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Kanishka supports research into assessments tools for child speech and hearing

16 December, 2022

UWA Master of Biomedical Science student and McCusker Centre for Citizenship intern Kanishka Senthilvel has contributed 100 hours at Telethon Speech & Hearing towards motor and language assessment data that will be used to support children with speech, language and hearing needs.

Having recently moved to Perth from India after beginning her studies online due to COVID-19, Kanishka applied for UWA’s McCusker Centre for Citizenship internship program as a way to meaningfully engage with, and contribute to, WA communities.

“I read all the internship stories on the website, and they created a spark inside, a motivation to be a part of something that is directly impactful,” said Kanishka.

Through the internship project at Telethon Speech and Hearing, Kanishka collated data from motor and language assessment results from over 200 children. She also undertook a literature search into motor skills assessment tools to assist Telethon Speech & Hearing staff with further decision-making in this area.

“Kanishka is a diligent, motivated and efficient student,” said internship supervisor and Telethon Speech & Hearing Research and Evaluation Manager Dr Yuriko Kishida. “Telethon Speech & Hearing was able to offer Kanishka the opportunity to observe children in our Kindy and Pre-Primary classrooms and witness how our education and allied health team work together to support children.”

“Kanishka’s work will help us plan our services informed by data. This will ultimately benefit both Telethon Speech & Hearing and the children whom we support,” said Dr Kishida.

Kanishka said that the highlight of her internship was knowing that her work was going to directly benefit local communities.

“I am an individual who is extremely passionate about translational science,” she said. “The most rewarding element of my internship was that I was able to witness how my work would contribute to the decision-making process to improve services in the future.”

“Additionally, I’ve acquired so many transferrable skills and insights for my professional life. I have extended my professional network by connecting with my colleagues at the host organisation and other peers and panellists during seminars and discussions.”

Kanishka highly recommends the McCusker Centre for Citizenship internship program to other UWA students looking for an “eye-opening” and “life-changing” experience.

“This internship is an amazing opportunity for students to work directly with a community for their benefit, applying existing knowledge and skills to real-life problem solving,” she said.