Speech pathologists are health professionals who provide assessment and diagnosis in communication and swallowing disorders.

They provide advice, intervention, treatment and counselling to individuals and families, and information and education to staff and the general public.  

Speech Pathology Week - held annually in August

Speech Pathology Week is held in August each year. Over 1.1 million Australians are living with a swallowing or communication disorder. That's three times the number of people who have dementia. Our communication skills and ability to eat and drink are fundamental parts of our lives – yet we often take them for granted.

Keep an eye out for events running across sites to experience what living with a communication / swallowing disorder is like and learn how speech pathologists work with people to maximise their participation in their school, workplace and social lives. There will be prizes up for grabs!



Speech pathologists provide services in the following areas:


  • Speech - articulation or acquired neurological disorders e.g. apraxia, dysarthria.
  • Language - acquired difficulties with word knowledge, syntax, semantics, language processing, listening and the social aspects of communication, including the comprehension and expression of spoken, written, non-verbal (signs symbols and gestures) modalities, i.e. aphasia.
  • Cognitive communication - attention, memory, problem solving, executive functions.
  • Oral, pharyngeal, laryngeal and upper oesophageal swallowing function - including instrumental assessment through modified barium swallow (MBS) and FEES (fiberoptic endoscopic evaluation of swallow). 
  • Voice - abnormal quality or poor volume e.g. rough, breathy and strained. 
  • Tracheostomy management - including facilitation of verbal speech with tracheostomy, swallowing with tracheostomy and decannulation pathways.
  • Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC) - picture or alphabet boards, voice output technology.
  • Head and neck management - including surgical laryngectomy voice restoration and swallowing.


  • Feeding - sucking, swallowing or chewing, including fussy eaters and difficulty with textures.
  • Speech - producing speech sounds clearly (consonants or vowels).
  • Fluency - producing speech smoothly and at a normal rate, without interruptions or repetitions (e.g. stuttering, cluttering).
  • Language - understanding and using words and sentences, including following instructions and/or difficulties expressing themselves.
  • Voice – abnormal voice quality e.g. hoarse, husky or nasal.

 Quick links

Royal Rehab website. http://www.royalrehab.com.au

Speech Pathology Australia: http://www.speechpathologyaustralia.org.au