EDUCATION PLUS

Audiologists are in demand

In demand: Training in progress for speech therapists

In demand: Training in progress for speech therapists  

ZOHRAB REYS GAMAT

Treating people with speech and hearing problems is a specialised subject

With the release of the Pre-University and CET results, students have rushed to get their seats in engineering and medical colleges. But for students with a science background, this course of action does not necessarily have to be the only one. Many see it wise to opt for allied courses that provide them job satisfaction and peace of mind. Courses in Speech and Hearing is just one of the many interesting options in the allied subjects.

Bachelor’s in Speech Language Pathology and Audiology (BSLPA) is a course being offered by various institutes for the past 45 years. But it has very few takers, most do not even know what Language Pathology and Audiology means. Radhika Poovayya, the Director and Principal of Samvaad Institute of Speech and Hearing, Bangalore, explains, “Bachelor’s in Speech and Hearing was the name of the course in my days. Then for a short period it was named BSLPA. It has been changed back to B.Sc in Speech and Hearing. The course is for three years and deals with difficulties in communication.”

The core subjects include audiology and speech language pathology. Audiology deals with diagnosis, prevention and rehabilitation of hearing problems. Fitting of hearing aids being a major part of this field, audiologists also work on cochlear implants. Speech Language Pathologists identify and treat communication disorders such as stuttering, poor clarity of speech and voice problems along with difficulties in speech as a result of stroke or head injuries. The allied subjects include Psychology, Linguistics, Electronics, Anatomy, Physiology and ENT.

Samvaad Institute of Speech and Hearing has a diagnostic and therapeutic set-up with the latest equipment and software where the students receive practical training.

Practicals

“Students get 18 hours of practicals per week. In their first year, they get to watch us treating the patients, and from the second year, they get to treat patients under our supervision,” says Ms. Poovayya. The institute has tie-ups with K.C. General Hospital, Dr. B.R. Ambedkar Medical Hospital, Spastic Society of Karnataka and Vishwas, a special school.

Ms. Poovayya, who also runs a Speech Language Rehabilitation Centre in HAL 3rd Stage and is a consultant at HOSMAT, has tried to create public awareness on communication disabilities by holding camps, seminars, workshops and walk-a-thons apart from screening (for hearing problems) at schools and old age homes.

Hospitals, integrated schools and speech and hearing centres have now started to employ professionals. “An average of 20 students graduate from each of the 25 institutions in India but this is not enough to cater to all patients,” she adds. As eight to 10 per cent of the population suffers from speech and hearing disabilities, a career in speech and hearing has tremendous potential. Opportunities are in abundance overseas too.

The medium of instruction is English and number of seats available is only 20. Candidates of science background with at least 50 per cent or above in their Pre-University or 12th standard examinations can apply for the course. The last date for applications is June 20. The applications are available online at the institute’s website: >www.samvaadinstitute.org

For further information, contact Radhika Poovayya, Samvaad Institute of Speech and Hearing, 4/1, opp. Sumangali Seva Ashram, Cholanayakanahalli, R.T. Nagar Post, Bangalore-560032; or call (080) 65351150, 65351151, 9845018302.



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