Sarah Fitta, M.A. CCC-SLP, BCBA
Sarah Fitta, M.A. CCC-SLP, BCBA, founder and author of REAL AAC. Sarah has a constant yearning to learn more, and she continues to apply and integrate the fields of speech language pathology and applied behavior analysis, as she builds REAL and expands upon its utility for individuals with complex communication needs.
Sarah is a graduate of UMASS Amherst and has worked as a speech language pathologist (SLP) for over seven years. She has worked in public and specialized school settings, with students of various ages. Sarah has a passion for augmentative and alternative communication (AAC), and empowering individuals of all abilities to be as functionally outspoken as possible!
Sarah is also a Board Certified Behavior Analyst and holds an elementary education teaching certificate. She is currently participating in ASHA's Leadership Development Program.
Practical work experience coupled with the pursuit of academic studies set the stage for Sarah Fitta’s passion for empowering others through the development of communication. She completed her undergraduate studies of psychology and elementary education at UMASS Dartmouth with a broad interest in development and language. It was at this time that she first worked with an individual with autism spectrum disorder. She learned about the power of communication and how this individual’s difficulty with expressing himself impacted his daily experience. Along the way a family member introduced her to the field of speech-language pathology. Her interests continued to narrow specifically to augmentative and alternative communication during her senior year, as her mother was pursuing a master’s degree in education. Sarah vividly remembers her mother coming home from a lecture in which she was introduced to AAC technology. She excitedly shared learning about empowering and innovative interventions, and Sarah realized her calling.
After obtaining her elementary education teaching certificate, Sarah pursued her prerequisite coursework in communication disorders at Bridgewater State College. At this time, she also worked as a teacher at a school for individuals with brain injury. It was this experience that first introduced Sarah to applied behavior analysis. Observing student progress in increasing independence and functional skills largely due to the effectiveness of systematically developed programs by BCBAs inspired Sarah. She also learned about the connection between communication and behavior.
Sarah completed her graduate coursework in communication disorders at UMASS Amherst in 2011. It was during her graduate studies that she first worked with Nerissa and Hillary, completing a practicum during Summer Camp of 2010. This experience was the most meaningful of her graduate studies and solidified her passion for AAC.
Sarah has worked as a speech-language pathologist in a variety of settings including skilled nursing facilities, public schools, and most recently at a specialized school for individuals with autism spectrum disorder.
Sarah also returned to her interest in ABA and pursued the Board Certified Behavior Analyst credential. She completed a certificate of graduate achievement in Behavioral Intervention in Autism from UMASS Lowell and obtained her certification in 2015.
As a dually credentialed professional, Sarah strongly believes in the power of transdisciplinary collaboration and the integration of ideas. She is interested in the development of system wide programs and evidence-based practices in AAC to ensure that the highest quality of services are provided for individuals.
Sarah is also a member of the 2018-2019 cohort of the ASHA Leadership Development Program in which she is working on developing a program integrating AAC and ABA. She is excited for this opportunity to join the Communicare team. As her practicum experience was so meaningful to her, she feels as though she has come full circle in returning to this program.
When not focusing on her professional interests, Sarah is an avid reader and has a passion for music. As an Eastern Massachusetts transplant, Sarah has enjoyed exploring the Pioneer Valley over the past 9 years and loves spending time as a new homeowner in this lovely community with her boyfriend, three dogs, two cats, and two goldfish (they appreciate symmetry)