In 1983, when our son was diagnosed in the West with a Severe-To-Profound Hearing Loss, and needed speech-language therapy, there was none to be had in our hometown of Jeddah, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.
Two hearing impaired children followed and in the absence of quality services, we were forced to travel to the West, in particular to the USA, where our children received the
best possible intervention.
Today, all our children are educated and lead productive and satisfying lives, having fulfilled their full potential.
Sadly, this was not the fate of most of the children in our community with communication disorders; most of them would have very limited opportunities.
As a result, in 1991 the Jeddah Institute for Speech and Hearing & Medical Rehabilitation (JISH), a non-profit organization, was established to help all those with communication disorders (i.e. articulation, fluency, voice, receptive and expressive language delay, pragmatics, oral/aural rehabilitation, aphasia etc.) achieve their maximum communication potential.
Our aim was to provide locally the same quality of speech and hearing services our children had received in the United States. To achieve this, JISH had to recruit equally qualified Arabic speaking speech-language pathologists to those that had worked with our children.
There were none to be found in the region; we had to develop our own. To this end, JISH recruited distinguished professors in the field of communication disorders from leading university programs and speech centers in United States and Canada to set up the clinic, and supervise the young Arabic speaking speech therapists recruited from different universities across the Middle East.
To make certain that the JISH services adhered to the standards set up by the American Speech, Language and Hearing Association (ASHA), all our non-ASHA certified clinicians were then enrolled on a JISH scholarship in a Master’s Degree program at the University of California San Jose (UCSJ), in the United States, and upon graduating they went on to receive the Certificate of Clinical Competence (CCC, SLP) from the American Speech, Language and Hearing Association (ASHA), (http://asha.org)
Since its inception, JISH provided scholarships and internships that resulted in the certification of more than fifty speech-language pathologists by the American Speech, Language and Hearing Association (ASHA).
To ensure that our speech-language pathologists are updated with the latest in clinical techniques and research, JISH provides on-going intensive continuing education through courses, workshops, and internships at accredited university programs and clinics in the United States of America and the UK. In addition, JISH continues to grant scholarships to its staff for graduate and doctorate degrees in the fields of Speech- Language Pathology, Applied Behavior Analysis, and Psychology.