Team Thayer Lindsley Participated in the “Walk 4 Hearing”

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The Thayer Lindsley Family-Centered Program has participated in the Hearing Loss Association of America’s New England Walk4Hearing (W4H) as an alliance partner for the past four years.  As an alliance partner, the Thayer Lindsley Program benefits by receiving a portion of all donations earned by our walk team, Team Thayer-Lindsley, and other walkers that select our program as their alliance partner. Team Thayer Lindsley includes professionals and both undergraduate and graduate students from Emerson College, plus currently enrolled and alumni families of the Thayer Lindsley Program. We participate in this community-building experience to increase public awareness about hearing loss and help eradicate the stigma associated with it, and through this fund-raiser support is provided to national and local programs for people with hearing loss and their families. It is an annual fall event and takes place at Artesani Park in Brighton during the last weekend in October.

 

The Thayer Lindsley Program has used its portion of donations to create and maintain a Lending Library for families who attend the Thayer Lindsley Program. Because of this effort, families now have access to a variety of resources, including books, DVDs and therapy materials, that can be borrowed and used to gain information, enrich their sign language knowledge and skills and learn strategies to carry over these skills into their homes and therapy sessions.

walk 4 hearing lynn
A beautiful day for a walk!

Accent Modification Lab at Emerson College in Boston

Accent modification services can provided in group settings.
Accent modification services can provided in group settings.

During the Spring 2015 semester, I was involved in the Robbins Speech, Language and Hearing Center’s Accent Modification Lab along with my classmate, Lindsay Lueders G’15 and our clinical supervisor, Marie Rimshaw, M.S., CCC-SLP. We held weekly group sessions with six Emerson College graduate students in the Integrated Marketing Program, who hailed from Taiwan, China, and Saudi Arabia. They all spoke fluent English, but wished to modify their accents to be better understood by future employers, potential clients, new friends, and community members.

I had a wonderful semester getting to know the group members and helping them improve their pronunciation of Mainstream American English (MAE). I also enjoyed how much the experience made me think about my own accent and all the rules I subconsciously follow to speak my native language. I realized just how much there was to remember and I was very impressed with our group members as they improved each week and asked insightful questions about how to say certain words and phrases.

accent modification is not about completely

We made clear to our group members that accent modification is not about completely getting rid of one’s accent – different accents are wonderful and interesting! Accent modification is about learning the rules and patterns of another language and practicing that pronunciation and intonation so that one can be understood more easily.

In our group, we specifically worked on syllable stress and word stress to produce MAE intonation. For example, there are words in English that are spelled the same, but if emphasis is placed on the first syllable, (e.g., produce) the word is a noun, but if emphasis is placed on the second syllable (e.g., produce) the word is a verb. We also practiced using word stress to convey meaning (e.g., “Did you know he liked her?” versus “Did you know he liked her?”), convey emotion (e.g., “…really?” “Really.” “Really?!”), and ask questions clearly (e.g., “Do you like it?” “Why do you like it?”).

Using MAE intonation was something that all our group members were looking to improve, and something that was fun to work on together in a group setting and conversational context. The Robbins Center also offers accent modification in an one-on-one setting, which is better for working on the individual sounds used in MAE and focusing on the sounds that each individual client wants to work on.

For more information about Accent Modification, please contact the Robbins Center. You can also read this informational page from the American Speech Language and Hearing Association (ASHA): http://www.asha.org/public/speech/development/Accent-Modification/

This guest post was written by graduate student Sarah Cucuzzo ’15 (pictured in photo above)

 

Aphasia Awareness Day

Aphasia is a loss of language due to stroke, traumatic brain injury or other neurologic event.

Each year, nearly 80,000 people will develop difficulties with speaking, writing, reading and listening skills due to aphasia.

At the Robbins Speech, Language and Hearing Center at Emerson College, individual and group speech therapy services are available for adults with aphasia. The therapy is provided by our graduate students and supervised by certified and licensed speech-language pathologists / Clinical Instructors.

Each year, graduate students, clinical instructors, academic faculty and many of our clients participate in Aphasia Awareness Day to raise awareness about aphasia and advocate for additional services for this population.

See pictures of the 2015 Aphasia Awareness Day below:

Several of our clients prior to participating in Aphasia Awareness Day
A few of our clients and students prior to participating in Aphasia Awareness Day. (Also pictured, Laura Glufling-Tham, Clinical Instructor)

 

Aphasia Awareness Day participants rally in front of the MA State House
Aphasia Awareness Day participants rally in front of the MA State House

 

Emerson College students sharing information about speech therapy services for people with aphasia inside of the MA State House
Emerson College students sharing information about speech therapy services for people with aphasia inside of the MA State House

To learn more about aphasia and how to get speech therapy services for you or a loved one with aphasia in the Boston area, click here.