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Communication Professionals Reach Out to Wider World

Posted by: Emily Martinez, Communications Manager - Callier Center for Communication Disorders

One of the best things about working at Callier is seeing how many people are helped each day by dedicated speech-language pathologists and audiologists. Children’s and adults’ lives are changed forever by well-trained, committed communication professionals.

But these patients are primarily Americans. What about all of the people living in other countries who don’t have the kind of healthcare opportunities we do?

A UT Dallas graduate is now reaching out to this wider world, leading an effort to expand treatment for the estimated 20 million Chinese citizens who suffer from speech and hearing disorders. Dr. Lucy Liu, who earned a master’s degree in communication sciences at Callier, and fellow UT Dallas alumna Wendy Lee, who also earned a master’s from Callier, recently led a team of speech-language pathologists to China to provide training and therapy at several research, medical and educational centers.

Liu also is working with UT Dallas to initiate a pilot training program in China to develop a cadre of professionals in speech-language pathology. The number of rehabilitation specialists in China, many of whom have minimal training, is less than 1 percent of the 126,000 well-trained and certified clinicians in the U.S. This small group of general rehabilitation specialists must serve a population 400 percent greater than that of the United States.

Liu’s effort highlights the importance of the work done by communication professionals, and it also shows how much is still left to be done.

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