Therapy is about schedules, budgets, IEPs, paperwork, session prep, and finally, services. There are school standards, state standards, national standards, and professional standards. Especially with this year’s stressors, I forgot therapy is genuinely about empowering individuals.
Sandy Dorsey, the founder of Smiles for Speech, spoke to eLuma clinicians on October 29. She highlighted the opportunities her foundation has throughout the world: wheelchairs, libraries, and community training. Her message was simple and straightforward; it is about connecting with people. The purpose of therapy is not to complete paperwork or even to ‘fix’ someone. It is about connecting and communicating.
What impressed me the most about Smiles for Speech was their program’s respect for individuals and involvement in communities. For example, Smiles for Speech modifies clinicians’ materials to include relatable vocabulary and images (Ghana’s materials include an African Broom). For the past three years, Smiles for Speech has focused on Speech Therapy and some Occupational therapy. They envision their program expanding to include tele-therapy services and the development of a Smiles for Speech Audiology Center in rural Ghana. In the Showcase, eLuma clinicians listened to Sandy share her experiences and her passion.
About the Author
Joy Marie Curtis, eLuma CX Operations Coordinator, Master in Education with an emphasis in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages, B.S. Early Childhood Education with a minor in International Relationships, experience teaching kindergarten on the Navajo Nation reservation and in rural Utah at a title I school.