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Volunteer opportunities in NYC - Speech Pathology

Does anyone know of any places in NYC/BRONX where I can volunteer and gain experience observing Speech Language Pathologists as a Speech student?

I’m trying to apply for grad school and is switching careers. I would love to gain experience and also add to my resume when applying for schools.

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Ashley’s Answer

Hi! As a current speech language pathologist who once was in your shoes I can definitely recommend a few things for you to try. All of the advice Veronica offered is a great place to start if you don't have any contacts in the field currently. Volunteering in our field is not really an option but many providers are open to "shadowing". When you call locations tell them you're interested in applying to graduate programs and would like to gain a better sense of the population and setting options available. When I was an undergraduate student I "cold-called" many providers myself and asked for shadow opportunities. Be prepare to hear many no's, but do not get discouraged if this happens to you, often times providers simply do not have the schedule flexibility to allow for a shadow. Overall, the field is very encouraging and helpful towards prospective students. I would also recommend searching the profession's national organization website: https://ashacertified.org/find/ . If you search as a patient you can find providers in your area that are certified by this organization. Wishing you the best of luck on this journey!
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Veronica’s Answer

I love that you asked about volunteering, because that is one of the best ways of gaining valuable experience in whatever you field of passion is. OK so, I have enclosed a link to approximately 38 speech path businesses in NY. What I have suggested to my students in the past regarding volunteering, is to follow these simple steps - (make sure you have your resume ready prior):
1. Call the place of business
2. Ask for the Practice Administrator or Hiring Manager
3. When you get them on the phone - tell them that you are a grad student considering Speech Pathology and would like to volunteer a couple of hours per week at their practice. (saying a couple doesn't sound too intrusive).
4. Tell them "why" you choose them: read through each website and find 2/3 awesome things that they have done or are doing, any awards received practice size, time in business, areas served, something that sets them apart from other practices.
5. ASK when you can come in a meet with them
6. Keep contacting each one until you find your YES! - it shouldn't take long, people love volunteers - free labor!

https://www.expertise.com/ny/nyc/speech-therapists
Thank you comment icon I am really grateful you took the time to answer this question. Eshara
Thank you comment icon Really great advice Veronica, thank you for guiding students! Ashley Mercado
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Beth’s Answer

I am a physical therapist, not a speech therapist but these are ideas from Texas.

Rehabilitation professionals are a great group of people! We all work hard for our patients to achieve their goals. We are all eager to nurture new therapists in the field and are usually very happy to talk to students like you, or have you come hang out with us for a few hours or days. However, covid has made this more regulated and facilities have created new rules against extra visitors.

Ideas -
1. Google private speech therapists in your area. Then call them to ask if you can shadow the therapist for a day or two. In NYC, you can find speech therapists who help singers rehab after voice injury, dialect work, as well as the usual improved pronunciation, stroke/neurological rehab, children, and cognitive rehab.
2. Contact your area inpatient rehabilitation facilities, ask to speak to the lead speech therapist or rehab director about shadowing opportunities or volunteer positions.
3. There are lots of speech therapists in the school district- call the special education director at the local school district, or private school to ask if you can shadow or volunteer with the therapists.
4. There are also speech therapists in home health companies especially pediatric specialists. See if you can shadow one of them.
5. Acute care hospitals have lots of speech therapists also, but the Joint commission of hospital accreditation and Medicare have made volunteering and shadowing difficult because every one has to have vaccines, HIPPA education, and covid precautions. My hospital has a volunteer program but it is for the whole hospital and a semester commitment, but you can say that you are most interested in therapy.

You are not going to see ads for therapy volunteer and speech therapy doesn’t usually use technicians like physical therapy does, so no entry level base pay jobs except office help in private clinic.

You could email or call the university speech therapy program office. They may have opportunities in your area as well, some have a student clinic where you could also volunteer.

Good luck! Some of my best friends are speechies.
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Steve’s Answer

Hi Eshara, So great to hear that you are looking to volunteer. I located a few places in the Bronx that specialize in speech pathology. I suggest contacting them via phone and explaining exactly what you explained to us here. I am sure one or more of them will give you an opportunity.

https://www.yellowpages.com/bronx-ny/speech-pathology

I hope this above link helps.

Steve Ryan
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