Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Faculty Lecturer Set to Speak on ‘Talking Books’ and Disability



Sometimes words rise from a page to speak volumes, and no one knows this better than Salt Lake Community College Associate Professor Melissa Helquist.

She’s an expert on various ways a book can “talk,” which include audio, tactile and visual modalities and channels. Her research focuses on multiple approaches to reading and writing, including diverse practices used by people with print and sensory disabilities. She teaches English and writing at SLCC, and is completing a PhD in Technical Communication and Rhetoric from Texas Tech University.

Helquist is the 25th annual SLCC Distinguished Faculty Lecturer. She will give her lecture, “The Talking Book: Disability, Technology and the Future of Literacy,” at noon, April 8 in the Oak Room of the Student Center at SLCC’s Taylorsville Redwood Campus, 4600 S. Redwood Road.

The hour-long lecture will present a theoretical, practical, and creative exploration of the “talking book,” and is based on research from Helquist’s PhD dissertation, which explores sound-based literacy practices. A gallery of handmade talking books that incorporate a mix of paper and simple circuitry will be included with the lecture.

The lecture is open to the public, and will be followed by an informal reception. It is sponsored by SLCC Faculty Services.