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CASLPA Highlights Need for Health-Care Service Improvements on National Aboriginal Day

June 21st, 2012 (Ottawa): Today is National Aboriginal Day and people across the country are recognizing the contributions of Canada’s Aboriginal populations. National Aboriginal Day also presents an opportunity to acknowledge the many improvements that we must continue to make in ensuring that the country’s First Nations, Métis and Inuit people have the same access to educational and healthcare services that other Canadians may take for granted.

“Healthcare for Aboriginal communities is an ongoing concern and there is a great need for improved access to speech-language pathology and audiology services in Canada’s First Nations communities,” said CASLPA Executive Director Joanne Charlebois. “The lack of access to such services has major repercussions. When left untreated and undiagnosed, speech, language and hearing disorders become more difficult to treat and can lead to long-term learning and social problems.”CASLPA, with funding from Health Canada, has worked to develop a better understanding of the context of access to these services in Canada’s First Nations communities. The study has confirmed that gaps do exist and that we need a better understanding of the prevalence of speech, language and hearing disorders.

“Today is a day to celebrate the many great things Canada’s Aboriginal populations have achieved; but it is also an opportunity to highlight the serious need for innovative approaches in providing services to this country’s First Nations people,” continued Charlebois. “The services provided by CASLPA’s members are an important part of any approach and we have been working to ensure that we are in the best possible position to serve this community. The Government has taken steps to facilitate our work with Aboriginal peoples; we hope that they continue this progress.”

“More work still needs to be done to improve access to speech-language pathology and audiology services in Canada’s Aboriginal communities,” concluded Charlebois. “National Aboriginal Day offers an opportunity for the Government to make First Nations’ healthcare services a priority.”

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CASLPA, with over 6,000 members, is the only national body that supports and represents the professional needs of speech-language pathologists, audiologists and supportive personnel inclusively within one organization. Through this support, CASLPA champions the needs of people with hearing and communication disorders. Visit CASLPA at www.caslpa.ca or learn more at www.speechandhearing.ca.

For more information, please contact:
Cynthia Waldmeier, Public Affairs Coordinator
Telephone: 613-233-8906
Email: [email protected]

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