Dr. Mary Jo Cooley Hidecker is an Associate Professor in the Department of Communication Sciences & Disorders (CSD) and in the Rehabilitation Sciences Doctoral Program (RHB-DP) in the College of Health Sciences. With training as a speech-language pathologist, audiologist, and epidemiologist, her clinical experience in assisting children and adults with complex communication disorders led her into clinical research. Dr. Hidecker received her Ph.D. in Audiology and Speech Sciences with an emphasis in family science from Michigan State University, Lansing. She was a NIH F31 predoctoral fellow. She held a NIH F32 Postdoctoral fellowship in communication disorders epidemiology, resulting in a master’s degree in epidemiology.
At the University of Kentucky, Dr. Hidecker serves as the Director of the All About Communication (AAC) Lab. The long-term goal of her program of research is to improve family-centered evidence-based practice in those with severe disabilities. Her specific research emphasis is on cerebral palsy, autism, hearing loss, and Parkinson's disease. Her research interests include the relationship among effective treatment outcomes and individual and family factors as well as the use of augmentative and alternative communication.
She has co-founded the UK Rehab Maker Space with physical therapy professor Dr. Patrick Kitzman. With interested faculty and students, they are considering using 3D printing, laser engraving & cutting (GlowForge), soldering, and other makerspace tools to craft solutions for individuals with diabilities.
Dr. Hidecker enjoys mentoring students in research from highs chool through Ph.D. students. Students can be any major. If a student is interested in doing research with Dr. Hidecker, please email her at MaryJo.CooleyHidecker@uky.edu
She leads the development and ongoing research on the Communication Function Classification System (CFCS) which has been translated into more than 20 languages. The CFCS is available as a free download.
She is part of the interdisciplinary research team developing the Autism Classification System of Functioning: Social Communication (ACSF:SC). Another area is looking at using allied health care telepractice to address rural health disparities.
Dr. Hidecker has taught numerous undergraduate, master, and doctoral courses in the areas of Communication Sciences & Disorders.
Chapters in Books
Hidecker, M. J. C. (2019). Speech, language, hearing, and communication in cerebral palsy. In F. Miller, S. Bachrach, N. Lennon, & M. O’Neil (Eds.), Cerebral palsy [2nd Ed]. New York City: Springer International Publishing.
Hidecker, M. J. C. (2019). Augmentative and alternative communication in cerebral palsy. In F. Miller, S. Bachrach, N. Lennon, & M. O’Neil (Eds.), Cerebral palsy [2nd Ed]. New York City: Springer International Publishing.
Hidecker, M. J. C. & Workinger, M. S. (2014). Communication. In B. Dan, M. Mayston, N. Paneth, & L. Rosenbloom (Eds.), Cerebral palsy: Science and clinical practice (pp.543-564, 655-658, 669-676). London: Mac Keith Press.
Reichle, J., Hidecker, M.J.C., Brady, N.C., & Terry, N. (2003). Intervention strategies for communication: Using aided augmentative communication systems. In J.C. Light, D.R. Beukelman, & J. Reichle (Eds.), Communicative competence for individuals who use AAC: From research to effective practice (pp. 441-467). Baltimore: Brookes Publishing. Invited