Audiology Academics Fly UKZN Flag High at Historic Congress
UKZN’s Speech Language Therapy Academics, Dr Legini Moodley and Ms Urisha Naidoo, received awards for being best presenters at the 34th World Congress of Audiology (WCA) held recently at the Cape Town International Convention Centre.
Moodley won the 2nd prize for best oral presentation and Naidoo won the best poster presentation. The congress made history as it was the first time since it began in 1953, that it was hosted in the African continent.
Attended by about 1 000 delegates from 55 countries, it showcased more than 450 presentations. The meeting focused on equitable access to hearing care for the 466 million people estimated to live with disabling hearing loss, of whom more than 80% live in low- and middle-income countries (World Health Organization, 2018).
‘I am elated at this unexpected achievement. The poster that was developed came from an honours-level research project that I supervised,’ Naidoo said.
‘My students Paula Richardson and Noluthando Tshabalala worked so well last year on the project and I was so proud to be their supervisor,’ she added.
She said the fact that an undergraduate research project was recognised at an international conference should serve as a motivator to all researchers.
To develop her poster titled Caregiver Co-use of Media with Children Receiving Speech-Language Therapy, Naidoo took the literature review, methodology and results of the study that her students did and developed an electronic poster, incorporating elements of media.
‘I tried to make the poster as reader-friendly as possible with a combination of text and graphics,’ added Naidoo.
She is currently supervising research at undergraduate and masters’ level in Speech-Language Therapy and is completing her PhD in Higher Education.
‘I am very pleased to have been awarded 2nd place for Best Oral Presentation in the Speech-Language-Hearing Programme,’ Moodley said. ‘It’s inspiring to have my PhD work acknowledged at this historic event,’ she added.
Moodley’s presentation, titled Supporting Parents’ to Access the Help That They Need: Problem Definition in Early Childhood Communication Intervention, looked at the common complaint of parents of children with disabilities that the interventions that they received from health care professionals did not meet their needs.
According to Moodley, this problem persists because many parents are not skilled in accessing the help that they need. ‘My study developed an innovative intervention programme to empower parents to seek help effectively. Using a quasi-experimental pre-test-post-test control group design, the study investigated the effect of training on parents who accessed communication intervention at public hospitals in the eThekwini district. The findings were statistically significant and showed that with support, parents can access the help that they need to effectively care for young children with disabilities,’ she explained. Moodley’s interest in individuals’ positive functioning is the focus of undergraduate and postgraduate research that she supervises.
Words: Nombuso Dlamini