Your Speech & Hearing Month Library Tables

This May, many of our speech language pathologists and audiologists will volunteer at colourful information tables in libraries across the province, engaging the public in essential information and fun activities around Speech and Hearing Month. In the third consecutive year of this initiative, collaborations with major libraries will happen in more than 14 communities including Victoria, Cowichan Bay, Vancouver, Prince George and Abbotsford.

We encourage you to show your support for this initiative by either posting about a library table on social media––or by visiting a library in your community during a Saturday or Sunday when a member will be present.

Library appointments include:

Victoria – Saturday, May 6 from 2pm-5pm – Victoria Central Library – Nomi Kaston
Cowichan – Saturday, May 6 from 3pm-5pm – South Cowichan Library – Karen Handford and Lauren Bard
Vancouver – Saturday, May 6 from 11am-3pm – Mount Pleasant Library – Kate Chase and Rita Francis
North Vancouver – Saturday, May 6 from 10:30am-1:30pm – Lynn Valley Library – Valerie Cundiff
Langley – Saturday, May 6 from 1pm-4pm – Walnut Grove Library – Weibke Szalay
Port Coquitlam – Saturday, May 6 from 2pm-5pm – Terry Fox Library – Charmaine Francis and Arlene Stern
Surrey – Sunday, May 7 from 2pm-4pm – Surrey City Centre Library – Sherri Zelazny and Shanu Kotwal
North Vancouver – Saturday, May 13 from 10:30am-1:30pm – Capilano Library – Havi Neeman
Delta – Saturday, May 13 from 2pm-5pm – George Mackie Library – Jiji Hubert
Victoria – Saturday, May 13 from 10am-1pm – Nellie McClung Library – Brenna Cowden
Surrey – Sunday, May 14 from 1pm-3pm – Guilford Library – Jenn Browning
Vancouver – Saturday, May 20 from 1pm-4pm – Kitsilano Library – Katherine Mindess and Gabriela Raymond
Abbotsford – Saturday, May 27 from 10am-12pm – Abbotsford Community Library – Jennifer Buckley
Prince George – Saturday, May 27 from 10am-1pm – Prince George Library – Clare Wolff

Thank you to all Speech-Language Pathologists and Audiologists who volunteered!

UBC SASS: First School Symposim on “Hot Topics in Speech, Language, and Hearing: From the Research Lab to the Clinic, and the Other Way Around”


The School is excited to announce its first symposium, titled “Hot Topics in Speech, Language, and Hearing: From the Research Lab to the clinic, and the Other Way Around”. The symposium will be held on April 1st, 2017 (9:00 am – 4:30 pm) in the Friedman Building on the Vancouver Point Grey Campus.

Planned activities include two parallel sessions in the morning and two in the afternoon, given by School faculty (Dr. May Bernhardt, Dr. Sig Soli, Dr. Navid Shahnaz, and Ms. Eavan Sinden) on topics that are of high interest among clinicians: clinical practice in a multicultural and multilingual world, silent hearing loss, and counselling skills development. Attendees will also have the opportunity to engage in discussions about research questions with School faculty.

You will find more details about the symposium on the symposium website at:

Important Update on Hot Topics in Speech, Language and Hearing UBC Symposium

Update on UBC Symposium:

Due to unforeseen circumstances, the date of the symposium “Hot Topics in Speech, Language and Hearing: from research lab to the clinic, and the other way around” has been postponed to April 1st, 2017 (the symposium was originally scheduled for February 4th, 2017).  We will shortly have a website with further information about this symposium. In the meantime, any enquiries about this symposium can be sent to Valter Ciocca, Director, UBC SASS,  at  “”.

See you at the symposium!

Vancouver Area Walk for Children with Apraxia

The second annual Vancouver Area Walk for Children with Apraxia of Speech is happening on Saturday, September 17th! In addition to being a fundraiser for the non-profit organization CASANA (Childhood Apraxia of Speech Association of North America) and an opportunity to raise awareness of CAS, the walk is so much more. Families and friends of children with CAS come together to meet and support each other, to celebrate their “Apraxia Stars” and all the hard work they do, and to have fun. There are games and activities, treats, and this year there may be some special intergalactic guests!

BCASLPA member, Jessica Folk-Farber, an organizer for the second year, says her biggest goal is to reach as many families from around BC as possible. “Parents have told me how much they appreciated meeting others who understood their experiences and how much it helped their children to see others who also have to work so hard to speak.” Jessica hopes that professionals from around the province will share the walk information with their clients and encourage them to register; if any professionals would like to join them — to walk or to volunteer — please do! There is even a team, Walk & Talk SLPs, and everyon is welcome (your families, too!)

The walk is at The Fridge, 11295 Mellis Drive in Richmond (indoor space in case of rain, but an outdoor path for the walk). Register online  and if you have any questions, please feel free to contact Jessica at or check out the Facebook page.

ALS and AAC – CAYA Supports

Yesterday, Mauril Belanger did something that no one else has ever done. He used an AAC system to work as the Speaker of the House in Canada’s Parliament (view video). Mr. Belanger has ALS.

ALS is a devastating neurological disease, a degenerative condition that may initially manifest itself in difficulty speaking. Mr. Belanger was diagnosed last November, after dealing with a “mystery” voice condition in recent months. Four months later, he can no longer speak and needs to use a walker for mobility.

In BC, there are three main resources for people who have received a diagnosis of ALS. The ALS Society, the ALS Centre at the GF Strong Rehabilitation Centre,  and CAYA – Communication Assistance for Youth & Adults.

CAYA is a provincial resource program that provides support to adults in BC who require an AAC system due to a severe communication disability, i.e. their speech does not meet their daily needs. Support for people with ALS can include voice amplification, voice/message/story banking, technology provision and lite tech system creation. Communication needs will change as an individual progresses along the path, and CAYA staff assist with revising the system and training as required.

A diagnosis of ALS leads to extreme mental and emotional stress, as well as physical deterioration. It is understandable that someone might be resistant to help at the beginning, but the sooner a person can refer to our program, the more we can do to assist them to communicate when their speech is no longer functional. Having said that, CAYA is a community program and not an acute care service. If a person waits until the last moment to attempt to access our services, there will be a point whereby we cannot help them.

If you know of someone diagnosed with this disease, please download our Request for Service from our webpage and support them to access our program. It is vitally important that everyone can communicate what they need to say, whether they can speak or not.

Lois Turner, RSLP
Provincial SLP

SAVE the DATE – October 21 and 22 BCASLPA Conference

Inter-Professional Collaboration Focus

Join us for the 59th annual BCASLPA Conference on October 21 and 22!

This year’s conference takes place at the Hilton Vancouver Metrotown in Burnaby. The room rate is an inexpensive, $129 per night plus tax.

For information and updates visit the BCASLPA Conference Website. Online registration will be available in June. Be sure to watch for BCASLPA emails for more news on the conference. Mark your calendar and join us for this conference!

2016 BCASLPA Conference Planning Committee

-Photo Courtesy Hilton Vancouver Metrotown in Burnaby

Hilton metrotown

2015 BCASLPA Award Winners

This year three individuals were awarded special recognition at the BCASLPA AGM for outstanding contributions to the profession of Speech-Language Pathology. Pat Mirenda, Distinguished Service Award, Sheryl Palm, Honours of the Association and Megan Sutton, Honours of the Association. We extend our congratulations to the award winners as well as our gratitude for their work and commitment to the profession.

Distinguished Service Award
This award is presented to individuals who are not speech-language pathologists or audiologists but who have made outstanding contributions to the professions and/or the communities they serve.

Honours of the Association
Honours of the Assocition are awarded to Members who have made an outstanding contribution so speech-language pathology and/or audiology in education, research, organization services, administration and other areas deemed appropriate.

Congratulations to BCASLPA Members on SAC Awards

Congratulations goes to BCASLPA Members Jessica Ball, MPH, PhD and Marlene Lewis, MA, RSLP, S-LP(C) for being awarded SAC’s 2015 Editor’s Award for authoring the best paper published in the Canadian Journal of Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology in 2014.

And further congratulations to student members Myron Huen and Katrina Kwan for receiving SAC’s 2015 Student Excellence Awards for outstanding academic achievements.

For more information on these awards and award winners, please visit the SAC Website.

Summer Reads, Part 2: Carly’s Voice, Love Anthony and Uniquely Human

carlys_voiceNow let’s turn to Carly’s Voice by Arthur Fleischmann and his non-vocal apraxic ASD daughter (2012). This Toronto-based story, a Mitchell ‘confessional memoir’, has a twist: thanks to dedicated SLP Barb Nash-Fenton and many ABA and non-ABA workers in her hard life, Carly one day grabbed a VOCA and typed HELPTEETHHURT, stunning everyone. Carly eventually and only on her own terms typed on, applying years of SLP communication therapy (PECS, etc.) that led to her ‘breakthrough’ at age 10. She typed that first VOCA message on the alphabet letter ‘level’ her worker was about to delete as ‘useless’, for more pre-packaged pictures. Ouch. She had learned to read from books her father read her, night after night, and from exposure to the text under her picture symbols, and Dymo labels. She had been watching, and learning, in silence. She then wrote to communicate, in clearly functional contexts, like emails to Dad off on a business trip – but at first might not write anything for Dad in person. She was also very firm that this is HER inner voice, answering one emailed enquiry with:

I don’t use facilitated communication…I spell on my own without any one holding my hand or whispering in my ear.”

At 20, her latest technology (IPad, Proloquo2go, etc.) is listed at the end. This is a Canadian classic, by Father who can write and Daughter who ‘tells it like it is’.

A day or three with Carly’s Voice will remind you why you are an SLP and what it costs families with a child with autism, in all senses of ‘costs’.

David Mitchell is wrong – we can all learn from the Fleischmanns and Carly’s lifelong struggle with severe ASD + Apraxia. Emily Rubin, speaking in Richmond recently about SCERTS, quoted Ros Blackburn from the UK, who summarized her life with autism so (put this on a wall in your school/centre/office, please):

You would all react as I do, if you were pushed as far as I am.”

Carly too is NOT trying to do what her body often does, all by itself. The need for strong external control, by medication and programming, remains. This book is sobering in its timeline, complexity and final Q&A ‘conversation’ with Carly, who blogs, emails and writes, bypassing sadly intractable apraxia. What ‘My Left Foot’ did for Cerebral Palsy, this book does for non-vocal ASD. Watch out   for Ellen De Generes; treasure Carly’s twin sister Taryn. This book is for families who feel their child is ‘worse’ than any other. And yes, it has a happy ending. I recommend this very useful ‘confessional memoir’ to SLPs, SLP students and parents.

13547381Book 3, Love, Anthony is the 2012 third novel, often overlooked, by the author of Still Alice: Lisa Genova. Here the Harvard PhD neuroscientist turned novelist writes about two families brought together by a young boy with ASD. As always, LG merges research, fact and fiction to make an accessible story about unique lives. We think we know the impact of ASD on families. Hmm. This novel is extraordinary in its range of grief and loss and living/loving, its heart a silent or screaming boy who lines up white stones on Nantucket Beach. Both mystery and love story, it will haunt you. This is why Lisa Genova writes, to educate us and to engage our empathy, sympathy and love. ASD society buttons in Europe now all read, simply, in English, “I love somebody with autism.”

uniquely-human-9781476776231_lgSaving the best for last, SLP Barry Prizant’s first general book, Uniquely Human: A Different Way of Seeing Autism, due out August 1st, already has rave reviews; ‘for parents, the first book to read about autism; for experts, the last one you need’ as one of 13 famous reviewers say on Simon and Schuster’s website. It summarizes, for parents and others, what we now know about ASD reactions to an overwhelming world (see Blackburn above). As noted in SCERTS, we must also change the world around the child, and ourselves. Prizant changed us all.

All books listed can be found/ordered in BC for $25 or less. Tell us yours.


Reviewer: Retired after 40 years in ASD, John collects user-friendly ASD books and programs to share at Zagreb University in Croatia. He first heard Prizant’s name in Prince George from a Prizant graduate, the late, great Boyana ‘Cookie’ Kukich, SLP, Croatia, Paris, Boston, Prince George and Toronto. Hvala Ti.