SLP Podcast Ep 41 – Living and Working Abroad as an SLP – Dr. Amanda Blackwell, SLPD, CCC-SLP

March 15, 2021

In this episode, we had the pleasure to speak with a special guest, Dr. Amanda Blackwell, SLPD, CCC-SLP, about her experience living and working abroad as an SLP. Dr. Blackwell delved into her time spent in Guatemala, sharing her journey from volunteering to full-time work there, how she was received as an English speaker when she arrived, her role in formalizing a Guatemalan SLP Association, and more.

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We Discuss

  • An introduction to Dr. Blackwell and her career journey to Guatemala (01:43);
  • Dr. Blackwell’s first job in Guatemala after volunteering (19:42);
  • How Dr. Blackwell was received as an American Doctor in Guatemala (22:44);
  • Leading Guatemala to formalize an SLP Association (26:46);
  • The Special Education conditions in Guatemalan school systems (35:20);
  • The perception of disabilities in Guatemala (38:21);
  • Advice for American therapists working with other cultures (47:27);

About Dr. Amanda Blackwell, SLPD, CCC-SLP

Since volunteering in 2013 as a speech-language pathologist at an orphanage in Guatemala, Dr. Amanda Blackwell has been living and working full-time in the country. Amanda completed a Clinical Doctorate in speech-language pathology and started the official professional association for local Guatemalan speech therapists (SomosTLgt), which has offered more than 150 continuing education hours over the past year to its members to strengthen the understanding and implementation of concepts like EBP and AAC in the country.

In January 2020, she began working toward a Doctor of Education degree at Murray State University with the goal of opening a university for allied health professions in Guatemala to improve the quality of services across the country. She currently directs the speech therapy departments at FUNDAL (for individuals with deafblindness and multiple disabilities) and the Guatemalan Association of Down Syndrome in Guatemala City and Xela, provides teletherapy services for public school students in the United States, runs an autism education social project for Spanish speakers called LUNA (@lunautismo), and is part of the ASHA-PAHO ad hoc committee for Ecuador.

Amanda serves as an adjunct research fellow working with five doctoral students in the SLPD program at Rocky Mountain University of Health Professions in Provo, Utah, and will be teaching in the masters of autism studies and masters of speech-language pathology programs as an adjunct professor at Saint Mary's College in Notre Dame, Indiana beginning in the summer of 2021. She is a life-long learner herself and loves providing dynamic training on various topics to school districts and SLPs around the world. 

Where to Find Amanda Online:

About the Show

Produced by Jonathan Cary

Music and Editing by Aidan Dykes

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