By GREGORY ZELLER //
Life will go on after the coronavirus pandemic – at Adelphi University, with unprecedented understanding of human communication.
Right on schedule, the university’s new Communication Sciences and Disorders Center for Research opened on March 2 – ribbon-cutting and everything – in Lower Level Linen Hall.
The global COVID-19 pandemic, of course, has temporarily closed Adelphi’s Garden City campus, including the new research center. But its six renovated laboratories, plus its Telepractice Practicum & Research Suite, are raring to go, according to Dana Battaglia, chairwoman of Adelphi’s Communication and Science Disorders Department.
“The CSD Center for Research is the realization of a vision that started over three years ago,” the associate professor of communications sciences and disorders said at the pre-lockdown ribbon-cutting, noting a “focus on research excellence, community impact and interprofessional practice and education.
Each of the six laboratories is built for a hyper-specific focus on speech and/or alternative communication forms. The Neurocognition of Communication Disorders Lab, for instance, will conduct experiments exploring the “neural underpinning” of multisensory integration, and its relationship to linguistic and cognitive processing throughout the aging process.
The Voice and Quality of Life Lab dives deep into the “social functioning” of the human voice; the Speech Science Lab boasts a state-of-the-art sound booth for “more precise research and appropriate research”; and the Language Observation and Analysis Lab will focus on the nature of word associations in various populations.
Meanwhile, the Augmentative/Alternative Communication Lab will evaluate and consult with individuals with severe communications impairment, while the Telepractice Practicum & Research Suite will provide an “alternative method of reaching clients for speech-language and audiology services in aphasia, fluency, articulation, accent modification, hearing impairments and language disorders,” according to Adelphi.
Combined, the myriad sections and functions of the Communication Sciences and Disorders Center for Research create a mini-mecca for graduate and undergraduate students on the path to new speech and alternative-communications breakthroughs – at least, it will, Battaglia noted, once COVID-19 abates and the center gets cooking.
“It is the location where faculty and students, together, can advance the profession,” the professor added, “and ultimately best serve individuals with communication disorders across the lifespan.”