The Communication Disability Centre (CDC) has been established to enhance the lives of people experiencing communication disability.

Communication disability refers to the impairments, activity limitations and participation restrictions that affect an individual’s ability to interact and engage with the world in ways that are meaningful to them and those they communicate with.

We aim to help people affected by communication disability through finding strategies for prevention and intervention, research that translates to practice, disseminating research findings and educating speech pathology and audiology students and graduates.

Research areas

  • adult hearing impairment
  • adult neurogenic communication disorders
  • paediatric communication disorders

Find out more about CDC research projects here.


  • provide a focus for national and international scholarship and applied research in communication disability
  • disseminate research findings through publication, education and translation of research into practice
  • foster relationships with key stakeholders in the research process to optimise impact and clinical relevance.

The role of the CDC is to

  • respond to the health-disease continuum through strategies of prevention and intervention
  • emphasise research that translates theory into practice
  • be committed to the dissemination of research findings
  • deliver education to undergraduate and graduate speech pathologists and audiologists.

Opportunities for research students

We welcome enquiries from prospective research students (Master of Philosophy (MPhil) and Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)) who are interested in the area of communication disability.

The Communication Research Registry

The communication research registry was created to help improve services for people with communication difficulties.  It is free to join and available to people of all ages with a communication difficulty and their support network. Find out more at

Free resources for clinicians

Adult Hearing Impairment

  • The development of the Active Communication Education (ACE) Program for older people with hearing impairment
  • Development of the Significant Other Scale for Hearing Disability (SOS-HEAR) to assess third-party disability in spouses of people with hearing impairment

For more information about projects in the area of hearing impairment please contact Louise Hickson (co-director).

CDC team

The CDC is led by Professor Louise Hickson and Professor Linda Worrall along with a dynamic research team of audiologists and speech pathologists.


Dr Anna Copley
Dr Rebecca Nund
Dr Tanya Rose
Dr Nerina Scarinci
Dr Sarah Wallace

Postdoctoral researchers

Dr Katie Ekberg
Dr Caitlin Barr
Dr Carly Meyer
Dr Brooke Ryan
Dr Monique Waite

Honorary/adjunct appointments

Adjunct Professor Stefan Launer
Dr Alicja Malicka
Dr Barbra Timmer

Research higher degree students

David Allen
Caroline Baker
Rebecca Bennett
Anthea Bott
Salma Charania
Bonnie Cheng
Angela Clarke
Elizabeth Convery
Zhi Zhi Diong
Belinda Fisher
Katelyn Melvin
Alison Moorcroft
Leanna Nichols
Mansoureh Nickbakht
Felipe Retamal Walter
Kirstine Shrubsole
Rachel Tosh
Megan Trebilcock
Els Walravens
Gerard William

Adult Neurogenic Communication Disorders

  • The development of internet training materials for people with aphasia, TBI, PD and early dementia
  • Development of new functional communication measures for TBI (the SAVCO) and for inpatients (the IFCI)

For more information about projects in the area of adult neurogenic communication disorders, please contact Linda Worrall (co-director).