Ali and Emma

(Alison in middle, and Emma right collecting their award for learning at Oxford University Hospitals award ceremony)

Emma Poynter-Smith and Alison Langshaw are both Specialist Speech and Language Therapists and work for the Oxford Auditory Implant Programme. They recently qualified as certified Listening and Spoken Language Specialist (LSLS) Auditory Verbal Therapists after completing AVUK’s foundation course and advanced course. Congratulations!

Talking about the training, they said “we were fortunate to be able to apply for funding for AVUK’s foundation course from Oxford University Hospitals training fund. We both felt that we wanted to develop our skills and felt we had a responsibility to have up to date knowledge to ensure appropriate expectations and effective support could be provided for deaf children in Oxfordshire and children supported by the Oxford Auditory Implant Programme.

“AVUK’s advanced course is a much bigger commitment, it was only made possible by a bursary funded entirely by AVUK. We both took 5 years to complete everything needed to certify. Childcare issues, working part time and COVID 19 meant that it took us a bit longer to get there but AVUK were very supportive throughout the process ensuring we had all we needed to get through the course successfully.”

Doing the course together, meant that Emma and Alison could study together and support one another. They said “Our training involved learning through podcasts and webinars, opportunities to watch AVUK sessions and regular discussions where we were able to think about children on our existing caseloads.  We were able to learn together and from each other within a safe and supportive training group led by a tutor from AVUK. We also learnt by reflecting on our current practice and improving our skills and knowledge. It is a great opportunity to have this level of expert supervision, having been qualified as Speech and Language Therapists for so long.”

Talking about the impact of their training they said “it has given us the confidence to strive for the best outcomes for all deaf children we work with. We have learnt how to work diagnostically each session starting always with the child’s level of hearing and optimising this. The sessions are now fun and functional, the parent coaching skills we have learned have helped us develop a family centred approach, it is so rewarding to see how far both the families and children develop through family coaching.”

Emma and Alison were both nominated by their colleagues for an Award for Learning in Oxford University Hospital’s annual staff recognition awards, for completing the Auditory Verbal certification and they went on to win the category. Alison and Emma said “it was a fabulous opportunity to share the work of AVUK wider within our NHS trust.”

Talking about their goals and ambitions for the future, they said “we hope to share Auditory Verbal strategies in the field and encourage anyone who is interested to investigate the training opportunities.  We would like as many deaf children to benefit from our training within the NHS as possible. You are well supported through the process, and it has been really rewarding. “

When talking about AVUK’s foundation course and advanced course, Alison and Emma said “we would say “go for it!” – it is a big commitment and you will need the support of your employer but the teaching and reflective learning opportunities are excellent.”

Find out more about AVUK’s training course.