What are Speech-Language Pathology and/or Audiology? Basically these professions deal with human communication, swallowing and hearing and any abnormality or pathology associated with it. Communication is a very unique and specialized human ability because through communication we as humans are allowed to exchange ideas and information and this exchange can occur in different formats, by means of speaking, writing or through the use of a common system of signs or behavior. An individual’s hearing ability or his awareness and perception of sound, is also of the utmost importance for successful communication between individuals and we also play a role in maintaining this part of the communication process.
The Department of Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology at the Sefako Makgatho Health Sciences University’s main function is to provide high quality training to future speech-language pathologists and audiologists. This training will necessitate not only theoretical lectures on a variety of communication and hearing disorders but also practical training under supervision of a qualified speech-language therapist and/or audiologist (therapy to clients). The practical component of the course also assist the Department to provide necessary services to the community and practical training therefore take place in a variety of contexts such as mainstream schools, schools for learners with special needs, old age homes, private practices, hospitals as well as the Departmental Speech-, Language- and Hearing Clinic.
Building on our theoretical knowledge regarding communication, swallowing and hearing disorders, relying on our practical experience regarding these disorders and through the identification of needs and limitations concerning communication, swallowing and hearing disorders, the staff of the Department of Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology endeavour to conduct research relevant to the unique South African context as well as the international community.
Through the three pillars of education, community development and research the Department of Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology at the Sefako Makgatho Health Sciences University aims to fulfil the vision of this university with its long tradition of empowerment and be a benchmark University providing health care education through addressing the needs of the individual, the family, the community and the population.