Implementing the World Report on Disability in Malaysia: A student-led service to promote knowledge and innovation
The lead article by Wylie, McAllister, Davidson, and Marshall (2013) puts forward pertinent issues facing the speech-language pathology profession raised by the World Report on Disability. This paper continues the discussion by reporting on a capacity building action research study on the development, implementation, and evaluation of a new approach to early intervention speech-language pathology through clinical education in Malaysia. This research evaluated a student-led service in community-based rehabilitation that supplemented existing and more typical institution-based services. A Malaysian community-based rehabilitation project was chosen due to its emphasis on increasing the equitability and accessibility of services for people with disabilities which was a catalyst for this research. Also, expanding awareness-building, education, and training activities about communication disability was important. The intention was to provide students with experience of working in such settings, and facilitate their development as advocates for broadening the scope of practice of speech-language pathology services in Malaysia. This article focuses on the findings pertaining to the collaborative process and the learning experiences of the adult participants. Through reflection on the positive achievements, as well as some failures, it aims to provide deeper understanding of the use of such a model.