Jennifer Branchini (Founder) is a clinically certified speech language pathologist practicing in Washington, D.C. She received her M.A. in Communication Disorders from the University of Florida and a B.A. in Psychology from the University of Miami. Since beginning her career as a speech therapist, she has had the opportunity to work with clients varying in age from 18 months to 81 years old. While studying at the University of Florida, she gained clinical experience in outpatient and inpatient settings working with adults suffering from dysphagia, aphasia, left neglect and cognitive deficits secondary to strokes and traumatic brain injuries.
As a clinician, she has worked with both pediatric and adult clients in both private clinic and school settings. Her experience has included providing therapy to clients ranging from 15 months to 85 years of age , including those diagnosed with a range of disorders, such as, but not limited to: language, voice and articulation impairments, Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), down syndrome, cleft lip and palate, dyslexia, and stuttering.
Ms. Branchini’s clinical expertise and areas of special interest include craniofacial anomolies and cleft lip and palate. This expertise was developed while interning with the Craniofacial Team at Shands Hospital, University of Florida and while volunteering as a speech therapist in a number of craniofacial camps in Florida. Additionally, Ms. Branchini volunteered overseas at a speech therapy camp in Ukraine, where she evaluated and treated children with speech impairments secondary to velopharyngeal insufficiency, as well as other craniofacial anomolies. Other areas of professional interest include early intervention, reading/writing impairments and cognitive and language deficits resulting from stroke.
Ms. Branchini is licensed in Washington, DC and a member of the American Speech and Hearing Association and the National Stuttering Association. She is PROMPT trained and holds the Vital Stim Therapy certificate.
Angela Keila (Clinical Director) graduated with a Master of Arts in Speech-Language Pathology from Central Michigan University in Mt. Pleasant, MI. Angela is a member of the American Speech and Hearing Association and is ASHA special interest groups affiliate for Fluency Disorders, Language Learning and Education, Neurogenic Communication Disorders, and Dysphagia.
As a clinician, Angela has worked in a variety of settings including home health, skilled nursing, early intervention, schools, and private therapy. Her experience has included assessment and treatment of individuals with a variety of communication disorders including expressive and receptive language disorders, articulation/ phonological disorders, disorders in social aspects of communication, ASD, down syndrome, feeding/swallowing disorders, cochlear implants, hearing loss, stuttering, aphasia, dementia, dysphagia, TBI, and Parkinson’s. Angela enjoys continuing her education to assure she is using the most recent and effective evidence based practices with her patients. She prides herself on being creative and making therapy fun, functional, and individualized.
Lee Morra is a clinically certified speech-language pathologist practicing in Washington, D.C. He holds a Master of Arts in Speech-Language Pathology from George Washington University and a Bachelor of Science in Communication Sciences and Disorders from Ohio University.
Since beginning his career in speech therapy, Lee has worked with adult and pediatric clients from diverse cultural, linguistic, and socioeconomic backgrounds in a variety of settings. While completing his master’s degree, he had the opportunity to see patients at Children’s National Hospital Northern Virginia Outpatient Center, where he evaluated and provided therapy to children with a range of disorders, including receptive and expressive language disorders, speech sound disorders, Autism Spectrum Disorder, Down Syndrome, cleft lip and palate, and stuttering. At Ohio University, Lee developed expertise in accent modification while working two years with native speakers of Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Portuguese, Spanish, and Arabic. This opportunity allowed him to assist clients from diverse linguistic backgrounds improve their intelligibility in English and employ strategies independently. His training continued at George Washington University, where Lee worked with native speakers of Kurdish, Farsi, and Spanish.
As a clinician, Lee’s areas of concentration include the assessment and treatment of both adults and children with a variety of communication disorders, including expressive and receptive language disorders, stuttering (as well as other fluency disorders, such as cluttering), speech sound disorders, disorders in social aspects of communication, and cognitive and language deficits resulting from stroke. Other areas of professional interest include public speaking and accent modification.
Lee is a member of the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA) and is licensed in Washington D.C.
Kristen Schwandes is a speech-language pathologist practicing in Washington, D.C. She graduated with her Master of Arts in Speech-Language Pathology from The George Washington University and with her Bachelor of Arts in English from Duke University. She has clinical experience working with individuals across the lifespan, including those seeking services for head injury and stroke rehabilitation, literacy, accent modification, aural rehabilitation, developmental speech and language disorders, speech-motor disorders, stuttering, and transgender voice. Much of this experience was developed while working at T.C. Williams High School in Alexandria, VA and at an outpatient head injury rehabilitation center in Rockville, MD.
Kristen's special interests include working with transgender individuals. While at in the Transgender Voice lab in GW, she developed and distributed outreach materials for transgender individuals in the D.C. area and also organized a free voice training workshop for transgender and gender-nonconforming individuals at Whitman Walker Health. She assisted with research that identified voice-related barriers faced by transgender individuals of color in their transition.
Before she went to school for SLP, Kristen worked as an ESL teacher, preschool assistant, subject and standardized test tutor, and freelance writer. She brings all of these experiences into therapy. She believes that all therapy should be collaborative and truly personalized. She provides the speech and language expertise, while clients provide expertise on their own experience.
Rachel Oakford is a clinical fellow in speech-language pathology. She completed her Master of Science in Communication Disorders at Emerson College in Boston and her Bachelor of Arts in Linguistics at the University of Michigan. Prior to her work in speech therapy, Rachel was a behavior therapist at an early intervention autism center.
During her graduate career, she was fortunate to work with clients across the lifespan in both medical and educational settings. At Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital, she treated adults with a range of disorders including language, speech, voice, cognitive, and neurodegenerative. She enjoyed leading a community book club and assisting in community outing groups. Through work in multiple schools, she gained experience working with students aged 4-21 diagnosed with speech, language, motor, visual, hearing, intellectual and developmental impairments. Additionally, Rachel has been trained in evaluation and treatment for accent modification, transgender voice modification, augmented and alternative communication, counseling and family services, craniofacial anomalies, and Childhood Apraxia of Speech.
Rachel's clinical interests include cognitive and language deficits following traumatic brain injury, stroke or tumor, post-concussion syndrome, neurodegenerative disorders, and autism spectrum disorder.
Rachel is a member of the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA), and is licensed to practice in Washington, D.C.
Katie Nelson is our Community Outreach and Marketing Coordinator and the sister of District Speech founder Jen Branchini. Katie brings a wealth of knowledge from the hospitality industry, with a strong background in event planning and marketing.
Katie is a mom of a 6 year old, thus she adds a a greatly needed perspective to DS-that of a parent. She shares her strategies and struggles raising a child and applies that to the various decisions and choices she makes managing DS marketing. We are so lucky to have her!