The EPIC Project

Research papers & sister projects

First and foremost, the paper “Renewing Our Cultural Borderlands: Equitable Population Innovations for Communication (EPIC)” by Pillay and Kathard (2018) provides a detailed description into the EPIC project. The full reference is as follows:

  1. Pillay, M. & Kathard, H. (2018). Renewing Our Cultural Borderlands: Equitable Population Innovations for Communication (EPIC). Topics in Language Disorders 38(2), 143-160.

Conceptual concepts and research papers underpinning EPIC

There are key conceptual frameworks and papers that may be accessed to facilitate an understanding of the EPIC project as well as the need for such a framework. The following papers are available:

  1. Pillay, M. & Kathard, H. (2018). Disability and the Global South, 5 (2), 1365-1384.
  2. Pillay, M. and Kathard, H. (2015). Decolonizing health professionals education: audiology and speech therapy in South Africa. African Journal of Rhetoric 7(1): 193-227. https://journals.co.za/content/aar_rhetoric/7/1/EJC172807
  3. Pillay, M. (2013). Can the subaltern speak? Visibility of international migrants with communication and swallowing disabilities in the World Report on Disability. International Journal of Speech Language Pathology, 15(1): 79-83. Doi 10.3109/17549507.2012.757708. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23323821
  4. Kathard, H. and M. Pillay (2013). Promoting change through political consciousness: A South African speech-language pathology response to the World Report on Disability. International Journal of Speech Language Pathology 15(1): 84-89. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23323822
  5. Pillay, M., Kathard, H. & Samuel, M.A. (1997). The curriculum of practice: a conceptual framework for speech-language therapy and audiology practice with a black African first language clientele. The South African Journal of communication disorders, 44.

Additionally, there have been other projects that draw up EPIC practices including: school-based research to guide future intervention planning at a population and more equitable level:

The Classroom Communication Resource (CCR) Intervention

A series of studies in which the Classroom Communication Resource (CCR) intervention was studied to address teasing and bullying using communication and stuttering as case examples within a classroom-based and teacher-administered intervention for grade 7 learners. These studies aim to address service delivery challenges, as well as the need for equitable, population-based and innovative intervention centred around communication in the classroom. The papers are as follows:

  1. Mallick, R., Kathard, H., Thabane, L., & Pillay, M. (2018). The Classroom Communication Resource (CCR) intervention to change peer's attitudes towards children who stutter (CWS): study protocol for a randomised controlled trial. Trials, 19(1), 43. doi:10.1186/s13063-017-2365-x.
  2. Mallick, R. B., Thabane, L., Borhan, A. S. M., & Kathard, H. (2018). A pilot study to determine the feasibility of a cluster randomised controlled trial of an intervention to change peer attitudes towards children who stutter. South African Journal of Communication Disorders, 65(1), 1-8. doi:10.4102/sajcd.v65i1.583.
  3. Mallick, R., Kathard, H., Borhan, ASM., Pillay, M. & Thabane, L. (2018). A cluster randomized trial of a classroom communication resource program to change peer attitudes towards children who stutter among grade 7 students. Trials, 19, 664. doi: 10.1186/s13063-018-3043-3. https://trialsjournal.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/s13063-018-3043-3#Bib1
  4. Kathard, H., et al. (2014). Classroom intervention to change peers’ attitudes towards children who stutter: A feasibility study. South African Journal of Communication Disorders, (1). 10.4102/sajcd.v61i1.80. https://sajcd.org.za/index.php/sajcd/article/view/80/113
  5. Walters, F. (2015). Effectiveness of the classroom communication resource in changing primary school learners' attitudes towards children who stutter after one month: A feasibility study. Unpublished thesis, University of Cape Town. http://hdl.handle.net/11427/15754
  6. Badroodien, R. (2015). Classroom intervention to change peers' attitudes towards children who stutter: a pilot study six months post-intervention. Unpublished thesis, University of Cape Town. http://hdl.handle.net/11427/15487

Teacher’s opinions and attitudes

This study aimed to explore teacher opinions towards stuttering to guide future intervention planning at a population and more equitable level:

  1. Abrahams, K., Harty, M., St. Louis, K. O., Thabane, L. & Kathard, H. (2016).Primary school teachers' opinions and attitudes towards stuttering in two South African urban education districts. South African Journal of Communication Disorders, : 1-10. http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S2225-47652016000100008&nrm=iso

Schools Improvement initiative

The SII project is a prominent project at UCT that also aims to address service delivery challenges as well as the relationship between healthcare and education.

  1. The SII project can be accessed on http://www.sii.uct.ac.za/ 
  2. At present a PhD study is being conducted by Abrahams, K titled “A case study of an emerging practice in speech-language therapy in a community practice context.

Classroom projects

In order to explore how interventions and service delivery can be equitable, population-based, innovative and communication-centred, several studies were conducted to determine the classroom environments and challenges. These included:

  1. Parusnath, P. (2016). Communication supporting environments of Grade R classrooms in a rural district of the Western Cape. Unpublished thesis, University of Cape Town. http://hdl.handle.net/11427/22924
  2. Kathard, H., Pillay, D. & Pillay, M. (2015).
  3. Navsaria, I., Pascoe, M., Kathard, H. (2011).'It’s not just the learner, it's the system!' Teachers’ perspectives on written language difficulties: Implications for speech-language therapy. South African Journal of Communication Disorders, 58 (2).  
  4. Navsaria, I. (2010). Unpublished thesis, University of Cape Town.
  5. , H. and M. Pillay (2007). Talking about Communication and Education: A Case Study of a South African Classroom. The international Journal of learning, 14(9): 154-161.

Service delivery challenges

It is well documented that SLT/A face service delivery challenges. A study that is often used to motivate the shift towards EPIC practices includes

  1. Overett, W. and H. Kathard (2006). Profiles of outpatient speech-language therapy and audiology clients at a tertiary hospital in the Western Cape.  The South African Journal of Communication Disorders 53: 49-58.

Traumatic Brain Injury

Again, the need to explore the more human-side of communication-based services can be found in:

  1. De Villiers, A. J. (2015). Stories of school reintegration following traumatic brain injury (TBI): The experiences of children, their primary caregivers and educators in the Western Cape. Unpublished thesis, University of Cape Town. http://hdl.handle.net/11427/15500
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