As owner and instructor at Communication Junction, Abbey Cook handles curriculum development and day-to-day business operations, while providing sign language instruction to children with a focus on early communication and vocabulary development. Since starting the business eight years ago, she has continually adapted the curriculum to better suit the needs of her clients and the community. For her efforts, Communication Junction was twice voted one of Red Tricycle’s “Totally Awesome Language Classes” by families in the community.
After serving as a speech-language pathologist in Virginia, Cook returned to Peoria in 2010 and began teaching American Sign Language classes. She became involved with the Signing Time Academy, and through this experience, Communication Junction was born. She was named a regional director for the Academy, certifying and mentoring instructors throughout the Midwest and earning the distinction of Master Signing Time Academy Instructor.
As Cook was building her business, she also provided private speech-language services, served as an instructor and clinical supervisor at Illinois State University, and worked as an itinerant speech language pathologist for the Special Education Association of Peoria County. Recognizing a local need for early intervention in language development for infants and toddlers through sign language, she became certified as an Early Intervention Provider. She is also a certified Speech Language Pathologist and member of the Peoria Area Speech and Hearing Association.
As a volunteer for Crittenton Centers, Cook serves on its Board of Directors, fundraising and marketing committees, and is chairing this year’s Stocking Stuffer Store. She also plays an active role in fundraising, marketing and event promotion for the Peoria PlayHouse Children’s Museum, having recently joined its Advisory Board.
Knowing firsthand the daily challenges of being a mom and entrepreneur, Cook saw a need to network with others like her, which brought about the creation of Central Illinois Mompreneurs. She is an active member of Kellar Primary School’s Parent Teacher Organization and a past recipient of WEEK’s 25 Women in Leadership award. iBi