May 22, 2024

On Wednesday, May 22, 2024, Sharjah City for Humanitarian Services (SCHS) organized a press conference at the "Center of Early Intervention" in conjunction with the activities of the month of May for Hearing, Speech, and Language. This was done in cooperation and coordination between the "Speech and Language Council" and the "Corporate Communication Department" of SCHS. Several parents, speech and language pathologists, and media colleagues attended the event. The purpose of the conference is to introduce speech, hearing, and language services, as well as the function that the Speech and Language Council does in SCHS by supporting beneficiaries and their families and offering community awareness initiatives.

The press conference on the first theme covered the definition of a speech and language specialist as well as the significance of the role that these professionals play in the community. It was hosted by Mr. Rami Magdy, Supervisor of the Speech and Language Unit in SCHS. He underlined how beneficial the work of speech and language specialist is in helping the beneficiary children grow and how his daily program allows families to practice various methods with their child. Ms. Hala Halawa, an Expert, and Ms. Alaa Saif Al-Eter, a Representative of the Speech and Language Council at SCHS, spoke on Speech-language pathology at the Sharjah Autism Center.

Within the second topic, the attendees discussed the role of technology and modern techniques in supporting speech and language skills and enhancing communication as a child’s right to express his desires and needs. Ms. Mayada Nabil, a Speech and Language specialist at the Early Intervention Center, spoke in this topic.

Following that, Mr. Ahmed Hashem, a Speech, and Language Specialist at Al Amal School and Kindergarten for the Deaf, spoke about cultural and linguistic diversity and its effects on providing speech and language services during the meeting's discussion of the third theme, which was cooperation and partnerships with outside parties. He emphasized the significance of the agreements that SCHS has made with inclusive schools and other organizations to support parents of teachers in classrooms. These agreements include the use of communication strategies to guarantee an engaging learning environment for integrated students, additional agreements with universities, and the planning and execution of study programs in the field. The Speech and Language Center's sustainability and its significance in fostering trust with recipients, parents, their affairs, and society at large were the topics of discussion during the meeting's fourth topic.

According to Mr. Alaa Saif Al-Eter, the Speech and Language Council is made up of 17 experts who are dispersed among the SCHS's departments and branches. These experts offer their services to beneficiaries in compliance with the highest standards set by international organizations.

He said, “By creating courses, the Council supported the speaking diploma programs that the Universities of Sharjah and Ajman provided to interested parties. Additionally, the Council supported experts who published essays in foreign periodicals. The Speech and Language series that SCHS released as part of the 60 Seconds series was originally overseen by the Council two years prior. To guarantee the effectiveness and quality of speech and language services for all beneficiaries, the council also seeks to standardize the procedures and work methods used in all SCHS centers and branches”.

Mrs. Ghada Kamal Ayyash, guardian of student Walid Ahmed Al-Zoubi, stressed the importance of the meeting in exchanging ideas, raising community awareness, and highlighting the needs of children and their families, including, but not limited to, working to increase the number of inclusive schools.

She added, “Walid can pronounce words and compose sentences after the sessions he received in SCHS. It must be noted that the great cooperation of specialists and the provision of academic and social support to the child and his family is the secret of the success achieved by the Speech and Language Council in SCHS. She extended her sincere thanks to all its employees”.

The director of the corporate communications department, Ms. Al-Anoud Yousef Al Ali, mentioned the 60 Seconds series, an awareness-raising and educational initiative that SCHS started in 2018 with the intention of enlightening the public and educating people in line with global best practices. At least 20 cards make up each series, and each card has a code that opens an online video for that case. The second volume in the series focuses on children's development in the areas of "speech, language, and hearing.

Considering the growing number of children with communication disorders and the significance of early detection and providing rehabilitative services to support them and integrate them into society and the educational system, Mr. Rami Magdy, supervisor of the Speech and Language Unit at the Early Intervention Center, emphasized the importance of the meeting in raising community awareness of speech, language, and communication disorders as well as the importance of early detection.

Magdy explained that communication is the right of every person, and society must provide all forms of acceptance and support in this field and deal with him according to the method of communication he uses. These methods vary from sign language to communication through images to communication through modern devices and technologies to the most familiar form of communication, which is speech.

Mrs. Maysoon Saleem, guardian of student Laila Muhammad Hamad, stressed the importance of community awareness and the role played by SCHS in this field, wishing success to all its employees.

The significance of speech and language specificity, as well as the value of specialization in this area within UAE universities, were highlighted at the end of the press conference. Students were urged to pursue these therapeutic specializations because of their significance and the demand for them in the labor market.