My name is Shelley Bernis, owner and Speech-Language Pathologist for Empower TeleSpeech Therapy. For over 10 years, I have worked as a Speech-Language Pathologist in a variety of settings with a variety of populations and have loved every second of it. I always dreamed of having my own practice, and I knew I wanted to do something different and innovative…I just wasn’t exactly sure what that would look like. When diagnosed with a chronic health condition that left me homebound, I found myself missing my clients and missing the joy that helping others brought me. This led me to research the world of online therapy also known as, telehealth or telepractice. I quickly came to understand how beneficial this model can be for both clients and therapists. I was thrilled to learn that telepractice is a very economical and a modern alternative to face-to-face therapy sessions that allows both client and therapist to save money, time, and convenience.
Fast forward to August of 2018 and Empower TelesSpeech was born! While I love treating individuals of all ages and abilities and will continue to treat a broad range of clients, Empower TeleSpeech specializes in young adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights states:
“Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; this right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive, and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers.”
For people with intellectual disabilities, a crucial barrier to their right to freedom of expression is often their difficulty with speech intelligibility. I have made it my mission to EMPOWER young adults with speech and language deficits not only to FIND their voice, but also to USE their voice to exercise their right to freedom of expression, a right granted to us ALL. My promise is to give my clients the tools and confidence they need to communicate effectively in pursuit of their dreams!