RSF-EARTHSPEAK is a non-profit foundation whose mandate is to work with communities in developing countries to increase services for people with cleft palate. Dr. Elizabeth Kay-Raining Bird (School of Human Communication Disorders) and Cindy Dobbelsteyn (Nova Scotia Hearing and Speech Centres) have been working through EARTHSPEAK with local partners in Portoviejo, Ecuador for 6 years. The local partners include the Department of Special Education, the Department of Health, the Rotary Club, Rostros Felices, the University of San Gregorio, Instituto Nacional de la Ninez y Familia, and the Fundacion Maria Claudia. Together, these partners provide surgical, speech and language, dental, orthodontal, psychology and ENT/hearing supports to individuals who have cleft palate and their families throughout Manabi Province. Elizabeth and Cindy travel to Ecuador at least once per year. As often as possible, speech-language pathology students from the School of Human Communication Disorders accompany them as part of their clinical externship experiences. This year three students participated in the April mission: Allison Kavanagh, Emily Hastings, and Matthew Cochrane. They were involved in teacher and speech therapist training experiences, a parent training program, assessments of children with cleft palate, and organizational meetings. The students had the opportunity to observe several speech-language pathologists in their work in Ecuador and observe several cleft palate surgeries. The group had the unique opportunity this year to visit the Fundacion el Triangulo while in Quito, the capital of Ecuador. This program provides experiences in the arts to people with Down syndrome.
InteRACT, an acronym for “Intensive Residential Aphasia Communication Therapy” celebrates its 10th anniversary this year. The four-and-a-half week immersion program delivered by Dalhousie’s School of Human Communication Disorders brings patients and a communication partner to Halifax for intense rehabilitation designed to develop the skills to jumpstart or sustain their recovery.
The patients come from all across North America, from Scottsdale, Arizona to Mt. Pearl, Newfoundland, as there are only a handful of other programs that offer a rehabilitation experience as intensive as InteRACT. (A few that are similar, including programs in Chicago and in British Columbia, are actually based on the InteRACT model). The program involves both individual therapy sessions and group activities – not just at Dal, but also in the community. And students in the Master’s program program play a crucial part in that treatment regime.
There will also be a fundraiser for all of the School of Human Communications Disroders’ aphasia clinic services (including InteRACT, the communication group and book club) on March 30 from 7-9:30 p.m. at George Wright Hall (989 Young Avenue). The event will feature wine and cheese, a silent auction and live entertainment. Tickets are $20 at the door (or by email firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com).
For the full story, see the Dal News article: http://www.dal.ca/news/2012/03/22/teaching-how-to-talk-again.html?utm_source=NoticeDigest&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=dalnews
Dr. Rachel Caissie (School of Human Communication Disorders) is a contributor to the recently published book “Teaching Heart Auscultation to Health Professionals” edited by Dr. John Finley, a pediatric cardiologist with Dalhousie and the IWK Health Centre. The book details instructional methods for distinguishing between abnormal heart sounds using a stethoscope. Dr. Caissie, who holds a PhD in audiology, approached the topic of heart auscultation by “adapt(ing) techniques we use in audiology in which we train people with hearing aids and cochlear implants to make maximum use of what hearing they have left.” To learn more, read the DalNews story.
After 35 years, Dr. George Mencher has retired from active involvement in the School of Human Communication Disorders (SHCD). Dr. Mencher served as Director of the Nova Scotia Hearing and Speech Centres from 1973 until 1998 and was instrumental in founding the SHCD. He has contributed in many ways to the School over these past 35 years, not the least of which was teaching a course in Hearing Disorders to every class of students admitted to the School. Interestingly, this year – his last year of teaching – the class included the son of an audiologist who was a student in the School’s first class.
Despite his retirement from the NSHSC and the School, Dr. Mencher remains active in international work in audiology. Over the course of his professional life, he has worked as a volunteer professional in many countries, particularly in Latin America, to develop programs, train personnel, and provide services, and continues to do so. He has been an active participant in the International Society of Audiology, having served as President and Past-President and is currently serving as Secretary-General. He is a widely published researcher of many scholarly articles and eight books which include the highly regarded Early Identification of Hearing Loss, International Perspectives of Communication Disorders, and Auditory Dysfunction.
One of Dr. Mencher’s international colleagues has described him as “one of the most constructively active members of our profession over the period of its growth and maturation in the last half of the 20th century and in the present.” The SHCD is fortunate to have benefited from Dr. Mencher’s contributions these past 35 years and gratefully acknowledges his dedication and commitment to our programs and our students.
Congratulations to the following School of Human Communication Disorders students for being awarded the following scholarships:
- Dekota Clayton, second year student in the audiology program, was awarded the Nova Scotia Black and First Nation Scholarship.
- Kathleen Chiddenton and Andree-Anne Morrissey, both second year students in the speech-language pathology program, received a Canada Graduate Scholarship from SSHRC.
- Bonita Squires, a first year student in the speech-language pathology program, received a Canada Graduate Scholarship from CIHR.
(Photos: Laura Frazee)
As many of you already know, the School of Human Communication Disorders has moved. After 35 years at Fenwick Tower, the SHCD is now located in The Thompson at 1256 Barrington Street. Dalhousie’s Senior Management made the decision to move SHCD in early June, prompted by information about ongoing construction planned for Fenwick. It was an ambitious plan to find a suitable new location, have the space designed and built to meet their needs, and then execute the move – all before students arrived in early September. Miraculously, however, that did occur, and by September 2, 2011, the entire contents of the School were transferred to the newly constructed space at The Thompson – just a few days before students arrived to begin the new accademic year.
Although it is a temporary location, the space was specifically designed for the School and has a floor area comparable to their space at Fenwick. Faculty and students are very pleased with the new facility, and in particular are enjoying the bright natural light. The building is in pristine condition, having been newly renovated in the spring. The SHCD is very fortunate to have gained such fabulous space on short notice and appreciates the excellent work of the project teams of both Dalhousie’s Facilities Management and Universal Properties to make it all happen.