Webinar – A Vision to Transform Canada’s Public Health System with Dr. Theresa Tam

The COVID-19 pandemic represents the biggest public health crisis that our country has confronted in a century. While our public health system and workforce extended itself to respond to COVID-19, public health was challenged in their capacity to address other important and public health issues. The pandemic has highlighted the strengths of our system but it has also exposed vulnerabilities. During this webinar, Dr. Theresa Tam discussed how we can join forces across communities and sectors to build the public health system that meets the needs of all people in Canada.

Click here to access the webinar


Call for Study Participants – Public Health Preparedness for Older Adults with Hearing and Vision Loss by Addressing the Barriers to Health Services and Health Information During and Post COVID-19


Credit: University of Montreal

Project goal:

The study aims to explore the challenges faced by healthcare professionals and other care providers (including those who provide rehabilitation care in a team) during COVID-19 while working with older adults with combined hearing and vision loss (or dual sensory loss/DSL). We aim to identify the service delivery and training needs to provide optimal care to older adults with DSL.

To participate, you must:

  • Be either a health care professional or a care provider working with seniors (65 years and older) living with combined hearing and vision loss
  • Be 18 years of age or older
  • Be a Canadian resident
  • Be fluent in French or English
  • Have access to a reliable internet connection, via a smart phone, tablet or computer

The nature of your participation:

  • Complete an online survey (15 minutes) on the challenges faced by professionals and other care providers in providing care to older adults with combined hearing and vision loss during the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • Participate in an optional online interview (30 minutes) to elaborate on the survey responses.

Duration of participation:

A total of 15 minutes for the survey or 30 minutes if you agree to participate in the optional interview.


Virtually. The questionnaire can also be mailed or made available by phone, if you wish.

The Ethics Committee for Clinical Research (CERC) at the University of Montreal has approved this research project.

The survey deadline is November 7, 2021.

For any questions, please contact a member of the University of Montreal team:
Responsible researcher and over-manager:

Walter Wittich
School of Optometry
University of Montreal
Phone: (514) 343-7962
Email: walter.wittich@umontreal.ca

Postdoctoral fellow:

Atul Jaiswal
School of optometry
University of Montreal
Phone: (514) 343-6111 – 29913
Email: atul.jaiswal@umontreal.ca


Watch SAC’s Virtual Recognition Event

The What:

Each year, Speech-Language & Audiology Canada (SAC)’s Award & Recognition Program recognizes members and associates who have made significant contributions to the association, the community, and the professions of speech-language pathology and audiology.

This Virtual Recognition Event will honour the recipients of SAC’s 2021-21 Award & Recognition Program, as well as announce an important change to this year’s awards cycle.

Visit our website to view a list of the 2020-21 award recipients.

The Why:

This year in particular, given the limited opportunities to meet in person and the ongoing challenges presented by the COVID-19 pandemic, SAC has decided to host a Virtual Recognition Event to properly acknowledge our award recipients in a significant way and in the presence of their peers. Everyone at SAC recognizes the immense contribution our members and associates make to their professions and communities, and we want to celebrate this dedication and determination.

Hosting an event of this nature became a priority for SAC, in order to properly recognize the boundless contributions our members and associates have made and continue to make. We wanted to create a celebration dedicated to recognizing our award recipients in a way that they truly deserve.

We will also be announcing an important change that has been made within the 2021-22 Awards & Recognition Program.

The When:

  • Wednesday, September 29, 2021, at 7:30 p.m. ET.

The How:

SAC’s Virtual Recognition Event has now passed. Watch the video recording below.


Make a Nomination for the 2021-22 Awards Cycle

Do you know a colleague, peer, fellow professional or mentor who goes above and beyond for the profession, their communities and/or SAC? Consider nominating them for an award through SAC’s 2021-22 Awards Program!


So You Want to Learn About Speech-Language Pathology? New Student Resource Guide

Credit: Evonne Syed & Imad Ali, McMaster University

Two students from McMaster University have developed a student resource guide which serves as an introduction to the profession of speech-language pathology for high school students, youth and all aspiring speech-language pathologists.

Written and designed by Evonne Syed and Imad Ali, in consultation with their professor and SAC member, Dr. Lyn Turkstra, the guide aims to inspire generations of speech-language pathologists to come.

The guide answers questions like:

  • What is a speech-language pathologist?
  • What do they do? Who do they help?
  • How much money can I expect to make?
  • Is this career right for me?
  • … and more!

Access the student resource guide now.

Report on the Impacts of COVID-19 on Communication Accessibility for Adults with Hearing Loss

Credit: Wavefront Centre for Communication Accessibility

The Survey & The Report

Earlier this year, the Canadian Hard of Hearing Association (CHHA), University of British Columbia (UBC), and Wavefront Centre for Communication Accessibility worked together to collect information from Canadians who experience hearing loss and deafness about how the pandemic has impacted their daily lives.

They received insights from close to 700 responses who noted the demand for universal captioning, impacts of masks on communication, and the ability to receive accessible information from the government and media outlets on COVID-19.

The results from this report will provide a foundation to better understand the impact the pandemic has had on our communities and to ensure that moving forward, we can address these challenges as we continue to manage COVID-19 throughout the recovery phase and beyond.

Click here to read the full report.

Key Findings in The Report

  • More than 80% of individuals with hearing loss found it difficult to understand others with face masks.
  • 60% of individuals reported that their mental health has been negatively affected as a result of the pandemic.
  • At least one-quarter of individuals with higher severity of hearing loss were unable to obtain hearing health services due to COVID-19 restrictions.
  • Only 16% of respondents reported obtaining hearing or hearing aid services remotely from a specialist such as an audiologist or hearing instrument practitioner.
  • Over 60% of respondents reported difficulty in understanding others who are behind plexiglass barriers.
  • At least 60% of respondents indicated that having captioning available would help improve communication with others in video calls and at virtual events.

The Webinar

In May 2021, the research team hosted a webinar where the principal investigators, Dr. Brenda Poon, Wavefront Centre Senior Research Fellow and Assistant Professor at UBC, and Dr. Lorienne Jenstad, Associate Professor at UBC School of Audiology & Speech Sciences, presented the preliminary findings from their work.

Watch the recording of this webinar.


Launch of the World Health Organization’s HEARING screening: considerations for implementation

Credit: The World Health Organization


The first ever World Report on Hearing was launched in 2021, as a technical guide outlining the  ongoing shifts  in the global epidemiology  of hearing loss, capturing available solutions and  current challenges for  ear and hearing care and also establishing priorities to be addressed. It highlights the link between addressing hearing loss and achieving the Sustainable Development Goals.

The rational for hearing screening across the life course is well outlined in the report. The report shows that increasing hearing screening and early intervention coverage during the next 10 years requires an additional annual per capita investment of US$ 1.33. The resulting health gain during the 10-year period would avert nearly 130 million DALYs (disability adjusted life years), benefit 1.4 billion people and yield a return of nearly US$ 16 for each 1 dollar invested.

The World Report on Hearing recommends that World Health Organization (WHO) Member States take urgent and evidence-based policy action to prevent, identify and rehabilitate hearing loss.

To render technical support to the  Member  States  in implementing the recommendation of the world report into, WHO has developed the HEARING screening: considerations for implementation. This handbook provides technical guidance required for establishing evidence-based programmes for hearing screening facilitating early identification and interventions to address hearing loss and related ear diseases in target groups.
The purpose of the handbook is to provide guidance on how to undertake:

  • Hearing screening in newborns and infants
  • School-based ear and hearing screening
  • Hearing screening in older people

Series of Webinars

The WHO invites you to a series of webinar on the HEARING screening: considerations for implementation.

October 6, 2021

Focus on HEARING SCREENING: considerations for implementation guidance on the hearing screening for newborn babies.

Where: via Zoom

To Register:


October 27, 2021

Focus on HEARING SCREENING: considerations for implementation guidance on the hearing screening for school children.

Where: via Zoom

To Register:


November 17, 2021

Focus on HEARING SCREENING: considerations for implementation guidance on the hearing screening for older people.

Where: via Zoom

To Register:



2021 Clinical Research Grant Recipients

The winners of the 2021 Clinical Research Grants are Rina Dulku and Shannon Kerr!


Rina Dulku

Cultural Humility and Cultural Safety in Early Intervention Services for Children who are Deaf and Hard of Hearing and their Families: Perspectives from Parents and Practitioners

Early intervention effectively mitigates communication and other delays in deaf and hard of hearing children, but how are these potentially impactiful services being accessed by families who do not identify with the dominant culture? This study will explore families’ and clinicians’ perpspectives on barriers and facilitators to culturally safe practices.


Shannon Kerr

Swallowing outcomes following McNeill Dysphagia Therapy Program using a combination of in-person and teletherapy sessions

This study aims to determine the feasibility of providing McNeill Dysphagia Therapy Program (MDTP) via a combination of in-person and telehealth swallow therapy sessions.
MDTP is an intensive exercise-based swallow therapy program for adults with dysphagia which uses a hierarchy of food consistencies to provide varying resistance.


Join the National Advisory Council on Early Learning and Child Care

Credit: Government of Canada

The Government of Canada is investing in Early Learning and Child Care (ELCC) to help Canadian children get the best start in life and have a fair chance to succeed. In support of this commitment, the Government of Canada is establishing a National Advisory Council on ELCC.

The National Advisory Council will provide expert advice and a forum for consultation to the Minister of Families, Children and Social Development and the Minister for Women and Gender Equality on issues and challenges facing the ELCC sector in Canada. The Council on ELCC will be a forum for information sharing and discussion. Its members will bring a diverse range of perspectives and will provide expert advice to the Ministers on ELCC-related issues and challenges.

In carrying out its mandate, the Council will provide third-party expert advice to the Minister of Families, Children and Social Development and the Minister for Women and Gender Equality on topics including:

  • The COVID-19 pandemic, reopening, and the recovery period as it relates to the ELCC sector
  • Promoting information sharing across jurisdictions
  • Developing standards of practice within the sector
  • Establishing a Canada-wide ELCC system
Call for applications: become a member

Apply before September 28, 2021. They are looking for individuals with knowledge and experience in ELCC from a variety of fields.


Impacts of the COVID-19 Pandemic on Canadian Children with Cognitive, Behavioural or Emotional Disabilities

Credit: Government of Canada

The Government of Canada pleased to announce the release of a new data blog titled “Impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on Canadian children with cognitive, behavioural, or emotional disabilities.

Using data from Statistics Canada’s crowdsourcing questionnaire: Impacts of COVID-19 on Canadians: Parenting during the Pandemic, 2020, this data blog highlights the experiences of parents of children aged 0 to 14 years with cognitive, behavioural, or emotional disabilities during the early response to the COVID-19 pandemic (questionnaires completed between June 9 and 22, 2020).

The data blog includes a snapshot of parents’ concerns related to their children’s general physical health, general mental health, loneliness or isolation, screen time, physical activity, school year/academic success and their family’s ability to manage. Comparisons are made to the experiences of parents with children that do not have a disability.

Key Findings:

  • Close to two-thirds of parents of children with cognitive, behavioural, or emotional disabilities expressed concerns about their children’s general mental health.
  • Almost two-thirds of parents who have children with cognitive, behavioural, or emotional disabilities were concerned about their children’s loneliness or isolation.
  • About 9 in 10 parents reported their children engaged in screen time on a daily basis; however, more parents (close to three-quarters) who have children with cognitive, behavioural, or emotional disabilities were concerned with the amount of screen time their children engaged in, compared to parents who have children with no disabilities.
  • Half of parents with children who have cognitive, behavioural, or emotional disabilities reported their children engaged in physical activity daily and half reported they were very or extremely concerned about their children’s amount of physical activity.
  • More than half of the parents (59%) reported they were very or extremely concerned about their children’s school year success, although school aged children with cognitive, behavioural, or emotional disabilities received more help to engage in learning activities related to school.
  • More parents with children who have cognitive, behavioural, or emotional disabilities are concerned about their family’s ability to manage compared to parents who have children with no disabilities.

If you have feedback or questions, please contact phac.chronic.publications-chronique.aspc@canada.ca.

2021 Speech & Hearing Month Kids’ Contest Winners

Every year, the Speech & Hearing Month Kid’s Contest is always a hit! We received many submissions from across Canada and would like to say a big thank you to everyone who participated!

Now, we are happy to present the 2021 Kid’s Contest winners:



Visit the Speech & Hearing Month website for more information.