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Workshop Uses iPad Apps in Speech Pathology

 Workshop Uses iPad Apps in Speech Pathology


Sean Sweeney, a Massachusetts speech-language pathologist and technology consultant, will share his ideas for the clinical use of popular social media technology in a full-day workshop on Saturday, March 22, at SUNY Cortland.

“Many great apps were developed specifically for speech and language interventions, but countless treasures in the ‘app store’ were designed for others purposes and can be applied creatively in our therapies,” Sweeney said.

Sweeney, who works in the private practice at the Ely Center in Newton, Mass., will discuss “Outside the Box: iPad for SLPs — Apps Through a Language Lens,” from 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 a.m. in Sperry Center, Room 104.

Presented by the SUNY Cortland Chapter of the National Student Speech, Language and Hearing Association (NSSLHA), the workshop is co-sponsored by the Ithaca College NSSLHA Chapter and the Central New York Area Speech, Language, Hearing Association.

Sean Sweeney
Sean Sweeney

The conference fee, which includes breakfast and lunch, is $75 for professionals, $40 for SUNY Cortland and Ithaca College faculty, and $10 for students. For more information or to register, contact Michael Pitcher, a SUNY Cortland lecturer in communications disorders and sciences, at 607-756-5423 or

Although this introductory level workshop will be primarily geared towards clinicians working with school-aged children, much of the information discussed can be helpful to clinical work with older student populations.

Sweeney will discuss a selection of apps for speech and language therapy, and models of apps for therapeutic activities.

He will present the frameworks for evaluating apps as well as examples of apps that can be used to target clinical objectives in categories such as gaming, visual exploration, organization, interactive reading and creation apps.

He will explain strategies for finding apps and discuss a reading list of online resources for further learning and information.

Sweeney developed an interest in the use of creative technology while working with students with language and social communication issues. That resulted in a blog he launched four years ago,

Sweeney, who has served as a speech language pathologist for more than a decade in a public school setting as well as an instructional technology specialist, has taken his novel approach to consultations and training that he has conducted locally and around the country.

Sweeney also addresses this use of technology in his regular column for the ASHA Leader, the magazine for members of the American Speech-Language Hearing Association.

“We encourage our students to become actively engaged in their profession and their professional organizations,” said Pitcher, who also is coordinator of audiological services at the College’s Center for Speech, Language and Hearing Disorders. “Students need to be exposed to the profession of communication disorders and sciences outside of their Cortland classroom.”