Formed in 1976, Speech & Language Development Australia (formerly CHI.L.D Association) is an incorporated voluntary organisation and registered charity whose constitutional charter is to serve the interests of children and young people with language and related disorders through the promotion and provision of essential services.The organisation started with a self help program for parents conducted initially in the home of the Association’s Founding President, Mancel Ellis Robinson OAM.
Fast forward to present day and Speech & Language Development Australia remains the leader in helping children with language and related disorders find their voice.
Speech & Language Development Australia ensures delivery of its mission through the provision of the following vital services:
The Glenleighden School established in 1979 is the only school in Australia dedicated solely to students with language disorders. The school provides programs for preschool to secondary students with crossover to mainstream. It provides comprehensive, intensive multi-disciplinary programs which are highly individualised, addressing the full scope of the students’ developmental and learning needs. The Glenleighden School uses a model of integrated, specialist service and constantly aims to be a ‘centre of excellence’ in this field of disability.
In 1994, Speech & Language Development Australia received commonwealth assistance through the Non-Schools Organisation to provide support to students in schools across Queensland. From tiny beginnings, the Outreach Program has grown to having a base in Brisbane and in Townsville. The program has relaunched as the School Support Service in 2016 to reflect the increase in services available, both funded and fee for service. The School Support Service and professional development program continues to support students with a language disorder across Queensland to enhance their participation, inclusion and educational outcomes. We are also proud to reach regional and remote Australians via e-Therapy to remove any barriers to accessing world class therapy.
We also advocate on behalf of families affected by speech and language disorders to government. In 2014, our organisation pushed for a Senate Inquiry into this hidden disability and will continue to pursue this issue in 2017 alongside Speech Pathology Australia and other peak bodies.
Research into speech and language disorders is limited in Australia and we are working hard to expand our capacity in this area by partnering with Universities and funding bodies to investigate the efficacy of various interventions. We are also working to achieve consistent national and international terminology for speech and language disorders to enable greater understanding and support for those affected.
We are committed to supporting all children and young people to find their voice.