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About Speech-Language Pathology

What is a Speech-Language Pathologist?

A speech-language pathologist (S-LP) is a highly-trained professional who diagnoses and treats communication and swallowing disorders. S-LPs may work with all age-ranges, from infants to seniors, and within a variety of work environments, including hospitals, outpatient clinics, community health centres, and schools. Within Eastern Health, S-LPs work in hospitals and health centres only.
Speech-language pathologists work with other health professionals such as occupational therapists, physiotherapists, social workers, psychologists, registered dietitians, recreational therapists and medical specialists such as pediatricians, neurologists, rehabilitation specialists as part of your health-care team.

S-LPs are also experts in the field of normal communication development, and as such they:

  • Encourage public awareness of communication and swallowing disorders
  • Carry out research
  • Supervise students during clinical internships and volunteer placements
  • Instruct courses

A master’s degree is required to become a speech-language pathologist, with graduate programs ranging from two to three years in length and involving several clinical internships.

Training is not available in Newfoundland and Labrador; however eight Canadian universities offer graduate programs including:

  • Dalhousie
  • McGill
  • University of Ottawa (French)
  • University of Toronto
  • University of Western Ontario
  • University of Alberta
  • University of British Columbia.

Pre-requisites for the graduate programs include specific coursework (usually in linguistics, psychology and the physical sciences) and volunteer experience with a speech-language pathologist. All S-LPs employed by Eastern Health are required to maintain certification from the Canadian Association of Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology (CASLPA). This certification requires writing a comprehensive examination and participating in continuing education activities yearly. 

For more information visit the CASLPA website.




Updated Aug 12, 2019