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Core Functions in CSD Education: A Tool for Supporting Student Success

Tuesday, December 12, 2023
7:00 PM - 8:00 PM ET

This presentation will explore the design and use of the Council of Academic Programs in Communication Sciences and Disorders’ (CAPCSD) newly adopted tool, A Guide for Future Practitioners in Audiology and Speech-Language Pathology: Core Functions.

Academic programs in speech-language pathology and audiology strive to train students who will be ready for the rigorous demands of our profession, yet how to support students with various needs is not always a straightforward process. Considering this, CAPCSD created a Task Force in 2021 to re-examine its 2008 Essential Functions document. While this earlier document intended to delineate behaviors considered necessary for student success, a growing commitment for inclusivity and diversity in CSD training demanded a critical examination of this tool and its use and potential misuse. The task force reviewed current literature regarding the development, use, and potential misuse of technical standards and essential functions in various medical and healthcare disciplines. It held listening sessions with invested parties, including individuals with disabilities and faculty experts in diversity, equity, and inclusion practices. The resulting Guide was designed to be a tool that not only defined student expectations, but expounded on the multiple pathways that may be available to help students achieve their clinical and academic potential while embracing the obligation to foster diversity, equity, justice, and inclusion.

This presentation will explore using the Guide to foster shared conversations between programs and students about expected “core functions” and potential needed supports. Emphasis will be placed on using this tool to "think outside of the box" when considering what a student may need to be successful in clinical and academic settings while honoring the diversity of our discipline.

Learning Objectives

  • Describe the purpose of the revision and updates to the newly created Core Functions document.
  • Apply the Core Functions document as a tool for engaging in supportive conversations with students.
  • Analyze the use of the Core Functions document in a student case scenario and identify possible supportive next steps.

Webinar Cost

No cost to attend!

Time Ordered Agenda
7:00 - 7:05 PM ET Introductions, Procedures, Disclosures
7:05 - 7:15 PM ET Purpose and Goals of the Essential Functions Task Force
7:15 - 7:25 PM ET Review of the components of the new Core Functions document
7:25 - 7:35 PM ET Strategies for initiating supportive conversations with students
7:35 - 7:50 PM ET Student case scenario and discussion of supportive next steps
7:50 - 8:00 PM ET Questions


Kevin M. McNamara, SLP.D., CCC-SLP

Kevin M. McNamara, MA-CCC-SLP, ASHA Fellow, is Clinical Director Emeritus in the Department of Communication Disorders at Southern Connecticut State University. He has presented on the topic of clinical education, served as the past chair of the CAPCSD Clinical Education Committee, and currently serves as CAPCSD VP for Clinical Education. He was named an ASHA Fellow due, in part, to his work promoting best practices in clinical education.

Non-Financial: Serves as the CAPCSD VP for Clinical Education

Jennifer Mackey, SLP.D., CCC-SLP

Jennifer Mackey, SLP.D., CCC-SLP, is Director of Clinical Education and Assistant Professor in the Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders at the MGH Institute of Health Professions in Boston, MA. In addition to her teaching and administrative duties, Jennifer is chair of the CAPCSD Ad Hoc Committee to Develop and Implement a Symposium for New Clinical Education Directors and the VP of Advocacy for the Massachusetts Speech-Language-Hearing Association (MSHA).

I receive a salary from the MGH Institute of Health Professions, where I am the Director of Clinical Education.
Non-Financial: I was the Chair of the CAPCSD Essential Functions Task Force.

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