Speech Language Pathology
Speech therapy (as SLP is known) in Ethiopia is on the cusp of a significant breakthrough: moving from two qualified speech therapists in a country of 105 million, to 16 trained Ethiopian speech therapists graduating from Addis Ababa University in 2019 for the first time.
In 2017 Addis Ababa University (AAU), Special Needs Department, in the Faculty of Education joined with two other partners to help train the first 2 cohorts of speech therapists. Transforming Faces, which supports comprehensive cleft lip and palate care and the Plastic and Reconstructive surgery unit at Yekatit 12 Hospital Medical College AAU asked the Toronto Addis Ababa Academic Collaboration (TAAAC) to become involved. TAAAC invited the International Centre for Disability and Rehabilitation and the Department of Speech Language Pathology at University of Toronto , to partner with them in supporting their speech language therapy undergraduate program.
Eight faculty from the University of Toronto and its partner hospitals went to Ethiopia in sequence to teach the first cohort of speech therapy students in the country. STs experienced expert instruction in Child Language, Adult Neurogenic Communication Disorders, Aural Rehabilitation, AAC and Dysphagia. As well as clinical and classroom teaching to students in an emergent profession. It has been a transformative experience for everyone.
The future plans are to close the undergraduate Speech Therapy program and to open a Masters in Speech Therapy open to all who have a clinical back ground. It will be jointly held under the College of Education and the College of Health Science AAU – with ongoing teaching from UofT and the generous support of Transforming Faces.
To listen to the "Caring for Cleft Podcast" which shares some of the history of SLT in Ethiopia please click on the link below.
Program Contact Information
Dr. Kim Bradley