1000 SLPs to a population of 1.3 BILLION!
Talk about a packed schedule! The field of Speech-Language Pathology is relatively new in China having only started services in the 1980s for select language disorders and dysphagia. Historically, the majority of service providers have only received a few courses focused on speech therapy within their studies of general rehabilitation as well as on-the-job training. Due to the lack of specially-trained SLPs, several providers tend to be physicians, nurses, or OTs. Additionally, the amount of dialects and subdialects in China makes it significantly more challenging to provide appropriate intervention to clients. (See ASHA Blog: Speech-Language Pathology in China: Challenges and Opportunities for full article describing speech pathology in China since 2011).
Gains have been made recently with the start of the first accredited speech pathology program created in 2014 with the support of the University of Hawaii at Kunming Medical University (KMU) located in southwestern China. Hopefully, with the installation of this established Bachelor’s program, other academic programs providing courses in SLP will be further developed, China will see a rise in well-trained and qualified SLPs, and service delivery models will be improved.
Chinese International Speech-Language and Hearing Association (CISHA).
Interested in working as part of a multi-disciplinary team in China? Here are a few organizations that welcome internationally trained and English-speaking SLPs (Madarin speaking therapists are always a plus!)
Consulting therapists from all disciplines for Olivia’s Place are located in Beijing, Shanghai, Shenzhen with their main site located in Shanghai. Professional development opportunities are also offered through seminars and trainings!
For more information regarding work and volunteer opportunities, email firstname.lastname@example.org
Also located in Shanghai, ChinaELG offers competitive salaries and good vacation time for international staff. PLUS they will support clinicians with work visas!
ChinaELG also offers parent support groups and provides workshops for educators and professionals working with children to better support speech and language challenges.
Orient Speech Therapy Center (China) (OST) is a legal entity of Hong Kong with nearly 20 centers in cities of China including Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou and Shenzhen. In addition to providing skilled intervention, OST also offers training programs for providers to further develop clinical skills.
Know of any other professional or educational opportunities in China? Share them with me to be featured on this page!