Tools of the Trade
Speech-Language-Hearing Screening Policy (Effective Fall 2013)
Policy Statement: All incoming graduate students will participate in a mandatory speech/language and hearing screening during their first semester enrolled in the CSD program for the purpose of identifying and remediating any communication deficits that may interfere with interactions with clients, families, supervisors, etc. Undergraduate students, unless previously identified by CSD faculty/staff member as having a suspect communication deficit, will be screened during the spring semester of their freshman year. Any transfer student entering after his/her freshman year will be screened in the semester that he/she enters the program. It is mandatory that all students be screened prior to starting clinical practicum. The Clinic Director will determine the screening schedule and inform students of the day/time that screenings will occur. Failure to comply with this policy and the following procedures will delay the student’s enrollment in Clinical Practicum.
1. All students will receive a Pass/Fail rating for both speech/language and hearing. Documentation of the screening results will be kept in the student’s clinical file, which is maintained by the Clinic Director.
2. For those students who fail the speech-language screening, a formal speech-language evaluation will be scheduled. It will be the student’s responsibility to contact the Clinic Director for an appointment within one week of the screening.
3. For those students who fail the hearing screening, a formal audiological evaluation will be scheduled. It will be the student’s responsibility to contact our Clinical Audiologist for an appointment within one week of the screening.
4. Following the evaluation, it is expected that the student will follow through with all recommendations for treatment and/or referral for further testing. Documentation of the same will be required and kept in the student’s clinical file.
5. For those students in which phonological features observed during the screening are different from Standard American English (SAE) dialect, then:
a. An interview with the student would be warranted to find out if the student self-identifies as a speaker with a dialect different from SAE.
b. If the student does not self-identify with a dialect different from SAE, then the student would fail the speech-language screening, and step #2 would be followed.
c. If the student does self-identify with a dialect different from SAE, then the features of the student’s speech would be reviewed to see if these features are documented as typical characteristics of the specified dialect. Dialects may differ by features other than phonology (such as syntax or semantics), but it is assumed that students with dialectal differences would be able to model non-phonological SAE features.
d. A determination would be made as to whether or not the characteristics would be a substantial impediment to effective communication with SAE speakers. If a student shows significant comprehension or expressive communication deficits in SAE that go beyond a dialectal difference, such as features common in ESL or hard-of-hearing individuals, then a full evaluation with possible therapy may be warranted. In most cases, dialectal differences would not affect functional/clinical communication in SAE and would not need further assessment.
e. A student who cannot produce a feature of SAE and is assigned a client who speaks SAE with difficulty producing that specific SAE feature, then the student clinician may use other strategies to produce a model, such as providing a recording of an SAE speaker producing the target feature.