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

New Communiqué Article – Perceived Benefits of the AuD Degree Among Canadian Audiologists

Credit: Andrea Ruotolo, AuD, Rex Banks, AuD and Melanie Gibson, MA

The United States is the only country that requires a doctoral degree (AuD. PhD, or equivalent) as the entry-level requirement for audiology professionals. Currently, Canada requires a master’s degree to practice. However, an increasing number of Canadian audiologists with a master’s degree have enrolled in and completed an online doctorate in audiology in recent years.

Researchers have conducted a study aiming to assess perceptions of Canadian audiologists with an AuD degree who previously practiced with a master’s degree.

Read the results on SAC’s Communiqué Blog


* Please note that this article was originally published in the Canadian Audiologist

Introducing SAC Connects – an online member engagement tool

Launching in fall of 2021, SAC Connects will allow members and associates to build meaningful connections online through the use of communities (i.e., discussion boards). These communities will foster conversation, peer-to-peer support, sharing best practices and resources, building connections and more. 

Have an idea of a community that you may be interested in engaging with? We need your help to determine what you would like to see first! 

Suggest a community now! 


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. 


McGill speech-language pathology students work with Kahnawà:ke first-graders

Six Master’s students engaged in telepractice with children to maximize learning to read amidst COVID restrictions

“Grade one is a critical time in a child’s development. While learning to read, which mostly happens in first grade, may seem fun and effortless for some children, “it can be a great challenge for others” says Sophie Vaillancourt, assistant professor (professional) in McGill’s Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences’ School of Communication Sciences and Disorders (SCSD).

So when COVID-19 forced thousands of school-age kids to stay at home, young children lost valuable learning time at a crucial moment in their lives.

Simultaneously, many speech-language pathologists (S-LPs) in schools, clinics, rehab centres and hospitals, whose work is normally to help adults and children with learning difficulties, were being re-assigned to test for COVID, or to care for the elderly in long-term-care facilities, or were just unable to see their clients safely. This led to significant reductions in clinical opportunities for the speech-language pathology students.

Amidst these challenging times, a collaboration between Kahnàwa:ke Education Center’s Kateri Elementary School and the SCSD was established, to support children who could benefit from additional intervention in reading, while at the same time opening up some clinical opportunities for SCSD students.”

Read the full article.

* This article from the McGill Reporter features SAC members Alexandra Lauzon, S-LP(C) and Claudia Hogan S-LP(C), as well as SAC student associate Bianca Mercadante.

Online Hearing Experiment Investigating the Impact of Noise on Following Instructions

Credit: University of Alberta

A group at the University of Alberta has released an online hearing experiment investigating the impact of noise on following instructions (Pro00105017).

This experiment is only available in English and should take less than 45 minutes. It needs to be completed on a laptop or desktop computer.

If you are interested in participating, access the experiment.  

Congratulations to our 2021 Award Winners & Scholarship Recipients!

Every year, Speech-Language & Audiology Canada’s (SAC) strives to ensure members and associates are recognized for their achievements, through both our Awards and Recognition Program and Scholarships Program.

The Awards and Recognition Program celebrates excellence in the professions of speech-language pathology and audiology. The SAC Scholarships Program offers 25 scholarships to select SAC student associates to support our future communication health professionals.

View the full list of award winners and scholarship recipients now!

New SAC Official Statement on Evidence-Based Speech-Language Pathology Practice in Schools

SAC has developed a new Official Statement on Evidence-Based Speech-Language Pathology Practice in Schools.

The official statement acknowledges that the principles of evidence-based practice inform effective, high-quality speech-language pathology services in schools for students with speech, language and literacy challenges.

Read the full statement.

Survey for Students – Investigating the Barriers and Facilitators to the Inclusion of Students with Disabilities in Health and Human Service Professional Programs

Researchers from the University of British Colombia are seeking participants for their study investigating the barriers and facilitators to the inclusion of students with disabilities in health and human service professional programs. In particular, they are interested in the accommodations of fieldwork settings in 10 health and human service programs (including audiology and speech-language pathology).

The research project is entitled, “Strategies for increasing accessibility and equity in health and human service educational programs: national perspectives.” They would like to invite you to help them better understand those barriers and facilitators by taking part in this study.

Who is eligible to participate?

  • Current students or up to a year after completion of program and identify as having a disability (e.g. learning disabilities, physical or mental health disability)
  • From one of the ten health and human services programs (listed above) offered in a Canadian university
  • Will experience clinical work (fieldwork/practicum) during the year of the study or have experienced clinical work (fieldwork/practicum) during past years of their studies.

Please review the consent form before participation.

If you are eligible to participate, and consent to do so, please complete the online survey. The survey will take approximately 20-30 minutes to complete.

Once you complete the survey, you will also have the opportunity to participate in an optional 60-90 minute focus group interview, if you are interested. Reimbursement of $30 will be received for those who will participate in the focus group interview.

Participate in the survey now! 

Learn more about this study by reading this PDF

* Please note that this survey differs from the NRFR survey for clinicians on this topic. To take the survey for clinicians, visit this webpage.

Confidentiality: Confidentiality will be strictly kept. Please contact the research team directly and not via affiliated educational programs. If you have any questions or concerns feel free to email us at

SAC Highlights Aphasia during Stroke Awareness Month 2021!

Aphasia is a communication disorder that occurs in about 30% of people who have had a stroke.

Aphasia may affect speaking, understanding words, reading and writing. People with aphasia know more than they can say. Speech-language pathologists help people with aphasia connect with others and participate in everyday life.

Learn more about aphasia and other communication and swallowing disorders following stroke: