In late 2020 the local Educarte team and I formed a relationship with a few professors from ASU’s College of Health Solutions. These professors had learned about our Educarte program and took a strong interest in supporting our efforts to provide consistent therapies for young people with disabilities in the community. Before long we had signed a partnership agreement to have bilingual graduate students from ASU’s speech and language clinic provide virtual speech therapy services at our clinic.
ASU Professor Victoria Clark from ASU providing traininng for our team in June
A growing partnership
The professors we are working with from ASU quickly began to understand that the education level and requirements to become a speech and language pathologist in Mexico lag far behind those in the U.S. To become a licensed speech therapist in the U.S. requires an undergraduate degree and a master’s degree in speech-language pathology as well as a clinical fellowship in speech-language pathology, successful completion of a National Exam, state licensure and certification by the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association. To become a speech therapist in Mexico requires only a three-year undergraduate degree.
We are very fortunate to employ a team of committed professionals who are eager to learn how to better unlock the potential of the young people they serve. We are even more fortunate that one of the professors from ASU, Victoria Clark, has been willing to lead an effort to provide ongoing training and professional development for our Educarte team members. Over the last few years Victoria has invested a great deal of her own time and resources to travel to Rocky Point to provide our team with training in evidence-based approaches to speech and language therapy. She has also recruited other bilingual professionals to travel to Rocky Point to provide our team with training in occupational therapy, working with visual impairments, behavioral issues, sensory integration and more.
The ASU team believes that, by helping us develop a more highly skilled, multidisciplinary team over the next few years, our program can become a model of best practices for serving children with special needs in the State of Sonora, Mexico. Although it is fairly new, our therapy clinic has already built a strong reputation regionally and we now have families travelling from other areas for their child to receive therapies at our clinic. We are very grateful that the ASU team sees tremendous potential in our program and that they are willing to invest even more time and energy in supporting our team this next year.
Meet two of the ASU professors supporting our program:
Victoria Clark, M.A., M.S., CCC-SLP – Bilingual Speech-Language Pathologist and Clinical Assistant Professor at Arizona State University’s College of Health Solutions. Over the past 2 years Victoria has frequently traveled to Rocky Point to provide ongoing training and support for our therapy team in current evidence-based practices in speech therapy, assistive Technology Training for non-verbal children, techniques for working with patients with aphasia and traumatic brain injuries and more. Victoria also supervises the bilingual graduate students who provide virtual speech therapy at our clinic.
Jill Anne Castle, Adjunct Associate Professor ASU – Education & Behavioral Specialist. Over the past two years Jill has volunteered to travel to our program to provide training for our team in adapting curriculum for students with special needs, functional behavioral assessments, and positive behavior support.
We are grateful to ASU and the many generous donors who help make this all possible. You can make a tax-deductible donation to support the Educarte program go to www.AmigosEducarte.org.