Twenty Years of speech-Language Therapy

Communication Works (CW) developed from the commitment of Elizabeth Sautter and Hillary Kissack, who followed their passion for supporting those with speech, language, social, and self-regulation challenges. They sought to help others communicate and connect in schools and privately. Working from the trunks of their cars, the duo developed a reputation in the community that led to an increased demand for their services. Fueled by this response and the need in the community, they strengthened connections, partnered with local schools, and became a  Non-Public Agency (NPA). They also began to train other speech-language therapists and provide education workshops.

CW began to take on a life of its own with Elizabeth and Hillary formalizing their partnership and opening their first Center in Oakland, California in 2004, which specialized in social communication and self-regulation.  The group evolved when other like-minded speech pathologists who shared both personal and professional interests and goals joined their team. The team became well known for professional passion and innovative therapy. It included published authors and songwriters like Leah Kuypers, Erica Bland, Carrie Lindemuth and Hanna Bogan, Kristen Wilson and Elizabeth Sautter, as well as Elizabeth as a sole author.  Their shared vision and passion for collaborating with other professionals across multiple disciplines, as well as with parents/caregivers, laid the groundwork for the company today.

In the Fall of 2007, CW expanded its vision to include an exceptional Clinical Fellowship (CF) Program headed by Audra L. Elliott.  Audra has over 25 years of experience teaching and mentoring supervisors, therapists, and clinical fellows.  She has taught and supervised at the university level, as well as in schools, early intervention programs, and private practice settings.  CW is well-known for providing stellar support and supervision to its employees.  We train qualified Speech-Language Pathologists (SLP) to become exceptional Supervisors who then support the profession through clinical training of speech language pathology assistants, graduate students taking part in internship opportunities, and clinical fellows.

CW has fostered an atmosphere in which speech-language therapists can grow and thrive both personally and professionally. Today, the company provides a nurturing employee experience that focuses on employee satisfaction, supervision/mentorship, professional development, and embracing a collaborative, multidisciplinary approach to therapy. We call our therapists “Rock Stars” because they are the foundation of our company (i.e., “rock”) and make a difference in so many lives, one “star”fish at a time.

The CW leadership team and staff are committed to giving back to the profession and community through volunteering and sharing information that strengthens communication and connections. Thanks to a cohesive team and their passion for the work they do, CW takes pride in its strong reputation for providing quality services and support for over 15 years and being an asset to the communities it serves.

Meet the Founders

Hillary Kissack, M.A., CCC-SLP
Executive Director/Co-Owner

Elizabeth Sautter, M.A., CCC-SLP
Executive Director/Co-Owner

Author of Make Social Learning Stick

Co-Author of the Whole Body Listening Larry book series

Audra Elliott, M.S., CCC-SLP
VP Program Development/Supervision