Bolivia 2006 | Teachers College Columbia University

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Communication Sciences & Disorders

In the Department of Biobehavioral Sciences

Bolivia 2006

Project schedule

© photo: pamela andres 2006

The Taypi: Latin American SLP Project seeks to provide Teachers College graduate students in CSD with academic understanding of linguistics, sociolinguistics, and educational policies in multilingual societies.  Students will learn about the current practices that impact the provision of services to people with communication disorders in Latin America. A focus on research and clinical practice in such a diverse setting aims to prepare students to better understand the multicultural and bilingual issues that we face in the United States.

For the Bolivian project (May 30- June 23, 2006), students will prepare and presentpapers on practice areas in SLP at a conference in La Paz on June 23, 2006. On an on-going basis the Taypi Project is committed to work with Bolivian professionals to establish speech language pathology as a profession in Bolivia.

  1. Course and course pack.

During class, which will meet twice a week in Bolivia, students participate in a seminar-style discussion. Students will be expected to read the assigned articles before class and be fully prepared for the classroom discussion. Seminar topics: Bolivian politics and history; languages and cultures of Bolivia and the Andes; and education and special education in Bolivia.

  1. Student projects/papers.

    Part 1. Before going to Bolivia. 
    Select a topic and research current thought in the United States on causation, prevention, identification, and intervention. Deaf education-’"Learning to speak. Learning to sign. Cochlear implants. What phonemes to teach first. Oral vs. signing approach. Time of amplification.
    • Stuttering
    • Adult Acquired Disorders
    • Multiply-handicapped. Cerebral palsy. Dysphagia. AAC. Positioning and feeding. Muscular limitations vs. cognitive limitations.
    • Aspergers and Autism.
    • Language disorders in Young Children under 4 years.
    • Language-based Learning Disabilities.

In addition, one group looked at bilingual education for children with disabilities and another looked at inequities in services based upon socio-economic factors.

Part 2. While in Bolivia, students gathered information about current practices, perspectives, and/or approaches to causation, prevention, identification, and intervention on their topic in Bolivia. Their final research paper, students will present what they learned about Bolivian approaches to the disability they chose.

  1. Clinical Supervision. "Taypi Groups"

Students received hours at one of three sites. Two were for the Spanish speakers: Camino de Sordos, a signing-based school, and Instituto Departamento de Adapciones Infantiles (IDAI) a home for orphaned and abandoned children and adolescents, that had an out-patient facility and a special education school.

Those who did not have sufficient Spanish skills to get clinical hours spent time with the English teachers in Instituto Americano. There they compared American educational methodology with that in a Bolivian school.

  1. Taypi Conference. June 23, 2006
    At an international conference at the National Academy of Sciences in Bolivia, students will present their poster sessions that set forth current practices, perspectives, and approaches in the United States regarding the disability they chose to research before they left for Bolivia. After presentations comparing the profession of speech-language pathology in Bolivia and the United States, Bolivian professionals will interact with the students at their posters.  Those who do not speak Spanish will pair with an interpreter or a colleague to present the material.

                                           Agenda: May 31 to June 23, 2006
    Tuesday, May 30th, 5:30 pm flight on American Airlines to Miami, connecting flight to La Paz, Bolivia. Arrive at 5:30 am on May 31st. We are met at the airport with transportation from Hotel Emporio in La Paz and Eloina Villazon.Ms. Crowley will teach the class three nights a week and have a room at the Instituto Balaguer where we will meet. The course ends June 23rd. Students will have to write a paper on one aspect of Bolivian special ed/SLP/audiology that they will research and interview people on and present the papers at the conference.

We will rest May 31st (altitude adjustment) and tour the schools and hospitals where the students will be working with children and adults with disabilities on June 1 and 2. On Monday, June 5, the students will go to their assigned locations. They will be in their locations from 9:00 until 1:00. At 1:00 everything closes for lunch until 2:30. At 3:00 we meet for class.

The evening is free, though some students will be taking Spanish classes. We also will visit a few hospitals. One of our strong contacts is a Bolivian SLP who studied in NYC and is getting her PhD from the University of Argentina in Buenos Aires. She is studying Aymara/Spanish bilingual aphasics and has many hospital contacts.

Students will be in their sites June 5, 6, and 7. The morning of June 8 through June 11th, we go to the Amazon rainforest.

The next week students will be in their sites the 12, 13 and 14. Then there is a national holiday and everything is closed June 15 and 16. We go on the morning to June 15th to Lake Titicaca and the Isla del Sol. We return June 18th.

The last week, students are at their sites the 19 and 20. In the evening of the 20th, we go to Tehuanaku, the ancient ruins of the Aymara Indians. On the winter solstice (June 21st) at daybreak Aymara Indians from all over Bolivia come to Tehuanaku to do their solstice rituals. We will be staying in a hotel in Tehuanaku so we will just wake up at 3:00 am and be there.

We return to Bolivia for a final day of being at the sites on Thursday, June 22nd. Then we have our conference on June 23rd.

Here is the information on the festivals and trips that we will be part of when we are there:

Gran Poder:
The first weekend we will stay in La Paz because on June 3rd is the festival of Gran Poder. It is an all day party in the streets. The Friday night of that weekend, we should go to a Pena to hear traditional Bolivian music and dance traditional dances. Sunday we can rest, shop, sightsee in and around La Paz.

I need to know how many of you are going to the jungle. We will fly on Thursday June 8 and return, Monday, June 12th. The cost will be about $120 per person for the flight and $40 per night per person for the camping grounds and food, etc. Eloina will make the arrangements but she needs to know who is going. You will definitely need malaria and yellow fever for the jungle.

On daybreak of Wednesday, June 21st Aymara people from all over the altiplano will descend upon the ruins of Tehuanaku (about 90 minutes from La Paz). Eloina suggests we stay in accommodations in Tehunaku on Tuesday. It is a huge event and Eloina needs to make the reservations ASAP or everything will be sold out. Let me know if you want to do that.

Isla del Sol and Copacabana:
On the weekend of June 16-18 (June 16th is a holiday in Bolivia and most places in La Paz are closed for the 16th and 17th), we will go to Lake Titicaca and the Isla del Sol. I assume everyone will want to go, but let me know.

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