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Department of Linguistics

Speech Pathology Research

Communication disability affects people of all ages. Children may experience, for example, difficulty acquiring speech and/or language, problems communicating as part of a broader developmental disability (e.g., cerebral palsy, autism), and difficulty reading or writing. Adults may experience problems communicating as a result of, for example, brain injury, (e.g. stroke, traumatic brain injury), degenerative disease (e.g., dementia, Motor Neurone Disease, Parkinson's Disease), or head and neck pathology (e.g., throat or oral cancer).

Speech pathologists are the primary professional group providing assessment and rehabilitation for communication disability. Research is vital for ensuring that speech pathologists can offer people with communication disability effective rehabilitation, and so that people with communication disability and their significant others can make informed decisions about rehabilitation services.

Researchers in the Department of Linguistics conduct both "basic" and "applied" research related to communication disability. Basic research is focused on better understanding how speech, language, cognition, and communication are affected by communication disability. Applied research is focused on developing ways of better assessing and treating communication disability, improving the professional practices of speech pathologists (e.g., clinical measurement tools; education of speech pathology students), and improving rehabilitation services for people with communication disability.

The Department of Linguistics offers a unique environment for conducting research related to communication disability and speech pathology because of the expertise available on typical and disordered processes in speech, language, and communication, and professional practice in speech pathology. Research students can expect to work with experts who will ensure that their work is both theoretically rigorous and practically focused.

For information about research on communication disability and speech pathology in the Department for Linguistics, please contact Dr. Elisabeth Harrison, Dr. Scott Barnes, or Dr. Liora Ballin.

Contact us

Professor Elisabeth Harrison
Phone: +61 2 9850 6716
: +61 2 9850 9199
Visit: C5A, Level 5

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