The COMD Coogs in Belize program returned to San Ignacio, Belize in May 2023. Thirteen undergraduates, one post baccalaureate leveling student, one master’s student, and four faculty members spent a week in this inland area and had an outstanding impact from their work. All together they conducted 65 hearing screenings, 59 speech/language screenings, 17 speech/language evaluations (with reports), and three hearing evaluations (with reports). COMD students were able to administer, support, and observe all of these activities. This work is so needed because in Belize there are preschools and schools full of talented teachers and eager children. However, they are not full of resources, in some cases, not even chairs, and certainly not special education, speech-language pathologists, or audiologists. Once children, and a few adults, were identified as needing services, they were connected with an organization setting up camps and therapy over the summer.
During the weekend off everyone traveled to Caye Caulker Island for relaxation and beach time.
This amazing bunch of students on the 2023 trip were supportive, accepting, talented, and so brave. Each of them took on their own journey to step on to a plane alone, to go to a new country, to taste new fruit, to make clinical decisions, to trust their classmates, to understand a different perspective, to share their own perspectives, to make ear molds, to climb up a ruin, to jump in the water, to meet new children- and their families- and the bus drivers- and the guides, and to sing their lungs out.
Planning for a 2024 learning abroad trip is ongoing at this time. Information will be shared as soon as any becomes available. For reference, in past years, this has been near the end of Fall Term.
Interested students will be asked to complete an application packet, make deposits, and attend a series of training and pre-departure meetings prior to the trip. Typically, completion of Anatomy (COMD 2376), Phonetics (COMD 2338), and Typical Language Development (COMD 2339) with grades of C or higher has been required. Master’s students may not have any outstanding interventions or intervention plans in place.