Speech, Language and Hearing Organizations in Various Parts of the World
OTTAWA, Jan. 24, 2014 /CNW/ - For the first time in history,
organizations in six countries that focus on speech, language, hearing
and swallowing issues have formed a coalition to raise international
awareness of communication disorders and their treatment. The Canadian
Association of Speech-Language Pathologists and Audiologists (CASLPA)
is thrilled to be representing Canada in this important project.
The International Communication Project 2014 (ICP) is a collaborative
effort developed by CASLPA, the American Speech-Language-Hearing
Association, the Irish Association of Speech & Language Therapists, the
New Zealand Speech-language Therapists Association, the Royal College
of Speech Language Therapists and Speech Pathology Australia. ICP is
built on the premise that although healthy communication is vital to
the quality of life, communication disorders are largely overlooked as
"We are extremely pleased to be involved in this international effort to
raise awareness of communication disorders, specifically in terms of
how they impact Canadians," said Judy Meintzer, President of CASLPA and
Canadian spokesperson for ICP. "Most people are unaware of just how
prevalent these issues are: 1 in 6 Canadians are affected by such
Spokespersons for each organization will participate in a Google Hangout
next month that will mark the public launch of the ICP. In addition,
each country will pursue its own domestic outreach to raise awareness
for the Project throughout 2014 (each country's activities will be
listed on the ICP website). Additionally, during the second week in
May, all of the organizations will participate in a collective activity
to heighten awareness-raising efforts.
"2014 is a significant year for increasing visibility on communication
health issues," continued Meintzer. "This year is CASLPA's 50th anniversary, a key milestone for our organization. Throughout the year,
we will be holding events across the country to raise awareness amongst
the public, the media and politicians about speech, language and
hearing disorders in Canada and the professionals who can help. Our
involvement in ICP provides an even greater opportunity to focus on
communication health disorders and the services available."
CASLPA and the ICP encourage the public to sign the Universal
Declaration of Communication Rights - a document that outlines the
effects of barriers to communication and pledges public support for the
millions of people worldwide who experience them. In addition, the ICP
urges individuals, communication professionals, and organizations to
exchange information and share their experiences with communication
disorders on the Project website, www.communication2014.com.
In a joint statement, the founding ICP countries emphasized that "they
are committed to having the ICP not only cast a light on the importance
of communication health to quality of life - and how that health can be
achieved with timely intervention and professional help - but also to
eliciting information about communication disorders and encouraging
countries from across the globe to participate in this project."
Throughout 2014, the ICP will raise the public profile of persons with
communication disorders and the positive difference that can be made
with appropriate and timely professional intervention.
"Many of us take our ability to communicate for granted and we hope ICP
and CASLPA's 50th anniversary initiatives will remind Canadians that services for those
who struggle with communication health disorders, a population, which
often includes particularly vulnerable citizens like youth and the
elderly, are critical," concluded Meintzer.
Facts and figures on communication disorders:
Nearly one third of employed people in Canada who have hearing
difficulties report that their conditions limit the amount and/or kind
of work they can perform.
Some 40 million people in the United States are estimated to have
In the United Kingdom, speech, language and communication needs are the
most common type of need among students in the English special
educational system in state-funded primary schools.
Up to 20 percent of the Irish population may experience speech, language
and communication difficulties at some stage in their lives.
More than 1.1 million Australians have difficulty communicating.
An estimated 10 per cent of New Zealanders have a communication
CASLPA, with over 6,000 members, is the only national body that supports and
represents the professional needs of speech-language pathologists,
audiologists and supportive personnel inclusively within one
organization. Through this support, CASLPA champions the needs of
people with communication disorders. Visit CASLPA at www.caslpa.ca.
SOURCE: Canadian Association of Speech-Language Pathologists and Audiologists (CASLPA)
For further information:
Riana Topan, CASLPA Communications Assistant
613-567-9968, ext. 273
www.caslpa.ca • facebook/CASLPA • twitter.com/CASLPA