The Information Needs of School-based Speech–Language Pathologist Assistants: A Case Study
Speech–language pathologists (SLPs) are professionals who specialize in diagnosing and treating communication disorders. They are sometimes supported by a speech–language pathologist assistant (SLPA), who engages in treatment procedures under the guidance of the supervising SLP. Both the qualifications needed to practice as well as the scope of responsibilities vary for SLPAs depending on jurisdiction. Notably, these assistants can play a central role in the treatment of speech disorders. Research regarding the information needs of SLPAs, however, is limited. This paper seeks to explore the information resources and services available to a particular SLPA community and to examine the obstacles to meeting its information needs. An interview with a practicing school-based SLPA is used to discuss current practices and suggest improvements to information services available to SLPA communities. This interview highlights some of the challenges that may be faced by school-based SLPAs when seeking information, and it provides an opportunity to consider context-specific solutions to these issues.
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