Sunday, August 5, 2012

SP and SPED: Building Bridges Together

The Department of Speech Pathology of the College of Allied Medical Professions of University of the Philippines Manila (UP-CAMP) and the Philippine Association of Speech Pathologists (PASP) invite speech pathologists and special education teachers for a seminar on August 19, 2012 (Sunday). Kindly read the poster for more details.

Interested participants must register here.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Seminar: Role in the transition of students with special needs

The seminar is open to speech pathologists and occupational therapists. Register here.

Seminar: The Drama Protocol

Interested speech pathologists can register here to attend the seminar. For more details, kindly read the event poster below.

Friday, February 10, 2012

Programs, Standards and Guidelines (PSG) for Speech Pathology Education (SPE)

Ms. Mae Sadicon presenting the SPE
(Photo courtesy of Ms. Carla Cuadro)
By Mae Sadicon

Personal note from the writer/author: I was quite stumped when Miss Joyce Anne Ponciano requested me to write an article about the CHED Memorandum Order No. 29 s.2011 (otherwise known as Policies, Standards and Guidelines for Speech-Language Pathology Education). Pen some sort of a blog for the association’s website, she said. Hmmm…An old school doing a blog. Quite a challenge so I figured I will not force it and just go the usual route and use a time-tested formula. Present the facts so that people will know. Tell how the PSG came about and translate to those who will read it that this is hopefully just the start of more and better things to come. Things that can be written about in a future article…and pray that, by then, it will indeed be more of a blog (Special thanks to Ma’am Joyce Marzan for the additional inputs).

The Catalyst behind the Speech-Language Pathology Program

When a Filipino child or adult has a disability, they and their family experience the many difficulties that arise in managing and coping with their condition. Their efforts at coping become all the more daunting when necessary interventions fall short of expectation and demand. In a report submitted by Commission on Higher Education Department’s (CHED) Technical Committee for Physical Therapy and Occupational Therapy Education (with a subgroup consisting of 3 speech pathology practitioners) in the year 2008, the committee cited key points in the then current affairs of the Speech Pathology (SP) education and practice. One of the things the members emphasized was the apparent limited number of speech pathologists in the country in the midst of a growing population with disability.

The committee likewise expressed concern regarding a reported proliferation of “pseudo speech therapists” or those individuals who provide speech pathology services but are not graduates of a legitimate SP course. There have been incidences in the past and likewise in present time when certain schools have purportedly provided short-term courses that aimed to equip the students the know-how in speech and language without the necessary background and comprehensive training that are imperative in this profession. These, therefore, have put the population with disability at a disadvantage.

The TCPTOTE, in their report, put it succinctly when they emphasized “…While their intentions may be to improve the quality of life of these patients, their lack of training is a deterrent. It is important to provide training programs to equip these persons with the minimum competencies to provide effective assessment and intervention for Filipinos with communication disorders”.

The Need to Meet the Needs

The state of affairs of the SP education and practice in the country clearly pointed to the need for more universities to offer a baccalaureate program that would equip graduates to provide more and better speech pathology services. At the service of national development and interest, the TCPTOTE, with the encouragement and support of CHED, commenced the development of standards that would allow universities around the country to meet this need. In early 2007, the committee invited Professor Jocelyn Marzan, associate professor of the Department of Speech Pathology at the University of the Philippines - Manila to become part of the TCPTOTE. That year, focus group discussions were held among SP practitioners, physicians, educators, other professionals who work with speech pathologists and representatives of advocacy groups for clients who require SP services to elucidate the need for standards and guidelines for SP education.

Prof. Marzan, with two other speech pathologists, Misses Carla Cuadro and Barbara Munar, then conducted a survey among practicing speech-language pathologists. Primary objective of the survey was to determine and validate the core competencies for speech pathologists. With a 52% response rate that yielded 100 respondents, the results of this survey outlined local practice patterns, practice settings, the roles and responsibilities of current practitioners and the characteristics of the client population they served. The data provided, in part, a basis for the development of a core curriculum for the eventual SP program.

The Proposed Programs, Standards and Guidelines (PSG) for Speech Pathology Education (SPE)

In June of 2008, the results of the survey were presented to selected SP professionals who were invited as potential contributors to the construction of the PSG. These speech pathologists worked in different settings such as clinics, hospitals and schools and represented various areas of expertise and interest. They also held more than one positions or designations (e.g. practitioner and clinic owner, practitioner and university instructor, etc). A total of 18 speech pathologists practicing in the Philippines and 11 Filipino speech pathologists practicing in the United States, Canada and Singapore contributed to the course designs, meeting in groups or online to accomplish the tasks. Input was also received from physical therapists, occupational therapists and audiologists.

As with other endeavors, the construction of the PSG for SPE went through several stages. These included, but not limited to, the identification of crucial course subjects, their distribution to specific year level down to the total number of units for what eventually turned out to be a 5-year course proposed program. Professor Marzan, with Misses Cuadro and Munar, worked on various parts of the PSG such as program specifications, competency standards, faculty requirement, curriculum outline, etc. A 101-page draft of the complete PSG incorporating CHED requirements of all baccalaureate programs for health professions as well as the specific requirements needed to prepare competent entry level SPs was submitted in December 2008.

Further signifying its support, CHED approved the formation of a Technical Committee for Speech Pathology Education in time for the year 2009. The three-member committee was initially composed of Professor Fernando Ligot, Mae Catherine Sadicon and Paolo Sison. The committee, together with the able assistance of PASP, worked at bringing the now completed PSG within the awareness of the public and potential stakeholders.

In October 2009, CHED had its public consultation on the proposed Programs, Standards and Guidelines for Speech Pathology Education (PSG for SPE). Deans, faculty members and representatives of universities (e.g. De La Salle University Cavite, Cebu Doctors University) from various parts of the country attended the event. Participating schools indicated an interest in opening the program and voiced the hope that SP practitioners would choose an academic career path to make such programs possible.

The Road at Present and Far Ahead

In the year 2010, the committee, now composed of Professor Georgina Mojica, Professor Fernando Ligot and Mae Sadicon, worked on the final stages of the PSG. With Professors Ligot and Mojica’s combined experience in practice and expertise in the academe, the committee focused its energies on its adoption and promulgation. Although the journey was alternately frustrating and arduous, things began to take shape in the year 2011. With a new CHED chairman at the helm, CHED’s system became more efficient and outcome-oriented.

On November 2011, the Proposed Programs, Standards and Guidelines (PSG) for Speech Pathology Education (SPE) was finally signed and numbered as CHED Memorandum Order No. 29 s. 2011 and was introduced to the public via a national orientation. It was a momentous event attended by doctors, deans and representatives from universities within and outside of Metro Manila, selected advocacy groups and SP practitioners.

Reality dictates that even this endeavor will not totally address the problems that appear to be inherent in the profession. The committee recognizes this but nonetheless commits to bringing about changes that will be fair and just and with an uncompromising stand, all for the good of Filipinos with disabilities.

Friday, November 18, 2011

National orientation on the "Policies, Standards and Guidelines for Speech-Language Pathology Education"

Invite to CHED Caraga Region to attend
the national orientation
There will be a national orientation on the Commission on Higher Education (CHED) Memorandum Order No. 29, S. 2011 entitled, "Policies, Standards and Guidelines (PSG) for Speech-Language Pathology Education."

The public is invited to attend.

Filipino Speech Pathologists, let us take part in this momentous event. See the invite below forwarded by Ms. Mae Sadicon:

In accordance with pertinent provisions of Republic Act (RA) No. 7722, otherwise known as the “Higher Education Act of 1994” and by virtue of Resolution No. 207 – 2011 of the Commission en banc, the policies and standards for Speech-Language Pathology Education was hereby adopted and promulgated by the Commission on the last week of October this year.

As mandated by the Commission on Higher Education (CHED) and as part of the final phase, the Technical Committee for Speech Pathology Education will hold a public orientation. Over and above other goals, the primary objective of this public forum is to increase public awareness on Speech Pathology Education and Profession. This is also in recognition of the various steps that must be undertaken with the end view of meeting the national needs of health service delivery and keeping pace with the demands of global competitiveness.

We would like to invite you then to participate in this momentous event. The public orientation will take place at the Commission on Higher Education (CHED) Auditorium, CHED Center Building, C.P. Garcia Avenue, UP Campus Diliman, Quezon City. It will be held on November 24, 2011 (Thursday) from 8:00 am to 11 am. Registration will start at 7:30 am.

For more information, you may call telephone numbers 4411253/4411228. To confirm your attendance, please send the confirmation slip via one of these addresses;

Friday, November 11, 2011

Volunteerism and You: A Perfect Match


It was late in 2002 when I got a phone call at work from a friend of a friend. Around then I’ve already started a clinic with my partners and was focusing on working on building the practice. She introduced herself as Dr. Glenda de Villa and that she was forming a cleft team and needed a speech pathologist. Having a full load, as was typical of us SP’s, I told her that I would look for another SP for her team but I’ll see her patients in the meantime.

During subsequent meetings , I and the rest of the small team of 2 surgeons, an orthodontist, and an ENT got to share in Dr. De Villa’s vision of a new service delivery model for cleft care and how a multidisciplinary team can provide world-class cleft care even to the poorest of the poor. By then we were hooked. We started seeing patients at a small charity hospital in Paranaque in March of 2003. That year we operated on 35 children and adults and provided dental, ENT, and speech therapy for many more.
Our Lady of Peace Hospital in Paranaque, Philippines

Today our small team has grown into a foundation (the Noordhoff Craniofacial Foundation Philippines, Incorporated or NCF) that treats hundreds of patients each year. We also provide training for professionals to ensure that the treatment we provide is top-notch and state-of-the-art.
One of the patients seen by NCF

Personally and professionally, I feel I have gained much more from my volunteer work at NCF than what I have given in terms of time, money, and expertise. I have grown much more as a professional both in skills and outlook. Aside from the natural high we get when helping a fellow human being , I get a sense of fulfilment that I in my line of work can make a difference. 

I highly recommend volunteering as a speech pathologist for a worthy cause. Be it one day a week or a few days a year, give your services for free to someone who needs it. Do it and do it regularly for yourself and for speech pathology as a profession.

Each individual SP’s volunteerism further legitimizes our chosen profession since we, as practicing professionals, believe in the value of our work that we deem it worthwhile to give it for free because doing so makes the world a better place to live in.

The good news is , in our line of work, one needs only to look around to find a cause worthy and dear to their heart.