FRAAC.COM was born out of a need for training for first responders in their interactions with individuals who cannot verbally communicate.
We started by in-servicing first responders in Allen County, Indiana including fire fighters, law enforcement, dispatchers, and EMS. Our program expanded to cover departments throughout the State of Indiana. To date we have trained over 1600 first responders so that they can better serve their communities.
Mariesa Rang, M.A., CCC-SLP
Mariesa Rang is a instructor at Western Michigan University. She teaches the AAC course in the graduate program. In 2013, she launched the first "AAC World" event (based on the program from Holland-Bloorview Kids' Rehabilitation Hospital) on the campus of Purdue University - Fort Wayne (PFW). She has also participated in the PFW AAC Poss-Abilities Theatre Camp for 10 out of the 12 years it has been held. She and her colleague have given over 70 presentations to first responder organizations since beginning the training in 2016.
Sharon Mankey, M.A.T., CCC-SLP
Sharon Mankey is a retired assistant clinical professor and clinic director of the Purdue University - Fort Wayne (PFW) Communication Disorders Clinic. She taught the department’s AAC course in the undergraduate program for 15 years. In 2009, she started the PFW AAC Poss-Abilities Theatre Camp. It has brought individuals who use augmentative/alternative communication from five states to the campus for a weekend as part of a social experience which culminates in a theatrical production for the community. The training program for first responders began in 2016 and to date, she and her colleague have trained over 1600 emergency personnel in the State of Indiana. Her particular interest in working with first responders stems from her previous career as a nurse and emergency medical technician.