Purpose: Speech-language pathologists in Malaysia typically do not work within CBR. Therefore, exploring the use of services through a non-traditional student placement was a crucial first step in understanding how to develop capacity for such services. It was also important to develop an understanding of the ways in which the implementation of this student placement influenced learning in the context of a Malaysian CBR programme.
Method: An action research study was designed to implement and evaluate student speech-language pathology (SLP) placement within a Malaysian community-based rehabilitation (CBR) centre for children with communication disabilities. Data collection involved the learning experiences of key adult stakeholders (students, workers, parents, and the principal research investigator (PI) or lead author).
Results: Study findings indicated that all adult learners became better empowered by working together. Workers involved in impairment-focussed rehabilitation activities grew in understanding and skills when supported by relevant professionals.The importance of mentoring as a learning-teaching relationship was demonstrated.
Conclusion: While the study has indicated that the setting is beneficial as a student placement, the development of a specialisation in CBR for allied health professionals would be a relevant way forward in the Malaysian context.