Communication disability project in Rwanda: June seminar in Manchester

Two of our committee members are presenting a seminar on 20th June at Manchester Metropolitan University on their project in Rwanda: understanding sexual and gender-based violence against refugees with communication disability. It is free to attend to anyone who might be interested.

The link is here

See below for more details about the presenters:

 Julie Marshall and Helen Barrett

Julie Marshall is a Reader in Communication Disability and Development at MMU. She has 27 years’ experience of working in Africa, helping to design and develop speech and language therapy education programmes, carrying out research, building capacity for research, providing clinical services, and training other professionals. Helen Barrett is a British Speech and Language Therapist and Social Inclusion Advisor, living and working in Rwanda. For the past nine years she has worked with governments, institutions and organisations throughout East Africa to support efforts to improve social outcomes for people with communication and / or learning disabilities. She is currently a part-time consultant, and part-time PhD student at MMU. This seminar will describe a small project carried out in Rwanda, investigating the challenges facing both refugee-survivors of sexual and gender-based violence (SGBV) who have a communication disability and the humanitarian actors charged with effective and equitable SGBV service provision. Findings from data collection and a literature review*, indicate that refugees with communication disability are unable to access adequate services at all stages of the SGBV support process, from reporting of abuse, to legal redress and medical / psychosocial support, as a consequence of their disability. The presenters will also discuss some of new challenges they experienced working in the humanitarian sector.

Happy Kids Clinic in Cambodia seek SLT

Speech Language Therapist/Pathologist – Happy Kids Clinic & OIC Cambodia

About us

OIC Cambodia is an initiative working to establish speech therapy in Cambodia for people with communication and swallowing difficulties.


We launched in 2013 to start the country’s first program in bringing speech therapy to Cambodia for the estimated 600,000 people with communication and swallowing difficulties.


Our end goal is to have 100 speech therapists employed by government by the year 2030, after which OIC will exit Cambodia.


Happy Kids Clinic is a private allied health clinic that was established as a social enterprise of OIC Cambodia in July 2016 to provide a tangible example of what speech therapy looks like and how it can help children with communication and swallowing difficulties. 100% of the profits from Happy Kids Clinic are channeled into the work of OIC.


In January 2017, due to the caseload demand, we recruited our second speech therapist to the team and we are already ready to recruit another speech therapist as we are close to reaching client capacity.


The role

The client caseload at Happy Kids Clinic consists of both Khmer and expatriate children, though the majority are Khmer. Many of our clients have Autism Spectrum Disorder and are aged from 2-12 years.


The clinic is still in its infancy, being less than 1 year old, so systems and processes are still being established as we grow and develop.


OIC Cambodia is moving into a new project/funding cycle and organizational structure, whereby the team operates within discrete project areas, including university course development, research and resource development and advocacy and awareness. Each team will consist of a project leader and Khmer project officers. It is hoped that the successful candidate will take on project leadership, based on their skills and experience.


We are looking for an experienced speech therapist to commit to our team for a minimum of 12 months, which will most likely involve also supporting projects of OIC Cambodia. The role will be split between Happy Kids Clinic, with the days worked in each being negotiable, though a minimum of three days per week at the clinic is required.


Key responsibilities/ objectives of this role include but are not limited to:


  • Conducting speech, language and swallowing assessment, diagnosis and intervention
  • Participating in multidisciplinary client sessions with the OT and therapy assistants
  • Giving training and coaching to HKC staff, teachers and families regularly
  • Contributing ideas, resources and knowledge to both teams
  • Supporting community placement projects
  • Coordinating specific OIC projects, supporting project officers and contributing to overall strategic direction and planning
  • Networking with relevant government and non-government organisations


About you

You are a speech therapist with at least five years’ experience. You understand that whilst your knowledge and skills are valuable, that in a very different cultural context, you also need to learn and listen.


You have a friendly, approachable manner and work well in small teams, and you provide support to other team members, teachers and families in an appropriate manner. You are a reflective, humble and ethical practitioner with effective cross-cultural communication skills.


You have an understanding of the international development sector and an appreciation for value-adding to existing skills and knowledge on the ground, through genuine and comprehensive partnerships with local people.


You are adaptable and flexible within a changing and at times challenging environment and have self-awareness and strategies to manage professional and personal wellbeing.


Selection Criteria


  • At least 5 years experience working as a speech therapist
  • Experience and love of working with children and their families
  • Experience working effectively in cross cultural contexts
  • Successful supervision/mentoring/coaching experience


Highly desirable

  • Experience working with children with ASD
  • Training and experience in swallowing and feeding
  • Understanding and knowledge of development sector and practice



  • Experience in early intervention and/or school setting
  • Knowledge or experience working in private practice
  • Project management experience
  • Multidisciplinary team experience
  • Leadership skills






What we can offer you


You will be paid a monthly salary, starting at $950 USD per month. After a probation period of 3 months you will have the opportunity to take home a percentage of the fees earned by you. For example, if you see four clients a day, five days a week, you could take home approximately $1600. We will also pay your fees for your professional registration.


You will be responsible for your flight, accommodation and visa costs.


In addition, we can offer:

  • A chance to contribute to a new and exciting initiative in Cambodia, one of the first of its kind
  • An opportunity to work with both Khmer and foreign staff, who have a range of skills, experience and knowledge… and also happen to be really lovely people!
  • A work environment where team cohesion is a priority
  • Access to mentoring and regular management catch ups
  • Opportunities to continue developing your leadership and project management skills
  • A chance to be linked in to the growing speech therapy network in Cambodia
  • Access to in-house professional development and training
  • An opportunity to learn more about international development through links with OIC Cambodia team
  • Support (not financial) in booking flights, finding accommodation, orientating you to Phnom Penh and suggesting fun things to do in Cambodia


We would like a new team member ideally before the end of June 2017 but if we find the right person, we can negotiate a start date.


How to apply


To apply for the role, please send your application to, with the subject title “Speech Therapist Job Application” and these documents:

  • Resume/CV
  • Cover letter addressing the selection criteria


Applications close COB 28th April 2017.

Literature Review: Supporting refugee-survivors of sexual and gender based violence (SGBV) with communication disability

Communication is a fundamental human need. We use it to socialise, learn and earn a living. For those who cannot communicate easily, the risk of abuse, neglect and social exclusion is extremely high, particularly in countries where communication disability is misunderstood and stigmatised. There is now an emerging recognition, that people with communication disabilities, particularly children, are excluded from health, education and social services, as there is limited knowledge and skills amongst service providers on how to both identify and support them.

It is widely accepted that the groups that are most vulnerable to sexual and gender-based violence (SGBV) are a) women and girls; b) refugees; c) people with disabilities. The conclusion that those with communication disabilities are at high risk of SGBV – even targeted by perpetrators – with few opportunities to report or access medical, legal or psychological support, reflects findings from a project, conducted  by the literature review’s authors, Helen Barrett & Dr.Julie Marshall, in Rwanda, in conjunction with UNHCR in 2016. 

Click here for more details about the review

 A second-phase project looking at how to improve support for refugee-survivors of SGBV who have a communication disability is planned for 2017 –follow us on Facebook (Communicability Global) and Twitter (@communiglobal and @jemarshall13) to keep up to date with our progress.


Volunteers needed to train SLTs in Ghana

Ghana is famous for being the warm and welcoming heart of West Africa…

We would very much like to welcome SLPs with experience in clinical supervision (particularly in internghanaational and cross-cultural contexts) to help us with clinical training of SLPs.

The University of Ghana is part way into its first ever training of speech and language therapists (speech-language pathologists). We are seeking three experienced speech and language therapists with skills in clinical supervision of students in paediatric settings who may be willing to volunteer their time to assist with clinical education.

It is hoped that the volunteers would be available for three weeks, from 26th June 2017.

Limited financial support is available to assist with living expenses in country. We are unable to offer to pay for air travel at this point.

For further information, please refer to the attached advert.