Elizabeth Kay-Raining BirdPhD

Professor Emeritus and Adjunct (Retired)

Kay-RainingBird, Mandy

Email: rainingbird@dal.ca
Phone: 902-494-7052
Fax: 902-494-5151
Mailing Address: 
Sir Charles Tupper Medical Building
5850 College Street
2nd Floor, Room 2C01
PO Box 15000
Halifax, Nova Scotia
B3H 4R2


Dr. Elizabeth (Mandy) Kay-Raining Bird (PhD Madison, Wisconsin) is a professor in the School of Communication Sciences and Disorders at Dalhousie University and a certified speech-language pathologist. Her research and teaching is in the area of child language development and disorders, with a particular focus on bilingualism, Down syndrome, and Autism Spectrum Disorders. She has provided research mentorship for over 70 students at the undergraduate and graduate level.
Dr. Kay-Raining Bird has published and presented extensively on issues related to cultural and linguistic diversity, bilingualism, language and literacy development, and the effectiveness of speech, language and reading interventions. Currently she is co-investigator on two SSHRC-funded grants. The first is studying discourse skills in typically developing monolingual and bilingual children. The second is investigating the success of children with developmental disabilities in French Immersion programs.
Dr. Kay-Raining Bird has served her professional and academic communities in multiple ways over the years. She was the first university representative of the Speech-Language and Audiology Canada (SAC) Board, chaired the SAC advisory committee on Speech, Language and Hearing Services for First Nations, Métis and Inuit from 2009 to 2011, and served as president on the Nova Scotia Speech and Hearing Association from 2008 to 2010. She was the Editor of the Canadian Journal of Speech-language Pathology and Audiology (then JSLPA) from 1996 to 1999; Associate Editor of the Journal of Speech-Language and Hearing Research from 2012 – 2017, and is currently a member of editorial board of Languages.

At a community level, Dr. Kay-Raining Bird has been very active on various anti-poverty initiatives, most recently advocating for a Basic Income as chair of Basic Income Nova Scotia.


  • BA, Psychology, Queen’s University
  • MA, Speech Pathology, Teachers College, Columbia University
  • PhD, Communicative Disorders, University of Wisconsin-Madison

Research interests

  • Child language and literacy development and disorders
  • Cultural and linguistic diversity
  • Bilingualism
  • Language assessment and intervention
  • Down syndrome
  • Autism


  • The Discourse Skills of Monolingual and Bilingual School-aged Children. Principal Investigator: Patricia Cleave. Co-investigators: Elizabeth Kay-Raining Bird, Ann Sutton, Natacha Trudeau, Becky Chen, Pierre Cormier, Andrea MacLeod, Nikolay Slavkov. Collaborator: Ann Nockerts. SSHRC Funded, 2016 – 2020, $365,096
  • Academic achievement and language outcomes of French immersion and English education programs for students with different language learning experiences. Principal Investigator: Ann Sutton. Co-Investigators: Elizabeth Kay-Raining Bird, Fred Genesee, Becky Xi Chen, & Ann Sutton. SSHRC Funded, 2018 – 2019, $24,998


  • CMSD 5150: Speech and Language Acquisition
  • CMSD 6470: Language Disorders in School Age Children
  • CMSD 6490: Advanced Language Disorders in Children

Selected publications

  • Kay-Raining Bird, E., Genesee, F., & Verhoeven, L. (2016). Bilingualism in children with Developmental Disorders: A narrative review. Journal of Communication Disorders, 63, 1 - 14.
  • de Valenzuela, J., Kay-Raining Bird, E., Parkington, K., Mirenda, P., Cain, K., MacLeod, A. A., Segers, E. (2016).  Access to Opportunities for Bilingualism for Individuals with Developmental Disabilities: Key Informant Interviews. Journal of Communication Disorders, 63, 32 - 46.
  • Pesco, D., MacLeod, A., Kay-Raining Bird, E., Cleave, P., Scherba de Valenzuela, J., Cain, K., Marinova-Todd, S., Colozzo, P., Stahl, H., Segers, E., & Verhoeven, L. (2016). A Multi-Site Review of Policies Affecting Opportunities for Children with Developmental Disabilities to Become Bilingual Journal of Communication Disorders, 63, 15 - 21.
  • Marinova-Todd, S., Colozzo, P., Mirenda, P., Stahl, H., Kay-Raining Bird, E., Parkington, K., Cain, K., Scherba de Valenzuela, J., Segers, E., MacLeod, A., Genesee, F. (2016). Professional Practices and Opinions about Services Available to Bilingual Children with Developmental Disabilities: An International Study. Journal of Communication Disorders, 63, 47 - 62.
  • Kay-Raining Bird, E., Trudeau, N., & Sutton, A. (2016). Pulling it all together: Maximizing bilingualism in children with developmental disabilities. Journal of Communication Disorders, 63, 63 - 78.
  • Kay-Raining Bird, E., Joshi, N., & Cleave, P. (2016). Assessing the Reliability and Use of the Expository Scoring Scheme as a Measure of Developmental Change in Monolingual English and Bilingual French/English Children. Language, Speech and Hearing Services in the Schools, 47, 297 - 312.
  • Kay-Raining Bird, E., & Cleave, P. L. (2015). Mothers’ talk to children with Down syndrome, Language Impairment, or typical development about familiar and unfamiliar nouns and verbs. Journal of Child Language, 43, 1072 - 1102.
  • Kay-Raining Bird, E. (2014). A Resource Kit: To Assist Speech-Language Pathologists and Audiologists in providing informed services to First Nations, Inuit and Métis. Canadian Journal of Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology, 38, 238 – 250.
  • Cleave, P. Kay-Raining Bird, E., Trudeau, N., & Sutton, A. (2014). Syntactic Bootstrapping in Children with Down Syndrome: The Impact of Bilingualism. Journal of Communication Disorders, 49, 42 – 54.
  • Dobbelsteyn, C., Kay-Raining Bird, E., Parker, J., Griffiths, C., Budden, A., Flood, K., & Stilsen, A. (2014). The Effectiveness of the Corrective Babbling® Speech Treatment Program for Children with a History of Cleft Palate or Velopharyngeal Dysfunction, The Cleft Palate-Craniofacial Journal, 51, 129 – 144.
  • Cleave, P., Kay-Raining Bird, E., Czutrin, R., & Smith, L. (2012). A Longitudinal Study of Narrative Development in Down Syndrome. Intellectual and Developmental Disabilties.50, 332 – 342.
  • D’Souza, C., Kay-Raining Bird, E., & Deacon, H. (2012). Survey of Canadian speech-language pathology services to linguistically diverse clients. Canadian Journal of Speech-language Pathology and Audiology, 36, 18 – 39. Received the Editor’s Award, 2013.
  • Cleave, P., Kay-Raining Bird, E., & Bourassa, D. (2011). An evaluation of a treatment program for teaching phonological awareness skills to children with Down syndrome. Canadian Journal of Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology, 35, 332 - 343.
  • Trudeau, N., Kay-Raining Bird, E., Sutton, A., & Cleave, P. (2011). Développement lexical chez les enfants bilingues ayant le syndrome de Down. Enfance, 2011(3), 383 - 404.
  • Kay-Raining Bird, E., Lamond, E., & Holden, J. J. (2011). A Survey of Bilingualism in Autism Spectrum Disorders. International Journal of Language & Communication Disorders, 47, 52 - 64.
  • Kay-Raining Bird, E. (2011). Health, Education, Language, Dialect, and Culture in Aboriginal Communities in Canada: An Overview. Canadian Journal of Speech-language Pathology and Audiology, 35, 110 - 124.
  • Turnbull, K., Deacon, H., Kay-Raining Bird, E. (2010). Mastering –ed and other inflectional suffixes: A longitudinal study of beginning writers' spellings. Journal of Child Language. 38, 533 – 553.
  • Kay-Raining Bird, E. (2009). Bilingualism and Children with Down Syndrome. Perspectives on Language Learning and Education, 16 (3), 90 – 96.
  • Kay-Raining Bird, E., Cleave, P. L., Curia, J., & Dunleavy, M. (2008). Parental Talk about Internal States to One Child with Autism over a Three-Day Period. Focus on Autism and other Developmental Disabilities, 23, 166 - 175.
  • Feltmate, K., & Kay-Raining Bird, E. (2008). Language Learning in Four Bilingual Children with Down Syndrome: A Detailed Analysis of Vocabulary and Morphosyntax. Canadian Journal of Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology, 32, 6 - 20. (Received the editor’s award, 2008)
  • Kay-Raining Bird, E., Cleave, P. L., White D., Pike, H., & Helmkay, A. (2008). Written and oral narratives of children and adolescents with Down syndrome. Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, 51, 436 – 450.
  • Cleave, P. L. & Kay-Raining Bird, E. (2006). Effects of familiarity on mothers' talk about nouns and verbs. Journal of Child Language, 33, 661 - 676.
  • Kay-Raining Bird, E., Cleave, P. L., Trudeau, N., Thordardottir, E., Sutton, A., & Thorpe, A. (2005). The language abilities of bilingual children with Down syndrome. American Journal of Speech-language Pathology, 14, 187 - 199.

Awards and honours

  • 2008 and 2012, Editor’s Award for best journal article, Canadian Journal of Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology, Speech-Language and Audiology Canada.
  • 2010, Eve Kassirer Award for Outstanding Professional Achievement, Speech-Language and Audiology Canada.
  • 2010, Outstanding Graduate Student Research Advisor, 2010, Dalhousie University
  • 2012 Visiting scholar, University of New Mexico, Albuquerque, New Mexico
  • 2000, Visiting scholar, University of Sydney, Sydney, Australia