Vinni Panikkar


B.A. Communication Disorders, University of North Dakota
M.S. Communication Disorders, University of South Florida, 
Clinical Faculty, University of British Columbia
Registered Autism Service Provider (RASP)

Vinni is well respected in the professional community.  She has worked for over 35 years with infants, children, adolescents,  and adults in multiple settings. She also supervises students, has been involved in research and specializes with communication needs arising from mental health challenges. She is the founder of GIS Speech Co.

Her work is guided by the following principles of attunement from the client’s perspective:

  • Do they accept me and take me seriously?
  • Do they let me express what I am thinking/feeling?
  • Do they provide me with what I am ready to learn?

Vinni works with a wide range of difficulties.  She is also experienced in providing group therapy.  The SpeechAct Program was developed from her previous studies in theatre, and passion for creating innovative learning contexts.  

More about Vinni:

Vinni grew up with a father who was a physician and a mother who was a psychiatrist.  Vinni was born in St. Lucia, and lived in Africa and England, before immigrating to Northern Manitoba in 1964, and Winnipeg in 1970.  Her life experiences have been diverse, dramatic, and instrumental in shaping the understanding and respect she has for differences in culture, perspective, and communication.  She obtained her undergraduate degree in Communication Disorders from University of North Dakota, and her Masters Degree from the University of South Florida. Following that she returned to work in rural Manitoba, Winnipeg Children’s Hospital and the Scarborough School District in Toronto.  

While working at Children’s Hospital in Winnipeg, she was involved in longitudinal research projects looking at the relationship between low birthweight and language disorders from 12 months through 5 years. She also spearheaded original research examining maternal affect, dyadic interaction, and communication patterns in at risk populations, and presented her work internationally.  

 In 1990 Vinni settled in B.C. From that time she has worked consistently in multiple facilities and has been developing her private practice. She opened the office on Granville Island in 2013, and incorporated the growing business,  Granville Island Speech Inc. in 2016. She currently works part time at the Children’s Hospital in the Mental Health Programs and has extensive experience working with communication difficulties that co-exist with a multitude of other psychiatric diagnoses.


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