We had the good fortune of connecting with Angelia Daniel and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Angelia, every day, we about how much execution matters, but we think ideas matter as well. How did you come up with the idea for your business?

As a speech-language pathologist, I have always enjoyed creating therapy materials for my students and clients. When the COVID-pandemic forced schools to close across the country and go to remote learning, I dove into teletherapy. Immediately, I realized that there was a lack of evidence-based materials for children with severe communication disorders and children with autism to utilize during this time. Therefore, I started creating engaging stories with functional objects and parent activities for my students and private patients. I would drop the stories and materials on their doorsteps that we would use during our teletherapy sessions. Almost immediately, I saw increased engagement from both the children and parents. Seeing children’s communication skills blossom while using my stories, I decided to fulfill one of my professional dreams to create and publish my line of speech therapy materials, The Functional Language at Home and School Series.

Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.

I have been a speech-language pathologist for twenty-eight years. As speech-language pathologists, we serve diverse populations yet minorities represent less than 8% percent of speech-language pathologists nationwide. Being a young student and/or professional in the field where you are the minority can be challenging and a bit isolating.  As I reflect on my early years in the profession, I realized that I was often reluctant to express my thoughts on certain issues.  Eventually, I met a great mentor who helped me navigate the field, find my voice, and claim my role as a leader. As a seasoned professional, I have made it my mission to help diversify the field of speech-language pathology so that our profession represents therapists from different racial and ethnic backgrounds. I am doing this by serving as the Houston Chapter President of Sisters in Speech Therapy and Audiology (S.I.S.T.A.s), an organization dedicated to increasing and retaining the number of minority speech-language pathologists and audiologists. During my tenure, the Houston Chapter established mentor programs at several universities in various states, established a scholarship fund for minority women in the field of speech-language pathology and audiology, and worked closely with a children’s and women shelter to create a culturally diverse library and a summer storytime for the children.  I am also dedicated to mentoring and supporting students and young professionals in the field and utilizing materials that represent the varied populations we serve. I have learned that you have to be the change that you want to see in the world. If you want a more diverse group of speech-language pathologists, mentor and support minority students in the field. If you want more evidence-based materials that are representative of the population you serve, create them!

Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
Where do I start?! Houston has such much to offer. I would start with some great food. In Houston, we do brunch. So we would head over to the Taste Bar + Kitchen in Midtown for some delicious chicken and waffles or jerk lamb chops. We would then need a little retail therapy so we would head to The Heights for some vintage shopping. Houston has an array of world-class theaters.  We would rotate through the Ensemble, The Alley, The Hobby Center, and Wortham Theater depending on what is showing. We also need to visit some of Houston’s many museums including the Houston Museum of African American Culture, The Buffalo Soldiers Museum, and The Houston Museum of Natural Science. You absolutely cannot come to Houston without sampling some mouthwatering Tex-Mex cuisine and barbecue, so a trip to the East End to The Original Ninfa’s is a must! To fill my barbecue fix, a drive to Burns’ and Gatlin’s Barbecue would definitely be on my agenda. I cannot ignore Houston nightlife so reservations at Batanga’s, Sambuca’s, and Phil And Derrick’s are a must for great food with a side of jazz, R&B, or Latin music. Each day we would have to sneak-in walks at Memorial Park and the Houston Arboretum and Nature Center.

Who else deserves some credit and recognition?

There is absolutely no way that I could have created, published, or promoted my therapy book series without the encouragement and support of my family, friends, and an awesome group of speech-language pathologists in the Houston area, S.I.S.T.As (Sisters in Speech Therapy and Audiology). I must give a special shoutout to my dear friend and mentor, Debrah Hill. She has been my mentor for many years. Debrah helped me recognize and foster my leadership skills.

Website: https://www.communicationenhancements.com/

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/communicationenhancements/

Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/in/angelia-daniel-206a82208

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/FunctionalLanguage

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