Confidence hearing loss co-occurring disabilities (Muncy et al., 2019)

Purpose: This study assessed the confidence of speech-language pathologists (SLPs) and school psychologists (SPs) in working with children with hearing loss (HL) and other co-occurring disabilities. Professionals’ opinions on barriers to and importance of interdisciplinary collaboration were also of interest.
Method: A 59-item online survey was distributed to SLPs and SPs in the United States through state professional organizations and social media posts. A total of 320 respondents completed the survey and met criteria. Perceptions of confidence across 5 different skill set types were assessed, along with experiences and attitudes concerning professional training and interdisciplinary collaboration.
Results: A 2-way analysis of variance revealed significant main effects of profession and skill set type on professionals’ confidence in assessing a student with HL and other co-occurring disabilities, as well as their confidence in determining the etiology of a student’s difficulties. Results
from a multiple linear regression revealed the number of students worked with who have HL and the amount of training in graduate school as significant predictors of confidence in both aforementioned skill set types. Results indicate that respondents value interdisciplinary collaboration but that time and access to other professionals are barriers to collaboration.
Conclusions: Results of the current study indicate that many school-based SLPs and SPs have insufficient training or experience in working with students who have HL and other co-occurring disabilities. Limited training and experience with this unique population among practitioners have the potential to affect the quality of services provided to these students and thus need to be addressed within the school system and the fields of school psychology and speech-language pathology.

Supplemental Material S1. Participant survey.

Muncy, M. P., Yoho, S. E., & McClain, M. B. (2019). Confidence of school-based speech-language pathologists and school psychologists in assessing students with hearing loss and other co-occurring disabilities. Language, Speech, and Hearing Services in Schools, 50, 224–236. https://doi.org/10.1044/2018_LSHSS-18-0091