The Assistive Technology Program collaborated with the University of New Mexico’s Speech and Hearing Sciences Department to provide training for the current group of graduate-level Speech Language Pathology Students. Since Spring 2018, NMTAP has provided assistive technology training to nearly 120 students. The training involves an in-depth look at high tech and eye control devices for speech communication. The collaborative effort benefits the students because they can get technical experience with AT that they only get to hear about in lectures/textbooks. No funding is used for this partnership.
Not only are the students learning about speech communication devices, but they are learning how the program’s services benefit speech therapists across the state. Once they graduate, 60% percent of students that stay in state have returned to utilize program services for their clientele. The Speech and Hearing Science Department has implemented this collaboration into the course syllabus. This program has continued throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. The Speech and Hearing Science Department staff and students also provide trainings in the annual AT conference, passing along their expertise to the conference attendees across the state regarding evaluations for Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC). This has been a fruitful and successful ongoing collaboration for the AT program and the University that will continue for many years to come at no extra cost.