Harmonize for Speech makes generous donation to CDA program

On November 29, Durham College’s Communicative Disorders Assistant (CDA) (graduate certificate) program received a generous donation when the Oshawa Horseless Carriagemen presented the college with a cheque for $2,500 on behalf of Harmonize for Speech, a fundraising project of the Ontario District Association of Chapters of Society for the Preservation and Encouragement of Barbershop Singing of America, commonly known the Barbershop Harmony Society (BHS). The project provides funds for numerous speech-related projects and equipment at organizations across the province.

In addition, a portion of the funds donated were also raised by the Oshawa Horseless Carriagemen, a BHS member that has been supporting the college for seven years.

“Thank-you so much to the Oshawa Horseless Carriagemen and Harmonize for Speech for this wonderful support of our CDA program,” said Elizabeth Maga, CDA program co-ordinator. “We could not provide as high a quality of learning as we do without this very generous donation.”

The CDA program uses the funds to purchase new textbooks for its Child Language Acquisition and Related Disorders course with the textbooks designed to teach students how to use sign language with toddlers and preschool children with normal hearing in order to increase their use of expressive language. It will also bring Debra Goshulak, a world-renowned speaker from the Speech and Stuttering Institute, to campus to speak to students as part of its Articulation and Phonology course and buy an iPad2 with special software specifically designed to improve communication as an augmentative communication device to be used in the Augmentative and Alternative Communication course; stuttering severity instrument for children and adults; and a sign-to-talk kit designed to shape vocal language skills for children who are non-verbal with Autism or other developmental disabilities for use in the Clinical and Professional Issues and Child Language Acquisition and Related Disorders courses .

The CDA program is a one-year graduate certificate program that prepares students to work with speech-language pathologists and audiologists to help implement effective treatment plans to help people of all ages communicate more effectively. It welcomes approximately 32 students each year.

“We are very grateful for the support of the Oshawa Horseless Carriagemen and Harmonize for Speech,” added Maga. “All these resources are of such great benefit to our current and future CDA students and to the community in general. What the students learn from using these resources now will help so many individuals with communicative disorders in the future.”

The Oshawa Horseless Carriagemen will once again be fundraising at the Oshawa Barbershoppers annual Spring Show taking place on Saturday, May 4 at the Hope Fellowship Church in Courtice. All proceeds will go to the Harmonize for Speech project.