Communicative Development Inventories for South African Clinicians: CPD workshop

In March 2019, Child Language Africa, in association with the University of Lancaster (UK), invited 15 speech and language therapists working in different regions of South Africa to come and learn more about the Southern African CDI Project.

The three day workshop provided our team with a chance to share the work that we are doing developing CDIs for seven local languages, and hear from practicing clinicians about their needs and experiences, and how these tools-in-progress might be used to assist in their day to day work. Our collaborator from Lancaster, psychologist Katie Alcock – part of the team that developed CDIs for Kenya – was able to join us for the workshop and share her experiences with the group, with many new connections and friendships being forged.

The clinicians attending represented most of the official languages of South Africa, and were able to share the triumphs and challenges of working in under resourced settings where the role of speech-language therapists is often poorly understood. The clinicians ranged from experienced staff with research backgrounds to community service therapists in their first year of practice. Irrespective of years of experience or place of work, the therapists repeatedly emphasised the need for more linguistically and culturally appropriate tools.

It is clear that the CDIs and other resources are eagerly awaited. We strongly believe that development of such tools is a collaborative effort and look forward to developing our links with this group of clinicians, and others, in future.