored project, “General Purpose Brain-Computer Interface (BCI)”. Debra has made numerous presentations and published articles on the importance, impact and potential for augmentative communication, assistive technology and BCI.