Rajinder Koul is the Chair of the department and Houston Harte Centennial Professor in the Department of Speech, Language, and Hearing Sciences. He holds a Ph.D in Speech-Language Pathology with an emphasis in augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) from Purdue University. He served as the Chair, Associate Dean for Research, and Assistant Vice President for Research at Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center before joining the University of Texas at Austin. His research efforts have primarily focused on understanding the symbol, referent, and instructional variables that influence graphic symbol learning in persons with severe communication impairment as a consequence of developmental or acquired disabilities. Within this broad area, he has focused on synthetic speech perception, role of synthetic speech output on graphic symbol learning, and efficacy of AAC intervention in persons with aphasia.
His work has been published in peer-reviewed journals such as Brain and Language, Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, American Journal of Speech-Language Pathology: A Journal of Clinical Practice, Aphasiology, ActaNeuropsychologica, Augmentative and Alternative Communication, Focus on Autism and Developmental Disabilities, Journal of Assistive Technologies, and Disability and Rehabilitation. He has authored numerous book chapters and edited a book on Augmentative and Alternative Communication for adults with aphasia. He is the recipient of the Mary E. Switzer Distinguished Rehabilitation Research Fellowship from the National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research, United States Department of Education. In 2005, he was named a Fellow of the American Speech, Language, and Hearing Association (ASHA). The status of Fellow is one of the highest honors ASHA can bestow. As a Fulbright Scholar, he taught a graduate course at Hallym University in South Korea in 2013 and presented workshops and seminars at the University of Pretoria, South Africa in 2015. He currently serves as a co-editor for Evidence-based Communication Assessment and Intervention and associate editor for Augmentative and Alternative Communication journal.