Speech Pathology in an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Practice Context

Speech Pathology Paediatric Indigenous Network (SPPIN): This national forum shares information, resources and professional support. SPPIN is a closed Facebook group that people can request to join.  The forum welcomes student members.

Working in a Culturally and Linguistically Diverse Society:  This link directs you to the Clinical Guidelines page of Speech Pathology Australia.  Here you will see that Speech Pathology Australia  has developed a clinical guideline to assist Speech Pathologists work with Culturally and Linguistically Diverse populations.  

Speech Pathology and Indigenous Children: This link to the Speech Pathology Australia website's page on 'Fact Sheets' allows the user to access a succinct Fact Sheet "Speech Pathology and Indigenous Children".

Deadly Ears Program: Queensland Health's Statewide Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Ear Health Program for children raises awareness and provides information about the impact of ear disease in children. The multidisciplinary team also provides intervention and works with communities to help children hear, talk and learn. The website includes a lot of resources and information about Indigenous hearing and examples of the programs they provide.

Indigenous EarInfoNet:  This site provides very comprehensive information and resources about ear disease and hearing. 

Speech Pathology Australia are also working towards the development of a 'Reconciliation Action Plan' as they have recognised the need to engage with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and their organisations. 

Useful journal articles for speech pathology students on clinical education placement

Cultural Diversity:  A special issue of ACQuiring Knowledge in Speech, Language and Hearing, Vol 13(3), 2011 has some very relevant and interesting articles about speech pathology issues associated with working with Indigenous children:

  • Working with children from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds: Implications for assessment and intervention – Cori Williams
  • Examining culturally valid language assessments for Indigenous children – Petrea Cahir
  • Partnerships: A service delivery option for speech pathology in Indigenous communities - Andrea Coleman, Tania Porter, Ursula Barber, Jillian Scholes and Helen Sargison

Gould, J. (2008) The Affects of Language Assessment Policies in Speech-Language Pathology on the Educational Experiences of Indigenous Students. Current Issues in Language Planning, 9, 299-316.

Gould, J. (2008). Non-standard assessment practices in the evaluation of communication in Australian Aboriginal children. Clinical Linguistics and Phonetics, 22, 643–657.

Pearce, W. and Williams, C. (2013) The cultural appropriateness and diagnostic usefulness of standardized language assessments for Indigenous Australian children. International Journal of Speech-Language Pathology, 15(4), 429-440.

Simpson, J. and Wigglesworth, G. (eds.), (2008) Children's Language and Multilingualism: Indigenous Language Use at Home and School. Continuum Publishing Company, London.




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