HEALTH/WELLNESS--Speech Services Extended to Acadian and Francophone Pre-Schoolers

Health and Wellness

February 1, 2011 10:56 AM

French-speaking families in Nova Scotia can now benefit from speech-language support for pre-school children in their own language.

Nova Scotia Hearing and Speech Centres, with the agreement of the Department of Health and Wellness, will increase speech-language services and focus on preventing communication disorders in young children through parent workshops and training for early childhood educators and other caregivers.

Parlons ensemble : Un bon départ pour votre enfant (Talking Together: A Sound Start for Your Child) will promote awareness of healthy speech development and provide early intervention for French-speaking preschool-age children who need help with speech and language disorders. It will be modelled on A Sound Start, a successful English pre-school program.

It is one of four Nova Scotia projects to increase French health services funded through Health Canada and Société Santé en français. Nova Scotia-based Réseau Santé – Nouvelle-Écosse recommended the projects.

"As a partner in providing access to quality French-language health services, we are pleased to be part of this initiative to provide early intervention to those with speech and language disorders and improve access to French-language services for Acadians and francophones throughout Nova Scotia," said Paul d'Entremont, executive director of Réseau Santé – Santé Nouvelle-Écosse.

The program will also promote a team approach and early referrals by working with physicians, nurse practitioners and community health clinics.

"A significant component of the project will be the partnerships established with Acadian and Francophone community organizations," said Lynn Fraser, CEO, Nova Scotia Hearing and Speech Centres. "We believe a team approach involving children, their families, community support networks, and clinical staff, will have a lasting impact, facilitate speech-language and literacy skills and help children reach their full potential."

Funding, including more than $267,000 for the three-year pre-school initiative, is provided by the Official Languages Health Contribution Program.


FOR BROADCAST USE:

     French-speaking families in Nova Scotia can now benefit from

hearing and speech support services in their own language.

     Parlons ensemble : Un bon départ pour votre enfant (Talking

Together: A Sound Start for Your Child) will promote awareness of

healthy speech-language development and provide early

intervention for French-speaking children who need help with

speech and language disorders.

     The project is funded through Health Canada and Société

Santé en français.

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Media Contacts: Pam Davidson
                Nova Scotia Hearing and Speech Centres
                902-440-1191

                Nicole Watkins Campbell
                Department of Health and Wellness
                902-424-8840
                E-mail: nicole.watkins-campbell@gov.ns.ca