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Avatars Offer SLP Graduate Students Training Experience

caseSimuCase avatars were recently made available to train speech-language pathologists using technology developed at Case Western Reserve University’s College of Arts and Sciences and Case School of Engineering.

According to a recent university news release, SimuCase is intended to allow graduate students and others training to evaluate speech-language disorders to train using an interactive, Web-based program to reduce stress on the trainee.

The SimuCase avatars may present conditions such as a heady injury, autism, difficulty hearing, or more than one language spoken at home and school, the university explains. The release also notes that the SimuCase scenarios are based upon information from actual speech-language pathology cases.

The first 10 avatars are children, ranging in age from preschoolers to teenagers. The individual in group training checks a case history and then interacts with the avatar by selecting or typing questions, the release states.

Stacy L. Williams, PhD, adjunct assistant professor at Case Western Reserve’s Department of Psychological Sciences Program in Communication Sciences, reports that the “Virtual simulations are intended to build knowledge, skill, and professional judgment. These are qualities that contribute to successful, competent clinicians.”

The release also notes that SpeechPathology.com is currently working on adding adult avatars to stimulate patients with health conditions that cause impairments.

Source: Case Western Reserve University