DDS, Research, Students

Fahey, Zajac Present Poster at American Speech-Language-Hearing Association Convention

Ross Fahey, D.D.S. Candidate 2014, and Dr. David Zajac, director of speech-language pathology at the UNC Craniofacial Center, were honored with Meritorious Poster recognition at the recent American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA) Convention in Chicago, Ill. The research poster was one of 53 recognized at the meritorious level from a pool of more than 1,600 submissions.

The poster, titled “Oral Air Pressure during Speech Production in Children with Repaired Cleft Palate,” received its high level of recognition due to high ratings in the categories of professional education and research from the selection committee. Fahey and Zajac received a certificate recognizing the poster’s status as meritorious on their presentation day during the convention.

The research showed that children with repaired cleft palate who have normal palatal function use greater respiratory effort during speech than control children.

“Before this study, we really did not know the oral air pressure levels used by children with repaired cleft palate and normal palatal function,” explained Zajac. “The findings are exciting because we often recommend behavior strategies that increase effort in children with poor palatal function. Now, we have some evidence to support our recommendations.”

Zajac added, “Ross is to be commended as he did a fantastic job conducting the research.”

The ASHA Convention sees approximately 12,000 attendees annually and is the largest professional development opportunity available for audiologists, speech-language pathologists, and speech and hearing scientists. As an association, ASHA comprises more than 166,000 members and affiliates, and serves as the national professional, scientific and credentialing association for their constituents.