Sara Shirley

Director of Undergraduate Studies
Clinical Educator/Instructor


  • MS, The University of Alabama, 2013
  • BA, The University of Alabama, 2011


Sara Shirley earned her Bachelor of Arts degree and her Master of Science degree from The University of Alabama.  She is a speech-language pathologist, and she specializes in the area of acquired neurogenic cognitive-communicative disorders. She is also certified to provide Lee Silverman Voice Treatment (LSVT – LOUD).  She began her career by working as a speech-language pathologist in skilled nursing facilities and hospitals across West Alabama.  She served as an off-campus supervisor for graduate student clinicians while working in these various medical facilities, and she joined the faculty of The University of Alabama Department of Communicative Disorders in 2016.  She currently serves as a clinical educator and instructor for the department.  As a clinical educator, she supervises undergraduate and graduate student clinicians as they provide individual and group therapy services to adults with cognitive-communicative changes following medical events such as strokes and traumatic brain injuries.  She also teaches an undergraduate course – CD 422 – Acquired Neurological Disorders.

Sara Shirley’s research interests include aphasia and traumatic brain injury. She is part of a research and service team that collaborates with the Alabama Head Injury Foundation (AHIF) and numerous departments/colleges across the UA campus that provides resources to traumatic brain injury survivors and their caregivers through an annual camp.

Sara Shirley is the Director of Undergraduate Studies for Communicative Disorders, and she also serves as a co-advisor for the University’s chapter of the National Student Speech Language Hearing Association (NSSLHA).  She is The University of Alabama Speech and Hearing Center’s HIPAA Security Officer as well.

Sara Shirley is a member of the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA), and she maintains an Alabama Board of Examiners for Speech-Language Pathology (ABESPA) license.  She is also a member of and the Continuing Education Lending Library (CELL) Committee Chair for the Speech and Hearing Association of Alabama (SHAA).


  • Supervise undergraduate and graduate student clinicians providing individual and group speech therapy services to the adult and geriatric populations at The University of Alabama Speech and Hearing Center
  • Instructor for CD 422 – Acquired Neurological Disorders
  • Director of Undergraduate Studies
  • Co-advisor of National Student Speech Language Hearing Association – University of Alabama Chapter
  • University of Alabama Speech and Hearing Center HIPAA Security Officer