«Vibrations Notice of Annual General Meeting Advocacy Update News from UBC School of Audiology & Speech Sciences September 2014 The S.E.E.D. Project ...»
IN THIS ISSUE
SLPs on Strike
Reflections on an International Health Project
www.bcaslpa.ca Mac Rambali - Many Thanks
Notice of Annual General Meeting
News from UBC School of
Audiology & Speech Sciences
September 2014 The S.E.E.D. Project
PRESIDENT’S MESSAGE Hello to SLPs and Audiologists throughout BC. I hope that you have had a great summer. This will be the final President’s Message from me, so let me take a moment to thank everyone for the great opportunity it has been to serve as your President. I have enjoyed immensely the chance to get to know so many great people throughout the association and province. I am excited for the direction the association is moving and look forward to seeing the great things to come.
As we prepare for the next couple of months I am looking forward to the conference in October. It will be a great opportunity and I am told we are already experiencing an increase in registrants. The conference committee has worked very hard and has done a great job in organizing a great event. I hope to see all of you there.
I am proud to have served with such a great council and think that the direction we have taken for advocacy and awareness has shown great dividends. As we move forward in this direction I hope that we all are aware of opportunities to let others know of our professions, and all the great things we can accomplish together.
See you in October.
Brent Clayson 2014 BCASLPA CONFERENCE: $100 MEMBER PRICE Early Bird Registration Deadline – September 15 Don’t forget to register for the 2014 BCASLPA Conference. The focus this year is on Evidence Based Practice. You may already know that the price is only $100!! After September 15, the price increases to $150 for members.
Come and be inspired by informative sessions, interesting exhibitors and a chance to meet your colleagues. This year’s conference will take place at the Vancouver Marriott Pinnacle Downtown. The room rate is $139 per night plus taxes. Please book your room using BCASLPA’s Marriott Reservation Form by October 2nd.
Here is the conference package full of information on the speaker line-up, presentation topics and hotel details. See you in October.
Please note that there is no Audiology stream at the 2014 Conference due to CAA’s Annual Conference in Whistler in October. Audiology members will have access to a webinar recorded at the SAC’s Annual Conference.
S LPS ON STRIKEMany people in BC have called the current labour unrest in our schools “the teachers’ strike”. While it is true the majority of the BCTF is composed of teachers, there are many speech-language pathologists that are a part of this union. In fact, school SLPs fall under the term “learning specialists” as do educational psychologists, counsellors, and librarians. So, how has the strike/lockout affected BC school
SLPs? The following list touches on some of the ways:
No time for anything else During the government lockout, union members were not to be on school premises 45 minutes before and after school and were not to work at recess and lunch time. In addition, they were advised to not access government websites (including email) or take any work home during these times. This made it extremely difficult to complete assessment reports, respond to emails, write year-end summaries and prepare therapy materials as SLPs are usually at schools working with students during school hours.
Not being able to come to work early, work at lunch, or leave late made it impossible to keep up with necessary tasks.
Ratios, caseloads, and workloads Many SLPs across the province did not realize that the BCTF tabled district ratios for our position. An example of a ratio would be 1 SLP for 1,250 students. This means that if a school district had 12,500 students, 10 SLPs would be hired. This was new terminology for school SLPs as concepts “caseload” and more recently “workload” have been the current approaches in the area of speech language pathology.
In fact, recommended ratios for school SLPs were very difficult to find despite searching the internet and contacting other SLPs. This emphasized the disconnect that often exists between school SLPs and the education system.
What do we do with this report?
There was lots of confusion regarding SLP year-end reports and assessment findings. Teachers were given very specific instructions on how to handle report cards, IEPs, and educational assessments before the full strike at the end of June. At first, there was very little direction for SLPs and other special education professionals on the procedures for reporting information to parents and administrators. As a result, many SLPs were confused and felt the job action was contradicting the documentation and reporting procedures as outline by CSHHBC. Many issues were eventually clarified with local union officials but it is estimated that many school SLPs did not complete year-end summaries. Decisions on these documents will have to be made when school resumes, adding to an already hectic time of year.
Social media Many union members, including SLPs, turned to social media to express their views, find up-to-theminute information, and ask questions of other educational professionals in BC. As a result, school SLPs were able to raise awareness about their caseloads and connect with other SLPs in BC and in North America. Job action highlighted the importance of social media in advocating for students and improved speech/language services.
Even though labour action has been extremely challenging and full of uncertainties, it has provided school SLPs with an opportunity for a voice and the hope of improved caseloads.
Jason Sirianni, RSLP, Kamloops School District
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REFLECTIONS ON AN INTERNATIONAL
HEALTH PROJECT IN LEH, LADAKH, INDIATwo weeks into working with professionals in the Pediatric Unit for Special Children and speech therapists in the ENT department at the Sonoo Norboo Memorial Hospital, I finally have time to reflect on the differences between service delivery in Canada, where services are well established and India, where services are still developing. In both environments there are hard working dedicated professionals providing assessment and intervention services and amazing families who are living with children with a wide range of developmental, neurological, learning, hearing and speech language problems.
Ladakh is part of the Jammu Kashmir region of India protected from tourism till the 1970s. Bordered by Pakistan and China, Ladakh has a strong military presence, but the last major outbreak of violence was in 1999 when Ladakh came to the attention of the international world with the Kargil war with Pakistan. Today Leh, the capital city, is bustling with local trekkers and Indian tourists during the summer months. Smart phones and satellite dishes are increasingly ubiquitous.
Views towards disability are quite diverse, but regardless of religion (Bhuddist, Muslim, Hindu or Sikh), there are still undercurrents of guilt and shame. The disability movement is gaining strength and mothers are now asking for help from doctors and other professionals. Many professionals blend traditional and western medicine.
In Ladakh there is a plentitude of NGOs funding services and good works. One Italian NGO (AEVO) http:// www.aevo.org/web_ENG/progetti/Ladakh_EN.html has worked with the ENT department to set up and maintain a newborn hearing screening program for all hospital births and has trained staff on cerumen removal, audiological & ABR testing as well as hearing aid fitting. Cochlear implants, although fitted in other parts of India, are not yet used in Leh. The addition of an equipped ambulance has enabled outreach audiological services to outlying villages where health services are limited.
Speech-Language Pathologists and Audiologists are highly aware of the challenges faced by children with speech, language or hearing problems in the school system. An additional challenge for children in Ladakh is the
teaching style and mode of instruction. When children enter school they learn the alphabet in English and develop rote skills with minimal understanding of content. Children initially receive instruction in Hindi, Ladakhi, Urdu and English. Aptitude influences transition from nursery into grade school and many children languish with younger peers until their behaviour becomes too disruptive.
English increasingly becomes the mode of instruction, particularly in complex subject.
Handwriting also becomes essential for passing exams. Typically developing children are able to overcome these challenges, but children with poor speech and language skills face enormous challenges and receive no special education support.
The Vancouver Team from Sunnyhill Health Centre has focused its project on working with hospital staff to set up and develop children's services at the government hospital (SNM) in Leh and to advocate for children in the school system. Although interacting with children and families fulfils the personal needs of the Vancouver Team, the true work is in empowering the local professionals by supporting their initiatives, setting up systems and facilitating new learning. In Canada we take for granted continuing education opportunities and access to research through the internet and social media. Sharing these resources with the local professionals at Ladakh is extremely important.
So why do I do it? Why have I travelled to Ladakh four times? It certainly is not altruism. International work is challenging but there are tremendous opportunities for learning. Working in another culture challenges belief systems, provides opportunities for mutual learning and increases cultural awareness. It also allows sharing the wealth of knowledge we have at our fingertips in Canada and adapting it to the local context. Coaching and modelling allows others to expand skills and increases confidence in clinical skills for professionals who work in isolation.
After working overseas I am committed to exploring individual family cultures and experiences in much more depth when delivering services. After multiple experiences of sitting through meetings being unable to understand what is going on and having to wait patiently for the 10 second translation, I have increased empathy for those families who participate in information or planning meetings for their loved ones. It has been a humbling experience. I also embrace the professional autonomy that we have in BC - our hierarchical structures are looser than many other parts of the world.
Jullay, Kate Wishart, RSLP, BC Centre for Ability
Our website reflects our refreshed brand as seen on our trifold brochures, banners and other marketing materials.
The public can now, in addition to searching for a professional, find out more about a range of disorders by searching a new database based on age and area of concern.
Our added blog showcases regular articles and reports from members: we hope you read it and even submit an article yourself.
We’re currently working to add additional features to the website based on members’ feedback. We’re also improving the Find a Professional section to make it more responsive and intuitive for users.
Our projects include the following:
• Increasing the speed of the Find A Professional search function to make it more responsive to searches.
We’ll also ensure that anyone searching the database can return to his or her search results after clicking on a particular member’s profile.
• Linking the Disorders section with Find A Professional (Private) database so that users can search for professionals by the disorders they treat.
• Adding an entry point to the website for users who use browsers older than 2008 (as many health care authorities do not update these).
We will complete these initiatives by late September.
Do you have questions about the website? Do you feel unsure about how to create a member profile or interact with various sections? Read our new FAQ section, launching September 15, or please contact us with your comments and suggestions. Our website is a reflection of the wonderful work done by SLPs and Audiologists throughout the province and we are eager to make it as effective as possible!
The Advocacy Committee MAC RAMBALI - “MANY THANKS” BCASLPA member John Scott drew our attention to Mac Rambali’s obituary, written by Anthony Intas, originally published in the May 2014 BCAPS Blockbuster newsletter.