PrAACtically Heartbroken

July 17, 2014 by - 58 Comments

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“I have lost more than a beloved friend. I have lost an inspiration. She would rather light a candle than curse the darkness, and her glow warmed the world.” (Adlai Stevenson)

PrAACtically Heartbroken

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This post was written by Carole Zangari


  • Jeanne Tuthill says:

    I am stunned by this news and so saddened to hear of the loss of such an inspiring and amazing person. My heart goes out to her family and friends, and especially to you Carole. Much love and many prayers go out to you as you grieve the loss of your friend.

  • Teri Hamill says:

    I first met Robin in grad school — some thirty years ago. A gentle and loving woman even then, she grew more so with time and life’s experiences. She lived her life dedicated to her family and to educating others. She has impacted many lives and will be missed and remembered fondly.

  • Anne Mahoney says:

    Dear Carol,
    I send you my condolences. This is a loss to all of the AAC world and especially to her family and friends .

  • Robin leaves a legacy of not only helping so many individuals with autism, but also the fact that she shared that knowledge with so many others.

  • Deb says:

    I am so sorry to hear of her passing. Much sympathy to her family and friends.

  • Deb says:

    So sorry to hear of her passing. Extending my sympathy to her family and friends.

  • Ajit says:

    Carole, this is such a shock. I feel absolutely gutted by the news.
    Robin was one of warmest, most selfless people I’ve ever interacted with. She always had a moment and kind word for everyone she worked with, and my team and I always came away inspired after any interaction with her.

    In the intimate and familial world that is AAC, each loss diminishes each of us, and no loss more than Robin’s, whose passion, enthusiasm, and willingness to help anyone endeared her to all of us – be we halfway around the world.

    We’re heartbroken, too. My thoughts are with her family and with you, Carole, who must surely feel the loss with so much pain.

    God bless,


  • Joslyn says:

    Dr. Parker was my supervisor (and for real mentor!) during my clinic 2 experience. I am beyond saddened to hear of her passing. She instilled so much knowledge in me that I use to this day. She made me feel more secure and confident as a clinician before entering “the real world”. I still use lessons learned from her to this day as I continue to work with children on the spectrum. She will certainly be missed, what a huge loss this is. I would like to send my condolences to her family.

  • Karyn Henry says:

    I am sorry and stunned to hear this news – Robin was a teacher, mentor and was forever helpful to colleagues and children. She will be so so missed in all walks of life – my condolences to her family, children and colleagues 🙁

  • Gloria Soto says:

    I am deeply saddened by the news. Robin was so full of life and love…My dear Carole I know you are devastated by her loss. I wish I could be there right now to hold you tight. Please know that there are hundreds of us thinking of Robin, her family and friends and hoping you find solace in knowing what an amazing contribution Robin made in the lives of thousands.

  • We are so sorry to hear this. Robin’s knowledge and willingness to share have taught us a lot and strengthened our skillsets in regard to working with people who have communication needs. We are thinking of Robin, her family, and her friends.

  • My heart and prayers go out to you and Robin’s family. I’m so sorry for the loss of a gifted woman.

  • Tina Murphy says:

    Many prayers and well-wishes to her friends and family. She will be truly missed!

  • Cathy Susskind says:

    Robin’s passing is a loss to the entire community. Her dedication to the families with children with autism will be sorely missed. My heart goes out to all of you at this most difficult time.

  • Tanya Coyle says:

    I am so sorry to hear this. My thoughts are with you, Carol!


  • DS says:

    I extend my condolences. Robin was such an inspiring and dedicated person who willingly shared her knowledge. She will certainly be missed!

  • SLPTanya says:

    Carole I am so sorry to hear this!! My thoughts are with you.

  • Pam Harris says:

    Our hearts are heavy hearing the news of Dr. Parker’s passing. Her easy-to-understand posts on PrAACtical AAC have helped countless parents and families progress on their AAC journey. She shared information that guided us as we built strong foundations for our sons and daughters/ brothers and sisters/ moms and dads who rely on AAC. May she rest in peace.

  • Jennifer Marden says:

    Such an awful loss for her friends and family and all the people whose lives she touched. Please let us know if the family has any wishes for honoring her memory.

  • Ann says:

    Oh my, this is such shocking news. I am so sorry. You and her family are in my thoughts and prayers. Such a loss for all of us.

  • Mary-Louise says:

    Oh Carole, I am in shock. Robin has been such an inspiration and online mentor for me. You are both game changers and I am forever grateful that you started PrAACtical AAC. All my love to you. I hope you can feel the love and support raining down on you from all over the world. Xxxx M-L

  • Jane Farrall says:

    I am so very sorry to hear this – like so many of us, I have benefited so much for all Robin shared and gave to the AAC Community. Thanks Robin.

  • Cyndee Bowen says:

    Carole, there is a serious “disturbance in the force” with Robin’s passing! I am so sorry for your personal loss. I am especially sorry that her talent is gone from us far too soon. Sincere condolences to her family, friends, and colleagues.

  • Deanna Wagner says:

    So sorry for your loss, Carole, and for the loss to the AAC world. I met Robin only briefly, but have enjoyed and recommended many of her thoughtful and insightful posts. She will truly be missed. I can’t help but add my voice to the many who are sending thoughts and prayers to her friends and family.

  • This is unexpected and tragic news. Robin has been such a wonderful contributor to the field of AAC and an inspiration to many. Both myself, Russell, and my colleague, Chip Clarke, send our condolences to all. A sad day.

  • Melanie says:

    My heart hurts for the loss of such a wonderful, supportive professional who has contributed so much to the special ed community. Although I never met her face to face, she shared so much through her blog as well as other online communities. Robin will be missed. Sending prayers…

  • Cindy smith says:

    I am so sorry for your loss. Robin has done amazing things for our children. She helped my daughter Chloe get her first AAC device and provide support and love to our family. My heart goes out to you Carol and the amazing team. I am saddened such a wonderful woman had such a short time on this earth. God Bless

  • The AssistiveWare family joins the AAC community in mourning the passing of Dr. Robin Parker. Her contributions were many and will be missed.

  • Cassandra S. says:

    So sad and unexpected to hear. Her passing will have a far reaching ripple effect. Sending out thoughts and prayers.

  • Bonnie Emerson says:

    I am shocked and heartbroken to hear of Robin Parker’s passing. She is gone way too soon. I feel so sad for her husband, children, parents and entire family as well as her friends. It is a terrible loss for everyone. I have many very fond memories of Robin over the past 20+ years. As a clinical supervisor and instructor at NSU Robin was inspiring and passionate about our field. I last saw her at the airport on the way to ASHA in Chicago last year. I am so happy I got to spend those few minutes speaking with her. I did not know it would be the last time

  • Tim VIllegas says:

    This is so shocking…this is a huge loss to the education and assistive technology community. I simply don’t have the words. My thoughts and prayers go out to you and Robin’s family.

  • Our sincere sympathies from the Down Syndrome Connection of the Bay Area!

  • Carole,

    The world seem to stop for me today when I read this heartbreaking news. It’s so hard to accept when these things happen to wonderful people.

    Along with you, Robin has been one of the key mentors that has bolstered my knowledge and encouraged me to keep learning and sharing. I enjoyed every moment I spent learning from her, speaking to her, and reading her pearls of wisdom.

    I ache for her family, you and her extended Nova family, and the rest of the AAC community who will not be able to benefit from her continued guidance. What a tremendous loss. I am hopeful that as each of us AAC folks move forward in our quests to share and educate the world, we do so with the same fervor the Robin did, always remembering her tremendous contributions.

    With love,

  • Randi Sargent says:

    Although I did not have the pleasure of meeting Robin in person, I feel I got to know her warmth and commitment to AAC users through her insightful posts and articles. Her voice will be missed.

  • Essa Kennedy says:

    We were so blessed to have Dr. Parker in our community helping children and families as well as teaching students in the profession. I am in awe of the far reaching impact Dr. Parker had on this world, what a beautiful life. Dr. Z, you and all who loved her are in my prayers.

  • Kate says:

    Devastating news. My thoughts are with you Carole. I am thankful for all the help that I sought from Robin’s blog posts and tweets and her general online presence!

  • Erin says:

    We at Kreed’s World are heart broken. She was an inspiration to many and an inspiration to me on pushing Kreed further and filming and blogging about it. If there is anything we can do, please let me know.

  • My sincere condolences and sympathy. How very sad.

  • I was so sad to hear the news of Robins passing this morning! I had the opportunity to talk with Robin on many occasions over the last 2 years, and considered a dear friend and mentor. Robin was a beacon of light for so many, not least of all us. She was the first to know of our work outside our small team here in Australia. She patiently listened to our crazy ideas, giving freely of her time and expertise, and asked nothing in return. Her contribution cannot be overstated. She was a rare soul with an unbelievably generous spirit and commitment to improving the lives of everyone around her. Mere words really don’t begin to do justice to a life so well lived, but in all things Robin you will forever be an inspiration to us and the countless families you have helped over the years and will likely continue to help through your contributions to projects like our own and the incredible legacy you and Carole have created in PrAACticalAAC.

    Thank you Robin on behalf of us all, with love.

    Wayne Whatford
    Founder, AACORN AAC

  • Celeste Helling says:

    I am deeply, deeply saddened by this news. I never had the opportunity to meet Dr. Parker in person, however she was always extremely helpful and generous with advise and support on projects we communicated about via e-mail. Even through e-mail correspondence, her enthusiasm and personality was always evident. I doubt Dr. Parker ever met someone with whom she did not leave a positive and lasting impact.

  • Kathleen Post says:

    My deepest condolences to you Carole and to Robin’s family. What a significant loss to so many of us— I have learned so much and marveled constantly at the consistently outstanding, generous and ‘real’ information she shared via her postings, blog and teaching. I know that her work and her memory will live on through the countless lives she has touched. May you find some comfort in these sad days …..

  • Kelly Van Singel says:

    My deepest condolences and heartfelt sympathies for this tragic loss. Robin will be missed by the AAC and autism communities. Offering prayers of comfort to her family and friends.

  • Kelly Hungaski says:

    I am so sorry to hear this news. I have found a wealth of knowledge in her posts and information she has shared. My thoughts and prayers go out to all of you.

  • Charity smith-Engelin says:

    Carole, I just found out about Robin through an article posted by Wren on Facebook. Today, while I was unpacking my speech stuff from my recent move, I ran across notes from the AAC seminar that she conducted this past fall. I wanted to let you know that both of you and Mary Ann Lowe are an inpiration to me in this field. Take care.

  • Margie Anderson says:

    As a newcomer to the AAC world I feel like I have only just discovered Robin and the vast wealth of her expertise and generosity. God bless those who knew and loved her well. Thank you Robin for leaving a legacy of resources I know will guide me in the future.

  • Joan Bruno says:

    Carole, I am so sorry to hear about your loss. Robin has made such a significant contribution to the field of AAC. My heart goes out to you and your team. I wish your strength at this difficult time.

  • Marcel Marin says:

    Dr. Zangari,

    I am terribly sorry for the loss of your colleague and friend.

  • Carrie Manchester says:

    Such sad news. My thoughts and prayers are with you and with Robin’s family.

  • Vicki Clarke says:

    So deeply sorry to hear of your loss, Carole. A terrible loss to the world.

  • Karen Brown says:

    Dr. Parker was truly an amazing professor and expert in her field. She had such a natural and comforting ability instructing, lecturing, and simply listening. I will remember her voice, smile, and passion for her work.

  • Debbie Buxton says:

    I’m so sorry for your loss Carole. This site and your dedication to AAC was the first glimmer of hope I found in a long search looking for help for my sons communication needs. Amazing that people I’ve never met have made such a difference in our lives. We will be forever grateful.

  • Megan Gross says:

    I am deeply saddened by this news. I wish you, Dr. Parker’s colleagues, and family peace and comfort during this heartbreaking time.

  • Elisa Parker says:

    I am so sorry for your loss. I have learned and shared so much from you and Dr. Parker through this website. Her expertise will live on on the legacy she has provided in her work and the many lives she has impacted.

  • Baila Brecher says:

    So sorry to hear this news. I love the website, and have learned so much from it. I hope you are able to keep it up.

  • Jennifer Bergstrom says:

    I am so sorry for your loss and the great loss in the Autism and AAC community. I have lost count on the amount of Dr. Parker’s and your work I have shared with colleagues and families.

  • Amy Taylor says:

    Dr. Parker’s insights will be sorely missed in the special needs community. Our condolences.

  • John Strickler says:

    Very, very sorry to hear about this. My condolences.

  • Katie Herzog says:

    My heart is breaking for Robin’s family, friends, colleagues and all the people whose lives have been touched by her and her love and sweetness –

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