A new workshop being launched by faculty from CU Boulder and the CU Anschutz Medical Campus aims to address demand for voice and communication training for people on the gender spectrum.
Bolstered by funding from a systemwide Diversity and Inclusive Excellence Grant, the two-day Gender-Inclusive Voice and Communication Workshop is set for Aug. 3-4 at CU Anschutz. It’s designed for voice teachers and coaches, speech-language pathologists and other professionals who support the care of people who identify as transgender or non-binary.
The Departments of Otolaryngology (CU Anschutz) and Speech, Language and Hearing Sciences (CU Boulder) are co-hosting the workshop.
Marie Jetté, assistant professor in the Department of Otolaryngology, and Jen Walentas Lewon, clinical assistant professor in the Department of Speech, Language and Hearing Sciences, both are clinician-educators who serve the needs of trainee clinicians, patients and clients across the gender spectrum. They say co-hosting this workshop will lay inroads for future collaborations across campuses.
Jetté said that as insurance providers increasingly offer coverage for such services, demand for speech therapy for people transitioning to different genders is growing.
“For example, you might have someone born male who transitions to female gender identity later in life, and their voice style doesn’t match their gender identity,” Jetté said. “Therapy can address voice and communication styles. We train and teach people how to use the anatomy and physiology they have to alter their communication style.”
The faculty speakers at the workshop, Kevin Dorman and Wendy Vastine, both are on the gender spectrum, Jetté noted.
The workshop’s learning objectives are:
- Discuss terminology, best practices and allyship for working with transgender or non-binary clients
- Describe transition options for transgender or non-binary clients
- Outline techniques for voice and communication training, including pitch, resonance, articulation, rate, volume, language and non-verbal communication
- Demonstrate voice and communication techniques for pitch, resonance, articulation, rate, volume, language and non-verbal communication.
To register for the conference and for more information, click here.