50 years of Speech and Language Therapy education celebrated at Leeds Beckett
The event, which takes place from 2pm-9pm at the University’s city centre Rose Bowl building, will celebrate the establishment of professional training in speech and language therapy in 1965 at the Leeds Training College, as well as looking to the future at what the next 50 years may hold for the subject.
Speaking ahead of the event, Professor Ieuan Ellis, Dean and Pro Vice Chancellor of the Faculty of Health and Social Sciences at Leeds Beckett, commented: “I am absolutely delighted that we are celebrating the 50th anniversary of speech and language therapy education at our University. The first cohort of students commenced their training in 1965 and, since then, over 2,000 speech and language therapists have completed their professional education at what was Leeds Polytechnic, then Leeds Metropolitan University and now Leeds Beckett University.
“Our alumni have continued their careers as speech and language therapists across the globe, making a key contribution through expert clinical practice, research, education and leadership. For example, at our recent graduation ceremony in July, we recognised through an honorary doctorate, the achievements of former graduate Bryony Simpson MBE who has chaired the Royal College of Speech and Language Therapists and will deliver our closing speech. I very much look forward to welcoming many of our former graduates back to Leeds Beckett at our celebratory event and to the continued successful development of education and research in speech and language therapy for the next 50 years!”
The event will begin at 2pm with homemade cake and coffee at the ‘Speech Café’ and a tour of the University’s specialist facilities, including phonetics lab and £1million clinical skills suite which was launched in 2013. This will be followed by two workshops, delivered by Will Wade, Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC) Consultant at the ACE Centre, Oldham; and Matthew Parker, Retail and Support Team Leader for TherapyBox, a London-based provider of AAC communication aids on smartphones and tablets. The workshops will address the use of technology and apps in speech and language therapy and how this may transform the practice over the next 50 years. This will be followed by a discussion with the chance for the audience to input their thoughts.
At 6pm, a welcome speech will be presented by Professor Ieuan Ellis and Speech and Language Therapy Course Leader, Dr Sarah James, before the annual Tavistock Prize, awarded to the first year student at Leeds Beckett who has provided the best reflection related to their Conversation Partner placement, is presented.
Dr Nicole Whitworth, Principal Lecturer in Speech and Language Therapy at Leeds Beckett, added: “We are immensely proud to be part of the long tradition of speech and language therapy education at Leeds Beckett University. Over the past 50 years, our course has educated over 2,000 speech and language therapists, playing an essential role in the development of a profession which delivers therapeutic services to often vulnerable individuals with speech, language and communication needs. The current course team thanks all those who have helped us make this important contribution. In particular, we wish to acknowledge the invaluable input of our clinical educators and placement providers, the generous support of our colleagues at Leeds Beckett and other universities, and the hard work and dedication of our past and present students.”
At 6.45pm, Professor Sophie Scott, Group Leader for the Speech Communication Neuroscience Group at University College London, will deliver the keynote address, entitled: ‘Speech and Voices on the Brain’, before a closing speech from Bryony Simpson MBE, Deputy Medical Director at Northern Lincolnshire and Goole NHS Foundation Trust and former Chair of the Royal College of Speech and Language Therapists.