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:    

National Accessibility Hub

Credit: Employment and Social Development Canada / Statistics Canada

National AccessAbility Week (NAAW) took place May 30-June 5, 2021. This year’s theme was “Disability Inclusion 2021: Leaving no one behind.”

To mark National AccessAbility Week, Statistics Canada in collaboration with Employment and Social Development Canada, is pleased to unveil the new Accessibility Data Hub.

This new portal provides users with a single point of access for a wide range of data and information related to accessibility.

Users can quickly and easily browse various key subtopics – including built environment, design and delivery of programs and services, employment information, communication technology and transportation – and access Statistics Canada’s latest data tables, analytical articles and infographics. The Hub also enables users to find external governmental data, as well as information about laws related to accessibility, and will be updated as new data becomes available.

Speech & Hearing Month in the News! Global Morning News Sasktoon

Credit: Global Morning News Saskatoon

On May 18, 2021, the Chair of SAC’s Board of Directors, Jennifer Cameron-Turley, was interviewed on Global Morning News Saskatoon to promote Speech & Hearing Month and shine a light on the important roles of speech-language pathologists, audiologists and communication health assistants.

In the interview, Jennifer discuss some of this year’s Speech & Hearing Month initiatives as well as some of the ways speech-language pathology and audiology services are essential to helping people manage and/or overcome communication challenges or disorders.

Watch the interview now!

* Please note that the Living with Aphasia Interview Series has been moved to June to promote Stroke Awareness Month.

Cognitive-Communication Course For Acquired Brain Injury (CCCABI)

Credit: Sheila MacDonald & Associates

As a speech-language pathologist you know the critical importance of communication and the many challenges faced when an acquired brain injury affects one’s ability to think and communicate. You may also be aware of the growing body of evidence to support our interventions in this field. However, busy clinicians may find it difficult to review and synthesize that evidence into practical interventions.

The Cognitive-Communication Course for Acquired Brain Injury (CCCABI) is a course tailored for S-LP’s that focuses on the cognitive and communication challenges we address as we assist those with acquired brain injuries in reconstructing their lives.

The CCCABI Course features:

  • 12 modules that integrate clinical and research evidence from coma to college and career.
  • 21 hours of on-line video lectures that you can take at your convenience.
  • Comprehensive modules incorporating research evidence, clinical insights, and stories of those with lived experience of ABI.
  • Course materials for each module including handouts with more than 80 slides, over 100 references, and practical clinical tools.
  • 9 Modules dedicated to treatment.
  • Pre-module and Post-module test and confidence assessment.
  • Self-Evaluation Tool you can use to evaluate your skills, set goals for personal growth, evaluate students or demonstrate your quality assurance efforts.
  • Certificates to demonstrate your dedication to continuing education.

Through a series of 12 online modules, participants will be able to:

  • Hone clinical skills and knowledge of evidence in the field of CCD.
  • Access a one-stop resource that integrates and organizes the growing CCD literature.
  • Strengthen your concept of the unique role of S-LP and celebrate leaders in our field.
  • Demonstrate your learning with credentialing through Certificates and CEU’s.
  • Provide your clients with evidence-based assessments and real-world treatment strategies.
  • Benefit from a shared understanding and growing community of practice in S-LP CCD.

To learn more about the CCCABI Course, please refer to this PDF

Research on Hearing and Aging in the Canadian Longitudinal Study of Aging

Credit: Canadian Longitudinal Study of Aging

In 2021, the Government of Canada announced an investment of $9.6M for the infrastructure needed to renew and extend the Canadian Longitudinal Study on Aging (CLSA). The over-arching goal of the CLSA is to generate knowledge that promotes the health and well-being of older adults and informs the development of programs and policies for Canada’s aging population. Just over 50,000 Canadians, who were between 45 and 85 years of age at the time of recruitment, are being followed for 20 years, with data collected from each individual every three years until 2033 or their death.

Using data from the CLSA participants, researchers examined associations between self-reported hearing and vision abilities, as well as various social factors such as social network size, availability of social support, social participation and loneliness. They also examined the prevalence of hearing and vision loss in older Canadians, as well as an analysis showing how demographic and social factors help to explain discrepancies between self-reported hearing ability and hearing measured using pure-tone audiometry.

Past, present and future research using CLSA data will enable us to answer a wide range of population and public health questions concerning the causes and consequences of age-related changes in hearing loss in older Canadians.

Learn more about the CLSA on SAC’s Communiqué Blog.

Webcast from SAC’s Audiology Event 2021  – Working with Older Adults with Hearing and Cognitive Difficulties

As part of SAC’s 2021 Audiology Event Webinar Series, two SAC members discussed what their 70 years (combined!) of clinical practice has taught them about working with older adults with hearing and cognitive difficulties.

This webcast provides an overview of the challenges faced by clinical audiologists when working with older clients who may also be experiencing cognitive changes due to aging or age-related neurological conditions like dementia and how cognitive screening may help to inform best practice for assessment and management of older adults with cognitive loss.

Watch the webcast now!