SLHS Outreach Activities

Group of people and people in Koala and Moose mascot outfits.

The University of Arizona is home to the largest concentration of science research and education in the southwestern United States, and SLHS faculty and staff are proud to carry on the tradition of outreach to the Tucson and southern Arizona communities.

The department organizes several annual conferences:

Grunewald-Blitz Conference in Pediatric Communication Disorders

This fall conference provides state-of-the-art information about issues relevant to language development, assessment, and treatment of children with communication disorders. Speakers and topics in years past include Nickola Wolf Nelson on Language and Literacy, Cathy Pratt on Autism, Kate Bunton and Edwin Maas on Speech Sound Disorders, and Cathy Binger on Augmentative and Alternative Communication. Physicians Fayez Ghishan and Sydney Rice from the UA Department of Pediatrics in the College of Medicine have spoken on pediatric GI and feeding issues and medical issues surrounding acquired brain injury. Speech pathologists, audiologists, assistants, educators, and parents may attend this day-long workshop.


Annual Audiology Conference

This annual conference provides state-of-the-art information about issues relevant to hearing and hearing loss in both children and adults. Speakers and topics in the past include Richard Styler on Tinnitus, Robert Burkard and Michael Cevette on Innovations in Hearing and Balance, and Linda Thibodeau on Assistive Devices.

The local chapters of the National Student Speech-Language-Hearing Association and the Student Academy of Audiology provide many opportunities for undergraduate and graduate students to volunteer and gain leadership skills locally and state-wide.

Here are some of the many activities our faculty, staff, and students engage in:

The L4 (Language, Learning, Literacy, Lexicon Lab) Community Forum Program provides opportunities for practicing speech-language pathologists to engage in learning and sharing of ideas in an interactive setting moderated by faculty and students engaging in current research in young children with language and literacy issues.

The Southern Arizona Hearing Aid Bank is a collaborative project between SLHS's Hearing Clinic and the Community Outreach Program for the Deaf (COPD). Through this program, we provide reconditioned hearing aids at a drastically reduced cost to those who might not otherwise be able to afford them. We are always looking for donated hearing aids and funding, because the quality of the program depends on both. If you would like to make a donation, please contact Amy Wheeler at If you are in need of services, contact COPD to see if you qualify for the program, 520-792-1906.

Our Colloquium Series, held most Mondays from 12:00 to 12:50 during the school year, brings together researchers and practitioners from a variety of fields and interest areas to share their knowledge and engage in thoughtful discussion regarding the science of human communication and its disorders.

In Science City at the Tucson Festival of Books, SLHS faculty and students host hands-on activities to educate the public on a variety of subjects, including hearing health, neurological impairments, and autism. Thousands of attendees learn about the auditory system and ways to prevent noise induced hearing loss, as well as what it might be like to have communication difficulties due to autism or a stroke.

Each year, our Hearing Clinic, along with our speech-language pathology and audiology graduate students, participates in annual Community Health Fairs. These include the Tucson Festival of Hope and the Healthy Aging Expo.

One-day STEAM Interactive Camps for Adolescents with Autism have included "Chemistry Can Be Fun" and "Optics and Astronomy Camp: Seeing is Believing." These camps are possible through funding from the Autism Society Southern Arizona and through collaborations between SLHS, Chemistry and Biochemistry, Medical Imaging, Optics, Education, National Optical Astronomy Observatory, Aerospace and Mechanical Engineering, and the School of Art.

The Protect Your Ears Project is a community education and outreach project for raising hearing health awareness in school-age children. The program has established a partnership with KidCo, an afterschool program managed by Tucson Parks and Recreation, to facilitate informational sessions with fun and engaging activities during which children are provided an overview of how we hear, hearing protection, and effective communication strategies. Funding for PYEP comes from the generous support of donors, including the Pignatelli Family and UniSource Corporation.

SLHS collaborates with the University of Arizona Health Sciences (UAHS) and St. Luke's Interprofessional Practice and Education Program (IPEP) to provide annual trainings for interprofessional health sciences students. These trainings introduce graduate students in health professions to audiology, hearing screening methods, and better communication strategies, and provide hands-on experiences with otoscopy and self-assessment scales of communication with residents of St. Luke's Home. Funding for equipment and supplies for the training comes from the generous support of donors, including the Pignatelli Family and UniSource Corporation.

SLHS and ALOHA (Adults Loss of Hearing Association) collaborate on engaging and informative workshops for individuals living with hearing loss. These workshops take place on campus, at ALOHA, and in Green Valley.

Saint Andrews Children's Clinic in Nogales, Arizona is a multi-specialty clinic held the first Thursday of each month and designed to provide free diagnostic services to Mexican children who are medically indigent. Services include audiology, therapies, pediatrics, orthotics, neurology, nutrition, vision and other specialties. We also collaborate with personnel from the Sistema de Desarrollo Integral de la Familia (DIF), Manos que Hablan (Hands That Talk), and ARSOBO (Arizona-Sonora Border Projects) to serve adults and others who do not qualify for services from St. Andrew's Clinic.