SLP Podcast Ep 33 – Empowering College-Age Students with SLP Services – Shelley Bernis MA, CCC-SLP

November 23, 2020

In this episode, we had the privilege to speak with a special guest, Shelley Bernis MA, CCC-SLP, an SLP who overcame her own disabilities to help empower college students in their transition to professional life. Shelley shared her inspiring career journey, her perseverance through a POTS (postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome) diagnosis, her transition into teletherapy, her Speech Empowerment Program for students with disabilities, and more.

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We Discuss

  • Introduction to Shelley and her background as an SLP (01:13);
  • Shelley’s journey through disability to creating Empower Tele-Speech Therapy(10:08);
  • Overcoming obstacles while transitioning into a teletherapy practice (17:59);
  • An overview of Shelley’s Speech Empowerment Program (24:50);
  • What Shelley has gained personally and professionally from her arduous career journey (45:28);

About Shelley Bernis MA, CCC-SLP

Shelley Bernis is a native of Louisiana and graduated in 2008 with her master’s degree in Speech-Language Pathology from Louisiana Tech University. She moved to Austin, Texas shortly after to begin her career as a Speech-Language Pathologist which is where she practices today. She also helped develop a grant-funded speech program with the Down Syndrome Association of Texas known now as PEAK (Parents Empowering Articulation in Kids). In 2018, Shelley created her own private practice, Empower TeleSpeech Therapy, where she conducts all therapy services via teletherapy.

Soon after opening her practice, Shelley launched her Speech Empowerment Program which partners with college transition programs designed to support students with intellectual and developmental disabilities (Aggie ACHIEVE, ClemsonLIFE, and EAGLES Program at Auburn). Shelley’s program is the first of its kind to provide speech and language services to students in these transition programs. Her goal is to give these young adults the tools and confidence they need to communicate effectively as they pursue their dreams of higher education and independence. In her spare time, Shelley enjoys spending time with her husband, Warren, their two boys, Wesley and Jace, and their two beagles, Sadie and Rosco. They love hiking and camping in and around Austin. Shelley is also an avid reader and enjoys creating macrame art pieces.

Where to Find Shelley:


Social Media: @empowerteleslp

About the Show

Produced by Jonathan Cary

Music and Editing by Aidan Dykes

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