January 27, 2023

Ongoing support for students with speech and hearing challenges

Daniel Lombardo from Telethon Speech & Hearing, Jacqui Abbiss from Waroona District High School, and Tom Busher from Alcoa at the signing of the ongoing partnership to support the Waroona Integrated Speech, Hearing and Education Program.

Students in early primary years at Waroona District Primary School, in Western Australia, will continue to receive speech and hearing screening and support thanks to an ongoing partnership between Alcoa and Telethon Speech & Hearing.

The partnership allows for the ongoing delivery of the Waroona Integrated Speech, Hearing and Education Program at the school, which provides screening, face-to-face and tele-therapy support, along with pathways to ear, nose and throat specialists. It also upskills teachers and parents in ear health issues and speech and language assistance.

Waroona District High School Principal Jacqui Abbiss thanked the organisations for the ongoing program saying early intervention and remedial assistance would greatly benefit students. Program screenings last year indicated more than 35 children at the school required ongoing therapy.

Telethon Speech & Hearing Head of Growth and Projects Daniel Lombardo said the overall aim of the program was improved speech, language and literacy outcomes for participating students.

“By identifying and supporting those students who have speech and language issues at the soonest possible time, we can begin to work on reaching their developmental milestones and providing ongoing therapy supports to build their speech, language, and confidence in a classroom setting,” Mr Lombardo said.

Alcoa’s Willowdale Bauxite Mine and nearby Wagerup Alumina Refinery have joined forces to support the program.

Wagerup Community Relations Manager Tom Busher said it was of fundamental importance that any early learning impairments were identified and addressed to give students every chance of success in later life and create a positive school experience.

“We are proud to support Telethon Speech & Hearing’s world-class program that we believe will benefit all students and families who take up this assistance,” Mr Busher said.

For more information about Telethon Speech & Hearing go to https://www.tsh.org.au/ or call 9387 9888 if you have any concerns about your child’s speech, language or hearing.