International Journal of Speech-Language Pathology is an international journal which promotes discussion on a broad range of current clinical and theoretical issues linked with Speech Pathology Australia. A special edition has been published focusing on the World Report on Disability and people with communication disability.
While we often focus on services very locally, talking about LEAs, local NHS services and indeed our own independent practices and clients who reside in the same postcode, this edition of the journal takes us on a journey around the world, exploring issues for people with communication disabilities; service considerations and the perhaps offers lessons that can be applied locally, as well as globally.
Articles look at underserved populations, looking at both how communication disabilities are defined, as well as the implications the World Report on Disability may have for this population. Sue Roulstone and Sam Harding look at Defining communication disability in under-served communities in response to the World Report on Disability and Karen Wylie and her co-authors article, Changing practice: Implications of the World Report on Disability for responding to communication disability in under-served populations, look at this issue also. Examples of different perspectives regarding the implications of the report in Brazil, India and Bolivia are provided; each bringing various considerations.
In some countries (Viet Nam and Uganda) the focus in on developing speech and language therapy as a profession and developing the capacity to meet the needs of people with communication disabilities. Two articles explore the education of speech and language therapists in Malaysia, including the use of student led services.
Collaboration is a popular theme. An article spotlighting Ghana looks at how collaboration may aid in addressing barriers for people with communication disabilities. Australian researchers look at the lessons gathered from collaboration in an urban Aboriginal and Torres Strait Island school. In West African French speaking countries, the focus is on knowledge and skills transfer between minority and majority countries.
The commentaries provided by the contributing authors is summarised and synthesised in the final article written by McAllister, Wylie, Davidson and Marshall. They summarise some of the proposals emerging from the articles include identification of which people wtih communication disabilities are currently underserved and how this may be changed and the collection of epidemiological data. It also looks at the adoption of new roles and strategies for speech and language therapists and the potential for public health communication disability workers who would work alongside SLT/SLPs to help look at the challenges of community-directed vs. individual-focused approaches.
This journal edition is available (free today). February 2013 Vol. 15, No. 1 Scientific forum: World Report on Disability and people with communication disabilityCurrent Issue
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