A boost in operating funding in addition to one-time startup and planning capital will support 13 first-year additional spaces for speech and language therapists at the University of British Columbia.
The speech-language pathology program at UBC trains speech and language therapists. They can help with identifying, assessing and treating communications disorders in people of all ages in areas such as speech, language, voice, stuttering and swallowing disorders. They also consult with other health-care professionals and support workers, school personnel, families and caregivers, as well as autism intervention teams.
An estimated one in 10 people in British Columbia have a speech or language disorder. One in approximately 68 children in Canada has autism and all of these children experience a speech-language difficulty.
The Ministry of Health has identified speech-language pathologists as one of its priorities to address shortages of health professionals. The additional spaces will support the Ministry of Child and Family Development that also identified demand for more speech-language therapists.
The provincial government is providing a total of $3.4 million in startup and ongoing operating funding to add student spaces in the speech-language pathology program at UBC. This includes almost $2.5 million for startup and planning costs and an additional $932,000 in annual operating costs. The funding will allow UBC to add 13 first-year speech-language pathology spaces - seven starting in 2015-16, and another six in 2016-17 - for a total of 36 first-year spaces.
The credential is a masters’ of science in audiology and speech sciences (speech-language pathology). The program length is 21 to 36 months depending on the students’ undergraduate preparation and choice of graduating requirement. The program involves 48 credits in graduate courses, five clinical externships in community settings, and a final thesis, or project/paper, or comprehensive exam. An MSc. is required for certification to practice in Canada as a professional speech-language pathologist. UBC offers the only program in British Columbia to educate speech-language pathologists.
For more information on the role of speech and language professionals, visit the website for the BC Association of Speech-Language Pathologists and Audiologists at: www.bcaslpa.ca
Advanced Education Minister Amrik Virk -
“Most of us take the ability to communicate for granted, but for the thousands of British Columbians who have problems with speech, language or swallowing, speech therapists provide a bridge to the rest of the world. Adding 13 first-year spaces to the training program at UBC will help meet growing demand for qualified speech-language pathologists.”
Children and Family Development Minister Stephanie Cadieux -
“An estimated one in 10 British Columbians has a speech or language disorder. Similarly, one in approximately 68 children in Canada has autism, and all of these children experience some degree of speech-language difficulty. Speech-language pathologists help enrich the lives of these B.C. families and children by supporting them to address and overcome their communication challenges.”
UBC vice provost health and dean of the faculty of medicine Gavin Stuart -
“This funding supports a 56% increase in the number of speech-language pathology students at UBC, addressing the province’s urgent need for professionals with the skills and experience to diagnose communications and swallowing disorders, provide treatment, and collaborate with educators, health care providers, social workers, families and caregivers.”
BC Association of Speech-Language Pathologists and Audiologists vice-president Julia Hodder -
“The BC Association of Speech-Language Pathologists and Audiologists (BCASLPA) welcomes the news of the new provincial funding to expand the training program for Speech-Language Pathologists at UBC. The increase in funding supports BCASLPA’s efforts to provide access to highly trained, certified professionals across this province who can help support and provide services to those of all ages with communication needs. Lives are changed by improved communication “
Ministry of Advanced Education
Faculty of Medicine
The University of British Columbia