PULLMAN, Wash. — A program to train Native Americans as speech-language pathologists and audiologists at Washington State University has received renewed funding from the U.S. Department of Education. Eight Native American students are currently enrolled in the program, which offers financial and educational support. An opening for one more student remains. Information is available from the Department of Speech and Hearing Sciences at WSU.
Graduates of the program will be prepared to work in educational or medical settings with individuals who have difficulty with speech, language or hearing. The training includes professional mentorships and leadership training, as well as observations, clinical experience and research in Native American communities. Students who have a commitment to serve Native American communities and who have college experience are given admission preference.
The project has received $169,546 in funding from the Department of Education and $130,282 from WSU for the 1998-99 academic year.
“There is a significant need for personnel to work with Native Americans, since speech, language and hearing disorders occur with 5 to 15 times greater frequency in this population,” said Ella Inglebret, director of the program. “While there are only 12 nationally certified, Native American speech-language pathologists and audiologists in the Northwest, it has been estimated that 74 percent of the native population does not receive adequate speech, language and hearing services.”