This CPD Legacy Story was written by Deborah Blanchard, a participant in the Interdisciplinary Disability Awareness and Service Learning (IDASL) classroom for the 2011-2012 year.
My name is Deborah Blanchard and I have participated in the IDASL class this year. I am getting my Bachelors degree in Communicative Disorders and hope to get into graduate school to be an Speech Language Pathologist. I hope to work in an early intervention program or in a school district.
I have been able to learn so many things in the weekly IDASL seminars and also at the different sites where we do service learning hours. I was also fortunate to be involved in a Participatory Action Research (PAR) project that was focused on Traumatic Brain Injury and what affects it can have on people in their daily lives.
I decided to take this class because in speech therapy you have to work with people that have a wide variety of disabilities and I wanted to be familiar with the different kinds of disabilities and understand a larger scope of what disabilities affect. I have gained new perspectives on many issues, such as accessibility and legislation that affects those with disability issues. I have felt more comfortable in approaching people with disabilities on a daily basis because my perspective has changed and I see the person first.
This class has changed how I am going to offer the best services to my future clients. I had never thought beyond the process of speech therapy for clients and did not realize that there would also be a need to use adaptive technology, or that accessibility might be an issue for the many unique people and learning levels that are out there. I have learned about the many different types of adaptive technology that will help in my future profession.
I will also be able to use this information on a personal level in my family as my parents’ age. This is by far the most practical and helpful class that I have ever taken.