The Special Olympic Summer World Summer Games were held in Shanghai, China from October 2nd until October 11th, 2007. University of Maine Audiologist Amy Engler Booth was invited to provide training and help implement the Healthy Hearing segment of the Healthy Athletes initiative. The photo shows Amy Booth (third from the left) and a team of audiologists with an athlete from Iraq (fourth from the left). His coach is standing second from the right. The Healthy Athlete program is designed to provide Special Olympic Athletes access to ways in which they can improve their health and fitness. A healthy athlete would in turn lead to an enhanced sports and comPettit
ion experience, as well as overall well being. At the World Games, 7, 500 athletes from around the world competed. Booth and her audiology colleagues from around the world helped to provide more than 450 hearing screenings per day. In addition, more than 200 athletes were fit with hearing aids. In addition to participating at the international level, Booth participated at the national level at the Special Olympic Summer games held in Ames, Iowa in 2006. Additionally, Booth is active as the state level where she serves as clinic director for Healthy Hearing for the State of Maine Summer Games held annually on the University of Maine Campus. During the state summer event, students from the Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders participate in the hearing screenings thereby receiving experience in hearing screenings and gain confidence in volunteering their skills to an underserved population. Whether at the state, national, or international level, data is collected, analyzed and disseminated on the health needs of people with intellectual disabilities.
The mission of the National Student Speech-Language-Hearing Association (NSSLHA) is to serve as leaders in community service activities that benefit those affected by speech, language, or hearing difficulties. We provide support for one another as we pursue a common goal of becoming professionals in the field of Communication Science and Disorders. (The photo to the right shows students Amanda Collette, Lauren Cassidy and Stacy Pinkham at the fall Fluency Workshop.)
NSSLHA work with the department, the university, as well as the national organization as a whole. Our chapter of NSSLHA has been very busy this year! We worked at the the department’s fluency workshop this fall, by mailing out information on the event, staffing the registration table, selling literature and material on fluency and by staffing the refreshment tables.
We also hosted a Panel Night as a way to introduce those students interested in the field of Speech Language Pathology and Audiology to professionals in the field. Students were able to meet and ask questions of professionals who work in various settings in the field of speech language pathology in the area. NSSLHA also provides the Maine Speech Language and Hearing Association with liaisons for their guest speakers for their two annual conferences held each fall and spring. During the summer NSSLHA volunteered at the Special Olympics as part of Healthy Hearing conducting hearing tests for the athletes. Every year NSSLHA raises money for an organization called Smile Train, which provides cleft palate surgeries to those who cannot afford it. This year NSSLHA raised a record amount of money, covering the cost of three cleft palate surgeries. This year NSSLHA adapted two families for the holidays and provided their children with books for them to read. We also provide seasonal goody bags to clients who come to our clinic. We will be having a hearing aid drive this semester to collect hearing aids to be cleaned and repaired and sent to those who can not afford them. This semester we will also be having our annual Uno’s fundraiser to raise money for the organization as a whole. NSSLHA also holds different socials for students in the field allowing them the chance to get together and have fun.
“Are you a baker?” asked the 4-year-old preschooler as he tried to decide if the dress I was wearing was an apron. Regardless of my response, I was accepted into the mainstream just as all of the children are at the Green House Nursery School. This preschool is an inclusive program for typically developing 3 and 4 year old children as well as those with special needs, including Autism. The graduate students in the Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders have a placement opportunity at this unique preschool. The students are supervised by Lorriann Mahan, M.S., CCC-SLP. Graduate students work with children in individual therapy sessions as well as in the classroom. Involvement and collaboration with preschool staff and parents is an integral element of the children’s programs. Graduate students are part of a multidisciplinary team that is imperative for carryover and positively impacts progress. A whole class, phonological awareness program for developing pre-literacy skills is developed and managed by the graduate students for the entire class on a weekly basis. Language and hearing screenings are also preformed at this placement. Graduate students develop skills and knowledge in working with clients, families, and other professionals in a holistic environment afforded in this unique placement.
Image Description: Back row, Left to Right: Alise Ranalli, Hannah Beal, Mary Beaster, Samantha Rhan, Michelle Baughman, Nicole Slevinsky, Meredith Skibitsky, Kaitlin Michaud, Celine MacLean Front row, Left to Right: Alex Stpierre, Kristin Kemos, Sheri Bright, Alexandra Mini New students not pictured: Tiffany Bossie, Shannon Towle, Kerri Cunningham, Allison Ahern, Caitlin Dutton, Laura Shay
Students and faculty members attended the ASHA convention in Chicago this year. Rebekah Tozer, Xiaomei Tan, Leslie Matheson, Dana Smith and Whitney Plourde joined faculty members Dr. Nancy Hall and Dr. Allan Smith in presenting their research.
Image Description: Students and Faculty