Elaine Scougal

Scougal, Elaine

Mrs, Postgraduate Research Student & Tutor (Computing)


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Elaine Scougal - The Carnegie Trust for the Universities of Scotland (carnegie-trust.org)

Elaine is a Carnegie Trust-funded PhD student at the University of Dundee. Her research, co-supervised by Professor Annalu Waller (Computing) and Dr Alissa Melinger (Psychology), explores the use of Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC) to facilitate the communication of children and young people with Down syndrome.

Elaine graduated from the University of Dundee in 2009 with a First Class Honours degree in Psychology. Prior to, and during, her study, she gained extensive experience in supporting children and young people with additional support needs in a variety of contexts, including summer camps and holiday playschemes. In 2013, she then became a mother to identical twins who have Down syndrome. Her lived experience of the impacts of disability and communication impairment on independence and participation in society, coupled with her drive to improve such, led to her return to complete an MSc in AAC at the University of Dundee in 2019.

During her MSc year, Elaine explored the experiences of parents relating to communication barriers involving their children with Down syndrome. Her dissertation research highlighted gaps in the literature related to the use of AAC methods for this group, motivating Elaine’s PhD project.  

Elaine volunteers for the Straight Talking Group at the University of Dundee – an AAC user group based in the School of Science and Engineering. She particularly enjoys supporting the group to spread awareness of AAC to students and wider society. She also regularly delivers guest lectures at universities relating to her experiences as a parent of children with Down syndrome, advocating for person-centred support, care, and education.

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 3 - Good Health and Well-being
  • SDG 4 - Quality Education

Education/Academic qualification

Master in Science, Augmentative and Alternative Communication, University of Dundee

Jan 2019Jan 2020

Award Date: 25 Jun 2020

Unknown, Certificate of Higher Education - Health and Social Care, Open University Milton Keynes

Oct 2017Jun 2018

Award Date: 1 Dec 2018

Bachelor of Science in Psychology, University of Dundee

Sept 2005Jun 2009

Award Date: 25 Jun 2009


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