February 23, 2013

A Sound Start is about to start

Last year we were awarded the following Australian Research Council (ARC) Discovery Grant: A sound start: Innovative technology to promote speech and pre-literacy skills in at-risk preschoolers (DP130102545).

Here is an overview of the project:
Speech impairment affects one in five Australian preschoolers. If the problem persists into the school years between 30% to 77% of these children will have reading difficulties. Without specialist services, these children face increased risk of life-long social, educational, vocational limitations. Three challenges exist: identification of preschoolers most at risk, development of strategies for targeting both speech and pre-literacy skills, and provision of appropriate specialist services. This project will determine if an innovative computer-based service, delivered within preschools, can address these challenges by promoting age-appropriate speech and pre-literacy skills in children with identified risk of reading difficulties. 
The project team are:
  • Chief Investigators: Sharynne McLeod (CSU), Elise Baker (University of Sydney), Jane McCormack (CSU)
  • Partner Investigators: Yvonne Wren and Sue Roulstone (University of the West of England)
  • Project Officer: Kate Crowe
  • PhD Student: Sarah Masso
The project will run from 2013 - 2015. The team met in Sydney on Thursday and Friday to plan for the project to commence in March. There is a lot to organise; however, we are looking forward to the challenges and anticipate outcomes that will be of benefit to children with speech difficulties.
Kate Crowe, Sarah Masso, Sharynne McLeod, Jane McCormack, Elise Baker