First-year students of Pacific University's School of Communication Sciences & Disorders joined faculty and staff in contributing most of $617 raised to purchase materials for a special communication station at Tom McCall Upper Elementary School in Forest Grove to help sixth- through eighth-grade students with speech disabilities.
Pacific assistant professor Amanda Stead, seeing a request from local teacher Kathy DiCarlo on donorschoose.org, shared it with School of Communication Sciences & Disorders students, faculty and staff, who jumped at the chance to help.
The new communication station at McCall Upper Elementary provides tools for special needs students at school. Children can rotate through different activities with their instructional assistants at the station on a daily basis and immediately apply what they learn in their classes and social interactions.
Materials purchased for the center with funds raised by the School of Communciations Sciences & Disorders include special games and cards to help students with speech disabilities. Among them were Smart Talk card sets, learning cards that teach nouns, verbs and adjectives, other vocabulary games and two "Chipper Chat" games.
The students are members of the university's chapter of the National Student Speech Language Hearing Association. Members authorized some chapter funds for the cause and also performed services to raise the rest.
The School of Communication Sciences & Disorders offers a master of speech-language pathology degree and is part of the College of Education at Pacific University.
Demand for speech-language pathologists is headed for a steep increase as the baby boomer generation ages and as the number of children diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder continues to surge. The latest Occupational Outlook Handbook predicts a need for more than 22,000 new SLPs by 2018.