10 March 2011

Belfast event aims to help ‘give a voice’ to children with speech and language problems 

Teachers and speech therapists are seeing a growing rise in the number of children beginning school with speech, language and communication difficulties.

This will be one of the key messages at a training event in Belfast hosted by the Royal College of Speech and Language Therapists (RCSLT), in collaboration with the Department of Education.  Bringing together teachers, education and library board officers and speech and language therapists, the event examines collaborative practice to support children with speech, language and communication difficulties and provides a forum to share best practice and innovation. 

A total of 8,650 children were identified with speech, language and communication difficulties in the school year 2009/2010 and teachers say it is one of the most common difficulties for children entering school.  

Those attending the event will learn more about the RCSLT’s ‘ Giving Voice’ campaign which highlights the benefits of speech and language therapy by telling the stories of those who have benefited from treatment and by encouraging people to communicate how therapy has benefited their lives.  

Alison McCullough, MBE, Northern Ireland Policy Officer at the RCSLT says: “Collaboration provides the best supportive environment for children with speech, language and communication needs. Through the RCSLT’s Giving Voice campaign, teachers and speech and language therapists are working more closely together making a difference to children’s futures.”

The event will include a keynote address from Baroness May Blood and will showcase local effective practice by teachers and speech and language therapists from the UK and Northern Ireland.




Notes for Editors

For more information please contact Ross Williamson: 028 9034 7301 / 07734821070



About Giving Voice

Speech and language therapists work with a huge variety of people, from young children who stammer, to older people recovering from stroke and other brain injuries. They aim to help give them ‘voice’ by improving their communication abilities and addressing their swallowing, eating and drinking difficulties. www.givingvoiceuk.org 


About the RCSLT

The Royal College of Speech and Language Therapists (RCSLT) is the professional body for speech and language therapists in the UK and has more than 14,000 members. It is responsible for setting, promoting and maintaining high standards in education, clinical practice and ethical conduct. The RCSLT provides an information service and careers guidance about speech and language therapy. Please visit www.rcslt.org for further information on the RCSLT.


Media Opportunities

Date: 10 March 2011 

Time: 9.00am – 3.00pm

Location: Stormont Hotel, Belfast 

Filming & Interview Opportunities: Interviews and filming will be available on request through Weber Shandwick. Alison McCullough from the RCSLT along with Speech & Language Therapists and senior representatives of the Department of Education and teachers will be available for interview along with people who have benefitted from speech and language therapy. Pre-recorded interviews will also be available through Weber Shandwick. 

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