SAC's goals evolve and grow from year to year, based on current issues and member priorities. But the one thing that stays the same is our commitment to raising awareness about the importance of early identification and intervention of communication health issues and the professionals who can help (our members!)
The ability to communicate effectively with others is the very foundation of a child's social, emotional and educational development; and, research has shown that the first five years is the most critical period for growth.
Early identification and intervention of speech, language and hearing disorders is absolutely key: the earlier a problem with communication health is identified, the better the outcomes of intervention. Because learning is a cumulative process, difficulties early-on can have a cascading effect on the rest of a child’s life. A slow start out of the gate will mean playing catch-up for years to come.
Below are some examples of how we've promoted this message directly and threaded it through many of our other work and advocacy efforts.
Position Paper: Early Identification of Speech & Language Disorders
Speech-Language and Audiology Canada (SAC) supports a national, formalized and standardized strategy for the early identification of speech and language problems.
Such a strategy is essential to child development services and will benefit all the people of Canada. The early identification of speech and language problems is integral to prevention of associated problems in communication, literacy and cognition and is fundamental for lifelong learning and well-being.
Early Identification Campaign: Reaching out Through Canada's Children's Hospitals. Learn more.
International Communication Project: 2014
SAC is involved in the organization of an international year of awareness in 2014, along with other national speech-language pathology and audiology associations. One of the three key messages of this campaign will be: Early Intervention is Key. Learn more.
Early Hearing Detection and Intervention (2014)
On Tuesday, March 25, 2014, Speech-Language and Audiology Canada released a report card on the state of early hearing detection and intervention (EHDI) programs across Canada. Learn more.
Submission to The Senate Standing Committee on Social Affairs, Science and Technology
Our 2011 submission to the Senate Standing Committee on Social Affairs, Science and Technology, included two sections that highlighted the value of early identification and intervention. Read our submission.
Liberal Roundtable: The Health of Canadians: 2017
In January of 2010, SAC attended a Liberal Roundtable entitled "the Health of Canadians; 2017" on Parliament Hill, hosted by Carolyn Bennett (Liberal Health Critic) and Kirsty Duncan (Liberal Public Health Critic). The purpose of the event was to get feedback on health goals and potential priorities for the Liberal party platform. This was also a key opportunity to talk about the importance of early identification of communication disorders (SAC's lobbying priority for 2010).
Please note that some of the documents above were created when SAC was called the Canadian Association of Speech-Language Pathologists and Audiologists (CASLPA).