Sunday, 1 September 2013

Visitors from Down Under

The staff at the Bristol Speech and Language Therapy Research Unit (BSLTRU) were pleased to welcome Professor Sharynne McLeod, Dr Jane McCormack, Kate Crowe and Sarah Masso from Charles Sturt University Australia. We are collaborating with them on a project called 'Sound Start'. This will evaluate the use of 'Phoneme Factory' in Australian preschools. Phoneme Factory is a software package designed by Yvonne Wren and Sue Roulstone to improve the phonological awareness of children with speech sound disorders.

Our mutual interests in speech sound disorders, children's perspectives, and the effectiveness of interventions kept the discussions lively and we learned much from each others' work.

We started the week sharing information about our research projects.  The rest of the week the Sound Start team worked on analysing data, planning future data protocols, and having meetings with Paul White (University of the West of England statistician), Duncan Witham (busythings software developer), and Liz Dymond (North Bristol Trust innovations manager). Professor Sue Roulstone provided tutorials on randomized controlled trials and the history of Phoneme Factory Sound Sorter. In they evenings we continued our discussions as we explored Bristol and went on the Gromit trail in support of the Bristol Children's Hospital.

Staff and students at the Bristol Speech and Language Therapy Research Unit with their Australian visitors