Thursday, February 16, 2017

Sydney speech pathology researchers receive $6.3 million for internet-based stuttering clinic

In their third consecutive NHMRC Program Grant University of Sydney Speech Pathology School’s Professor Mark Onslow, Associate Professor Ann Packman, and Associate Professor Ross Menzies have been awarded $6.3 million to establish the world’s first internet-based clinic for stuttering.

Sydney speech pathology researchers receive $6.3 million for internet-based stuttering clinic
Professor Mark Onslow (Photo: University of Sydney)
The stuttering e-Clinic will service all the needs of child, adolescent and adult patients affected by stuttering located throughout Australia and eventually the world. The internet-based clinic model will provide economical, scalable and translatable stuttering treatments that will, for the first time, provide a means to adequately manage the public health problem of stuttering.

“The great advantage of this e-Clinic is that it can be accessed by anyone without having to visit a specialist speech pathologist or psychologist,” said Professor Onslow.

“In many cases, standalone internet treatment is effective for children and adults who stutter, and for them, having access to that internet e-Clinic, plus short weekly phone or email contact with a speech pathologist or psychologist, will be enough to treat their stuttering.”

The e-Clinic will mean that only patients who do not respond to this new type of online treatment will need to visit a clinic in person to see a speech pathologist or psychologist.

“The establishment of the e-Clinic will improve the lives of children with speech difficulties all over Australia and is an extremely cost effective way to deal with stuttering.

“We are particularly proud to put have put speech pathology up there in the running with oncology and immunology for this pool of funding” Professor Onslow said.

The funding is part of $125 million in research grants presented by the new Federal Government Health Minister Greg Hunt. The aim of these grants is to provide support for teams of high calibre researchers to pursue broad based, multi-disciplinary and collaborative research addressing complex problems.

University of Sydney Speech Pathology School

In common with other departments at the University of Sydney, the discipline of speech pathology promotes students’ development of generic  communication and teamwork skills, as well as discipline-specific knowledge and skills. The course is designed to promote self-direction and encourages the graduates to have a sense of their own individuality and creativity. The university offers a two-year, graduate-entry Master of Speech Language Pathology program. It is intended for students coming from an undergraduate degree in any field, who wish to gain the requirements to become a speech pathologist.

Program: Master of Speech Language Pathology
Location: Sydney, New South Wales
Semester intake: March each year
Duration: 2 years
Application Deadline: TBA. Applications for the 2017 intake closed October 14, 2016.

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