Skype Speech Therapy

As technology improves and our comfort with it increases we find ourselves able to access more and more services simply by sitting down at our computers. Whether due to lack of access or simply for the sake of convenience, many people are turning to apps and online meetings to access whatever they find themselves in need of. Think of all the weight loss apps out there and the success people are enjoying with them. Technology hasn’t developed by accident, it has developed to make our lives easier. A clear example of this trend is online speech therapy or “Skype” speech therapy.

Skype speech therapy is a bit of a misnomer, but so is Kleenex and everyone still knows what you mean when you ask for one. Skype therapy, more accurately referred to as online speech therapy or telepractice, is the delivery of speech and language therapy to an individual or group via the internet. Each session happens in real time with a client and therapist using online meeting technology to communicate. Skype or online speech therapy has become a life saver for many who cannot access a local speech pathologist due to remoteness of their location or the need for a speech pathologist with a specific specialty.

The American Speech-Language-Hearing Association has poured significant resources into determining the effeciveness of online therapy. It endorses the use of online therapy and clearly points out that it is not an alternative to in-person therapy, but rather a different method of delivering the same service. With a nationwide shortage of speech-language pathologists, Skype or online therapy is bringing a valuable service to individuals that would otherwise have to travel long distances or simply forgo seeing a qualified speech pathologist.

To learn more you can watch the video below, produced by the American Speech–Language-Hearing Association, or click here to contact us about a free trial.

Speaking Clearer for Work

Recently, Salary.com wrote an article called “Is Your Accent is Hurting Your Career and Credibility?”  This article focused mainly on regional dialects in the United States and how they are viewed throughout the nation but it bring ups a good point for anyone who feels they speak differently than their colleagues in the work environment.  The world has become a smaller place with people moving around to find jobs in their own country or abroad and this inevitably leads to some hitches in communication.

There are a couple of different types of accents, regional dialects and foreign accents.  People who speak a regional dialect speak in the manner of the geographical area they are from.  The most widely recognized accents in the United States are the Southern and the New England accents.  From my perspective, I would argue, if you are understood by the people you live and work with, your accent is not a hindrance.  After all, you speak native English and you can communicate well.  But, if you feel people are listening to your accent instead of you, you may find yourself at a disadvantage.  You may feel judged or asked to repeat yourself even when you think you are clear.

People with a foreign accent are from a different country and likely consider another language their native tongue.  Many people who learn English as a second language speak it very clearly and effectively but this is not always the case.  Some are very proficient in English, they know the rules, have a good vocabulary, and understand the language; however, they do not feel like people listen to them.  That is most commonly due to an accent.  This is not a disability or true disadvantage; it is a process in learning a second language.

People with strong foreign accents are often asked to repeat themselves or dismissed as a non-fluent speaker of English.  Often people with strong accents feel as though others are too focused on how they speak rather than on what they are saying.  I have seen people speaking very softly in an attempt to hide their accent, which may seem like a good tactic, but it really just makes a person more difficult to understand.  In the job market, speaking English well has become a true advantage.

So what should one do when an accent is getting in the way of effective communication and becomes a disadvantage in the work place?  The best advice is to seek out a licensed, experienced speech therapist who can lead you through an accent reduction program.  Speech therapists are the only professionals who can address your accent by analyzing you’re your speech patterns.  A speech therapist will not help you practice individual words, they will teach you all the sounds in standard English, which will allow you to pronounce any word.

With the advent of the internet your ability to get accent reduction from a speech therapist is no longer based on your geographic location.  Online accent reduction means that anyone, anywhere can get access to a speech pathologist trained in accent reduction from the comfort of their home or office.  If you feel your accent is getting in the way of your success, take a look at Worldwide Speech’s accent reduction services by clicking here.