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UCT staff collaborate in key text on speech language therapy

14 Sep 2015 - 14:15
Professor Harsha Kathard speaking at the book launch

Speech-language therapy and audiology students in South Africa now have an invaluable resource with which to develop relevant, context-responsive practices in the school environment. Responding to the large scale challenge to develop communication for socialising and learning, editors Professor Harsha Kathard of the Department of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences and Dr Sharon Moonsamy of University of Witwatersrand, along with several contributors, recently launched Speech Language Therapy In A School Context: Principles And Practices.

The first book of its kind, it is a much-needed academic text for training students to work effectively in an educational environment. The book promotes effective communication as a key aspect of inclusive education and approaches communication as a systemic challenge therefore resisting the deficit approach which works towards “fixing” or “treating” children.

Speaking at the launch on the book on March 25, Deputy Dean Professor Gonda Perez said the book should be a key text for all undergraduate students. Amy Grant, a student who had the opportunity to read the book echoed Professor Perez’ sentiments and

Associate Professor Roshan Galvaan, Mrs Liesl Peters and Ms Pamela Gretschel of the Department of Health and Rehabilitation Services sharing their experience of contributing to the book

emphasised the importance of the book in challenging her mindset through the different themes, principles and practices. “Nothing else like this exists; there are a few articles here and there which are profession specific. Yet South Africa is a complex, ever-changing environment.

"The school we were in changed every day, and we had to learn to adapt to the current. Had I read this before I entered this block, I believe my own preconceptions and set of (what I previously believed to be firm) beliefs would have been moderated, adapted, and broken down for new ideals” she said.