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UNCG Speaking Center receives 2022 Brant Taylor Barrier-Free Success Award
Speaking Center receives Brant Taylor Barrier Free Success Award. Bret Christensen, President and CEO Greensboro Chamber of Commerce; Kim Cuny, Director, UNCG Speaking Center; Abby Salah, Graduate Assistant Director, Speaking Center; Brian Vannoy, EVP & Chief Credit and Risk Officer, Allegancy Federal Credit Union
Left to right: Bret Christensen, President and CEO Greensboro Chamber of Commerce; Kim Cuny, Director, UNCG Speaking Center; Abby Salah, Graduate Assistant Director, Speaking Center; Brian Vannoy, EVP & Chief Credit and Risk Officer, Allegancy Federal Credit Union

The contributions of faculty and students at UNC Greensboro’s Speaking Center are not only breaking down communication barriers, but paving the way for others to continue their efforts beyond the University.

That’s why the Speaking Center received the 2022 Brant Taylor Barrier-Free Success Award from the Greensboro Mayor’s Committee for Persons with Disabilities.

The nonprofit says the Speaking Center “always strives for excellence when it comes to promoting inclusion in the Triad Area.”

Kim Cuny, Director, and Abby Salah, Graduate Assistant Director, accepted the award on April 27 at a ceremony hosted by the Greensboro Chamber of Commerce.

“The review committee was especially impressed with the student-authored academic publications on the subject,” says Cuny.

She says not only does students’ work go towards their professional development, it benefits other people working in related fields. “Some center alumni have gone on to helping careers that support people with disabilities. Some students have published essays on the topic in Communication Center Journal. The essays serve as important models for others who want to do this same work.”

Three Communication Studies faculty and 45 students work with the Speaking Center. Their goal is to break down communication barriers faced by people with intellectual and/or developmental disabilities (IDD).

The center has served people with IDD since 2003. They began providing consistent oral communication coaching and instructional programming in 2015.

“As this effort has grown, so too have the competencies of the UNCG faculty and students who do the work,” says Cuny.

The Greensboro Mayor’s Committee for Persons with Disabilities focuses on building social, educational, and employment opportunities for people with IDD.

The Brant Taylor Barrier-Free Success Award recognizes individuals and organizations who have made significant contributions to creating that more inclusive environment.

Dr. Roy Schwartzman, Communication Studies Department Head, says, “This award speaks to the ongoing spirit of inclusivity and student/faculty/staff partnerships that the Speaking Center cultivates.”

Story by Janet Imrick, University Communications
Photography courtesy of Greensboro Chamber of Commerce

 
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