The national CLEFTNET project for individuals with speech disorders associated with cleft palate.
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Lee, A., Gibbon, F., Crampin, L., Yuen, I. & McLennen, G. (2007-03) The national CLEFTNET project for individuals with speech disorders associated with cleft palate., Advances in Speech Language Pathology, vol. 9, pp. 57-64.
Although previous studies have demonstrated the benefits of using electropalatography (EPG) for treating therapy-resistant articulation errors associated with cleft palate, until recently access to this form of treatment has been limited. For the past 10 years, however, the CLEFTNET Scotland project has provided individuals with cleft palate access to EPG therapy. CLEFTNET Scotland represented a novel form of EPG service delivery-it linked the cleft palate centres throughout Scotland to Queen Margaret University College (QMUC) in Edinburgh through an electronic network. EPG data collected in the centres were sent to QMUC, where experts conducted detailed analysis leading to a precise diagnosis of each individual's specific articulation difficulty and suggested therapy guidelines to the specialist speech-language therapists based on their analysis. This form of service delivery has recently extended to include England, Wales and Northern Ireland to form CLEFTNET UK. This paper describes the CLEFTNET projects, discusses orthodontic issues relevant to EPG therapy for individuals with cleft palate, and presents a case study to illustrate how therapy guidelines for speech-language therapists are derived from data analysis.