Special Interest Groups

Special Interest Groups (SIGs)


There are currently a number of Special Interest Groups (SIGs) within New Zealand. The majority of these groups focus on a particular disorder or client group. Therapists wishing to become involved with a particular group should contact the individual(s) listed under each heading. Individuals who have established a new group, and would like to advertise on this site, should contact National Office.

AAC for Older Learners SIG – Auckland


This is a multi-disciplinary special interest group specifically for people who work with young adults and adults with developmental disabilities. It is open to anyone from any professional background who works in this area and wants to learn more about augmentative and alternative communication. It is a great opportunity to share resources, discuss best practice in using AAC and keep up to date with new AAC equipment. Sessions are 4 times per year in Auckland.

Please contact  Lisa Duff – Lisa.Duff@spectrumcare.org.nz

AAC in Health and Education SIG – Northland

This is a group for all SLTs who have an interest in AAC.  It is a great opportunity to share resources, discuss best practice in using AAC and keep up to date with new AAC equipment.  Sessions are held once a term in Whangarei and topics covered include:

  • Updates on new or updated communication equipment
  • CAT accreditation pathways
  • Case studies
  • Supporting teams in using AAC
  • Feedback on PD events

Contact: jessamy.amm@talklink.org.nz or polly.thomas@talklink.org.nz

AAC in Education and Health SIG – Auckland

This is a group for all SLTs who have an interest in AAC. It is a great opportunity to share resources, discuss best practice in using AAC and keep up to date with new AAC equipment. Sessions are held once a term in Auckland and topics covered include:

  • Updates on new or updated communication equipment
  • CAT accreditation pathways
  • Case studies
  • Supporting teams in using AAC
  • Feedback on PD events

Contact: Polly Khushal: polly.khushal@talklink.org.nz

Coordinators: Polly Khushal: Meryl Bowen: Kristy McCallum

AAC in Education – Christchurch

The aim of the group is to facilitate peer-support for therapists working with students using AAC in education settings.

We are a Christchurch based group but would be keen to meet with other groups or therapists from around NZ. (Last year we had a very informative meeting with Sally Clendon via Skype). Meetings are 1-2 times per term. Members share resources and experiences, provide feedback from PD opportunities and discuss topic based or case study issues.

Contact Person: Sarah Powell – powells@hillmorton.school.nz

Cultural & Linguistic Diversity (CLD) SIG

This is a web-based SIG designed for the spreading of information and the discussion of issues, concerns and interests about cultural and linguistic diversity in communication disorders.

Contact:

Taiying Lee (taiying.lee@minedu.govt.nz)

Linda Hand (l.hand@auckland.ac.nz)

Kathy Arlidge (kathy.arlidge@minedu.govt.nz)

Aphasia (Chch)

The aim of the SIG is to enhance clinical practice in the area of aphasia through:

  • Evidence based practise and literature review
  • Sharing resources; assessment and treatment tools, activities
  • Bringing case studies to discuss and to share ideas for therapy
  • To learn more about treatment approaches being used and how to apply in the different stages of rehabilitation.

Contact: Annette.Rotherham@cdhb.health.nz

National Voice

This will is a forum for all SLTs who have an interest and/or who are working in the area of voice. The aim is to support, learn, share knowledge, share resources and discuss cases.  We see it as a platform for voice in New Zealand and an opportunity to utilise the skills and knowledge that we have.

We also hope to provide  professional development through workshops, teleconferences and other events.  This SIG is for all levels of knowledge and experience.

New members welcome. Please contact us at nzvoicesig@gmail.com

Co-ordinators: Vanessa Jerome and Natasha Curham

Midland Region DHBs Paediatric Dyphagia SIG

Facilitator: Rachel Emmitt | rachel.emmitt@waikatodhb.health.nz | 021 301 864
Runs once a month on a Wednesday afternoon from 1 – 3pm. Attend in person at Waikato Hospital or via video conference.

Vulnerable Children and Youth

Focus: SLTs who are working with or are interested in children and youth who are vulnerable. This includes those who might be involved with care and protection/youth justice/mental health/behavioural services.

Meetings: Meetings are held at Tamaki Campus, The University of Auckland about 4 times a year. Members are notified about meetings via the SIG mailing list. Some members participate via Skyping into meetings.

Membership: Open to any SLTs or SLT students who would like to participate. To receive SIG emails, please join the mailing list here

Contact sallykedge@gmail.com

Acquired Brain Injury SIG (National)

Acquired Brain Injury SIG (National) Focuses on both acquired and traumatic brain injury across the lifespan that incorporates relevant clinical topics with a corresponding guest speaker.   Our aim is to bring together SLT’s from across country to discuss topics within ABI such as (but not limited to!) cognitive communication disorders, dysphagia, dysarthria, and the role of the speech language therapist within this field.  This group aims to meet 3-4 times a year through videoconferencing.

Please contact Maegan VanSolkema maegan.vansolkema@abi-rehab.co.nz for further information.