The Director of the CIRCA is Pat Mirenda, Professor in the Dept. of Educational and Counselling Psychology and Special Education at UBC. She is a Board Certified Behavior Analyst and currently teaches graduate courses on autism, augmentative communication, positive behavior support, and inclusive education at UBC. In 2004, she was awarded the Killam Teaching Prize in the Faculty of Education at UBC and was named a Fellow of the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association. In 2008, she was named a Fellow of the International Society for Augmentative and Alternative Communication. Currently, she is co-investigator on a 5-year, multi-site study of the developmental trajectories of children with autism and their families; and on a cross-Canada autism research training project, both funded by the Canadian Institutes for Health Research. She supports numerous graduate students in her research lab at UBC and presents regularly at national and international conferences. She has published over 150 research articles and chapters related to autism, including Augmentative and alternative communication: Supporting children and adults and complex communication needs (2005) and Autism and augmentative/alternative communication (2009).