A Partnership on Behalf of Advocacy

Thinking ahead to Speech and Hearing Month 2018 a group of year 1 and year 2 University of Toronto students have partnered with colleagues at Western University to submit a proposal to the Ontario Budget Talks Competition (Ontario Ministry of Finance). One of the initiatives the group have proposed (linked below) is to expand activities next May to include providing resources to clients and families who aren’t currently receiving service. If chosen the group could be awarded funding of up to $1 million (CA).

Together the seven U of T SLP MHSc students (Alexandra (Allie) Annibale, Brianna Guild, Anna Huyhn, Katie Kwan,  Umna Islam, Carthy Ngo, Luxsiha (Luxsi) Sribaskaran) and three Western SLP MCISc students (Marina Bishay, Michelle Wong, Nikki Zeh) submitted a proposal to the Ontario Budget Talks Competition, where it is currently under consideration for a short list.

Allie shared with us how and why this collaboration began.

Where did this idea come from?

“I was familiar with the Budget Talks competition from last year, when I saw that a speech-language pathology pilot project was selected as a finalist for the $1 million funding prize. It circulated among our classmates and we encouraged the public to vote for the initiative. Even though it was a simple social media campaign, it was really exciting to see that there was enthusiasm for provincial speech-language pathology advocacy among our class. This year, I thought it would be neat to take the initiative a step further and submit a proposal of our own.”

Who got in touch with who first?

“The OSLA Student Interest Group seemed like a fantastic avenue to bring speech-language pathology and audiology students together, from multiple Ontario universities, to craft a proposal. I put out a call for collaborators to the OSLA reps and program directors at each Ontario school. An enthusiastic group of SLP students from Western University replied to our invitation and we got to work! Everyone was really excited about how seamlessly we were able to work on the proposal across two universities on an online platform. There was a lot of enthusiasm for the idea of collaborating with colleagues at another institution.”

What motivated this particular proposal?

“As a group, we decided that expanding the provincial speech, language, swallowing, and hearing campaign was an initiative that was important to all of us. It would be tangible, scalable, and had clear, positive implications for clients and patients.”

What’s next?

“And now, we wait! There is an internal review process where the Budget Talks moderators will decide upon a shortlist to be brought to public workshops. We have a number of U of T and Western students who will be representing our proposal at the London workshop this November 25th which is very exciting!”

Find out more at talks.ontario.ca

Stay up to date on this competitions progress at https://twitter.com/ONgov

The complete proposal can be found at https://talks.ontario.ca/idea/healthy-living/promoting-speech-language-swallowing-and-hearing-health-ontario