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Hearing and Speech Nova Scotia creates renewable scholarships for CSD students to improve diversity
A gift of $100,000 from Hearing and Speech Nova Scotia to the School of Communication Sciences & Disorders (CSD) will help ensure there is more diversity among speech-language pathologists and audiologists throughout the province, while providing support for students from under-represented populations.
“We are thrilled with this generous gift from Hearing and Speech Nova Scotia,” says Dr. Brenda Merritt, Dean of the Faculty of Health. “The endowment aligns with Faculty, School and provincial priorities to support individuals from under-represented communities to work within the health professions. The scholarships will remove financial barriers to graduate education and ensure that our health workforce is as diverse as the communities they serve. This is very good news for Dalhousie, our students and Nova Scotians.”
This major gift reflects Hearing and Speech Nova Scotia’s passion for supporting student achievement and will establish the Hearing and Speech Nova Scotia Scholars Endowment. Nova Scotia students from under-represented populations enrolled in the Masters in Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology programs will be eligible for the scholarships, which are renewable through the second year of the programs.
Anne Mason-Browne, MSc’83 (Speech-Language Pathology), CEO of Hearing and Speech Nova Scotia, says in addition to easing the financial burden of students, the endowment seeks to address the lack of diversity in the fields of audiology and speech-language pathology.
“Our clients come from diverse communities, with a range of different linguistic and cultural backgrounds. Hearing and Speech Nova Scotia seeks a diverse staff, including professionals from Francophone-Acadian, African Nova Scotian, Mi’kmaq and other communities,” she says. “My hope is that the Hearing and Speech Scholars Endowment will provide support for students from under-represented communities who are training to be audiologists or speech-language pathologists. It would be wonderful to have their lived cultural and linguistic experience inform our scholarly work and support community-based clinical services in Nova Scotia.”
More First Nations representation needed
Christina Gloade, BSc’05, MSc’09 (Speech-Language Pathology), is a graduate of the School of Communication Sciences & Disorders and a speech-language pathologist from the Mi’kmaq community of Eskasoni in Cape Breton. She began her career with the Chignecto Central Regional School Board in Truro and now works as a speech-language pathologist for the Millbrook Early Education Centre.
“We definitely need more First Nations representation in this field,” she says. “I don’t have any colleagues who are First Nations; no one with the same background, point of view or understanding.”
She says the need to have audiologists and speech-language pathologists with a diversity of backgrounds is essential. “Having clinicians who are more reflective of their communities will help with everything from cultural competency, to creating more comfort and connection with the clients we serve.”
Mrs. Gloade adds that the new scholarships will provide invaluable financial assistance. “Being a student is expensive. These scholarships will help ease students’ financial difficulty and stress so they can focus on their studies.”
Ms. Mason-Browne says the endowment honours the personal donations received by Hearing and Speech Nova Scotia from grateful clients and families over many years. “The Hearing and Speech Scholars Endowment shines a light on the vision that was imagined so many years ago,” she says. “Every Person Deserves a Voice. Every Voice Deserves to be Heard.”
Hearing and Speech Nova Scotia and the School of Communication Sciences and Disorders: A Strong Partnership
- Hearing and Speech Nova Scotia and the Dalhousie School of Communication Sciences and Disorders have maintained a close partnership for over 50 years – since the inception of the School.
- The proposal to establish this partnership was initiated by the first Director of Hearing and Speech Nova Scotia, Dr. George Mencher, who was also a Dalhousie faculty member for many years.
- Hearing and Speech Nova Scotia provides services from 35 clinic sites in 25 communities across the province and employs over 100 audiologists and speech-language pathologists. Over 90 per cent of their audiologists and speech-language pathologists are graduates of Dalhousie’s School of Communication Sciences & Disorders.
- Today, it is estimated that over 100,000 Nova Scotians live with communication disorders. Hearing and Speech Nova Scotia sees approximately 27,000 new clients every year.
- Last year, clinicians at Hearing and Speech recorded over 80,000 patient visits.
- Staff continue to support their future colleagues by providing over 90 student clinical internship, externship, and clinical observation placements every year, as well as lectures and participation in student projects.
*With thanks to Anne Mason-Browne, CEO, Hearing and Speech Nova Scotia, who provided the information.
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