University of South Florida

College of Behavioral and Community Sciences


CSD revives community speech/language and hearing screening initiative

CSD graduate students at Zoo Tampa at Lowry Park

Graduate students visit ZooTampa at Lowry Park to conduct speech/language and hearing screenings for students at the ZooTampa School.

Graduate students in the Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders (CSD) are once again going into the community to provide free preschool speech/language and hearing screenings to children at local schools.

The focus of these preschool speech and language screenings is to determine if children demonstrate appropriate understanding and use of language, production of speech sounds, attention, and social skills to enhance peer interactions and achieve academic success. The screenings facilitate early identification of communication difficulties in young children and help identify need for early intervention. 

This program had been suspended for two years due to the pandemic; however, Marian Lowther, MS, CCC-SLP, clinical assistant instructor in CSD, has worked to reconnect with previous sites and develop new sites to expand the program.

"This community outreach program is foundational to excellence in teaching and learning and critical to enhancing economic, social, and cultural well-being to our Tampa community," Lowther said.

The newest site for the program is Zoo School at ZooTampa at Lowry Park. Recently, graduate students conducted speech/language and hearing screenings for over 30 students. Following the screenings, if indicated, results and local resources for further evaluations were provided to parents. Previous outreach locations include private schools, church schools, and daycare centers in the Tampa area.

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The Mission of the College of Behavioral and Community Sciences (CBCS) is to advance knowledge through interdisciplinary teaching, research, and service that improves the capacity of individuals, families, and diverse communities to promote productive, satisfying, healthy, and safe lives across the lifespan. CBCS envisions the college as a globally recognized leader that creates innovative solutions to complex conditions that affect the behavior and well-being of individuals, families, and diverse communities.