Technical Standards for Clinical Speech-Language Pathology Graduate Program

Applicants for admission to The University of Arizona, Department of Speech and Hearing Sciences Clinical Speech-Language Pathology Graduate Program must possess the capability to complete, with or without reasonable accommodations, the entire clinical curriculum. The professional curriculum requires demonstrated proficiency in a variety of cognitive, problem solving, manipulative, communication and interpersonal skills. To achieve these proficiencies, the Clinical Speech-Language Pathology Graduate Program requires that each student be able to meet the following technical standards.

Observation

Students must be able to accurately observe patients’ physical status including body type, posture, ability to ambulate, fine motor skills, response to sensory stimuli, and the structure and function of the oral, pharyngeal, and respiratory mechanisms. Additionally, students must be able to accurately observe clients’ behavior including verbal and nonverbal communication patterns. Finally, students also must be able to comprehend text, numbers, and graphs.

Communication

Students must be able to communicate effectively, sensitively, and efficiently with clients and colleagues; comprehend technical, procedural and professional materials; and follow instructions. Students must possess the ability to readily communicate observations and findings, prepare progress notes, correspondence, and evaluation or treatment reports in a clear, logical and professional manner. Students must be able to perceive the speech of clients and accurately judge its quality. They must be able to readily comprehend language expressed in oral, graphic, and gestural forms. The speech and English language skills of a student must be such that colleagues and clients readily understand them. Moreover, students must be able to model desired exemplars of voice, fluency, articulation, and oral/nasal resonance, as well as features of English grammar and syntax, consistent with the objectives for clients in treatment. Finally, the students’ speech and language skills must be intelligible to allow for administration of speech and language assessment instruments in a reliable and valid manner.

Motor Coordination

Students must be able to travel to various clinical practicum sites; access and control equipment (e.g., computers, Visipitch, Nasometer, etc.); safely and reliably perform an oral mechanism examination, and engage in oral manipulation (e.g., oral musculature palpation, laryngeal massage) as needed.

Intellect

A student must be able to problem solve effectively, and analyze, integrate and synthesize data concurrently in a multi-task setting. In addition, students must be able to comprehend three-dimensional relationships and understand the spatial relationships of anatomical structures, physiology, pathology and equipment.

Behavioral and Social Attributes

Students must possess the emotional health required to exercise good judgment, and timely and safely carry out responsibilities. They must be able to adapt to change, display flexibility and learn to function in stressful situations. The students must exhibit empathy for others and focus on the needs of clients. They must exhibit polite behavior, integrity, manage criticism, be reliable and punctual and be respectful in relations with colleagues, faculty and clients.