Reflections on a Northern Ontario Placement Initiative
This paper discusses a novel initiative in clinical education developed at the School of Communication Sciences and Disorders at the University of Western Ontario. The project is a coordinated effort between clinical education faculty at the university and hospital and school representatives in Moose Factory, Attawapiskat and Kashechewan. It describes a supervised clinical experience for students in the Speech-Language Pathology program that integrates clinical education needs with the provision of services in a culturally diverse, remote, and under-serviced population. Project background, program development, and logistical planning required for this kind of clinical fieldwork experience are reviewed. Elements of the clinical training provided to the students are outlined. Learning based on these experiences, including the need for culturally sensitive assessment and treatment protocols are discussed. Challenges of service provision to First Nations communities are examined. Future directions including considerations for sustainability are proposed.