As fellow proactive providers of a full array of Speech-Language Pathology services in our ever-changing healthcare market, we have learned that it has become increasingly necessary for us as practitioners to offer adequate assessment and intervention for patients whose primary language may be different from that of the treating therapist. The MannaQure team discovered through clinical practice that tools to serve the Spanish-speaking population do not exist in today’s market for clinicians. As practicing Speech-Language Pathologists in Texas, which is one of the top ten fastest-growing states in the United States with an increasing adult population whose primary language is Spanish, it was necessary to develop this evaluation and subsequent MannaQure treatment protocol soon to be released. info@MannaQure.com

Rationale for Product Development:  Review of the “Demographic Profile of American Speech-Language Hearing Association (ASHA) Members Providing Bilingual Services August 2012" reveals that of the 150,241 individuals represented by ASHA, 7,039 (5%) indicated they met the ASHA definition of bilingual service provider. While ASHA does not offer bilingual certification, the organization did request on the 2012 dues notice that ASHA members self-identify as being bilingual based on ASHA's policy. ASHA's policy document titled "Bilingual Speech-Language Pathologists and Audiologists: Definition" requires native or near-native proficiency in a second language. According to the Texas Speech-Hearing Association's (TSHA) Cultural and Linguistic Diversity Committee (CLD), a trained bilingual SLP speaks a second language fluently, has received additional training on the unique development of speech and language skills, knows appropriate therapy targets, and is able to acknowledge how cultural influences affect the therapeutic process ("The Difference Between Spanish-Speaking SLPs and Bilingual SLPs" 2014).

Additionally, one-half (50%) of ASHA bilingual service providers were employed in educational settings, including 44% in schools and 6% in colleges and universities. An additional 44% were employed in healthcare settings, including 25% in non-residential healthcare facilities, 12% in hospitals, and 7% in residential healthcare settings.
The largest number of ASHA-certified SLPs who lived in the United States and were bilingual service providers lived in Texas (1,077), New York (1,006), California (857), and Florida (608). Many of these were Spanish language providers: Texas (946), New York (457), California (488), and Florida (472). It is not certain that these bilingual service providers are familiar with dysphagia and/or dysarthria assessment and treatment terminology.

In an attempt to meet the demands placed on the monolingual SLP, MannaQure has developed a comprehensive, norm-referenced English to Spanish Dysphagia and Dysarthria Assessment designed to identify, describe, and quantify swallowing and oral-facial deficits in the adult Spanish-speaking population. This comprehensive battery is intended to be used in developing an individualized treatment approach. In accordance with ASHA’s Principle of Ethics II, rules B and C, “Clinicians should continue in life-long learning to develop those knowledge and skills required to provide culturally and linguistically appropriate services” (ASHA 2013).

The Spanish-speaking SLP who may not be fluent in terminology related to dysphagia and/or dysarthria may also benefit from use of this battery. The developers of the evaluation were sensitive to variations in regional dialects, cultural differences, and accents that may exist among speakers and may alter outcomes. Info@MannaQure.com


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