Over the past month, a committee of VASTA members came together and collaborated to form a Task Force in order to examine the impact of COVID-19 on voice & speech training and to develop best practices for instruction. This collaboration yielded this white paper. While this document was developed to assist our members in academia, I believe that it can also offer some guidance to those members in freelance or clinical practice.
A message from the Task Force:
"A number of VASTA members have gathered throughout the month of June to collect information which might serve as a guiding resource for voice and speech trainers during the COVID-19 pandemic. The resulting White Paper is meant to serve as a living resource and will be updated regularly.
This group of volunteers has spent many hours reading, preparing, and discussing. While there are many hours ahead, the group recognizes that time is of the essence.
Today, we are publishing parts I and II of the White Paper:
Part I: Current Recommendations from VASTA
Part II: Risk Considerations for the Return to In-Person Voice and Speech Training
Appendix A: Research Documentation
To find these sections in the document, go to https://www.vasta.org/covid19-learning-response (you must log in to view/download the document).
We hope to publish Part III: Strategies, Models, and Considerations for Online and Hybrid Voice and Speech Training in installments during the month of July.
Part III is expected to include a series of “If/Then” strategies and sample syllabi for voice and speech courses in varying learning situations.
We invite members who are interested in testing out strategies for online and hybrid teaching to join us for the COVID19 Teaching Scenario Laboratory starting Friday, July 17th. Learn more about the laboratory and sign up to join us here: http://vasta.org/Covid19-teaching-scenario-laboratory
VASTA would like to publicly thank all of the people involved for their contributions in generating the white paper. The Task Force was facilitated by Ann Marie Pollard, the Head of the EduCore Interest Group, after a call out from Amy Chaffee on the VASTA's Voices Facebook page. That thread yielded an amazing group of people that included Barbara Adrian, Eric Armstrong, Brittany Bara, Amy Chaffee, Kristi Dana, Ginger Eckert, Christine Hamel, Deborah Kinghorn, Daron Oram, Jedd Owen-Ellis Clark, Ursula Meyer, Ann Marie Pollard, Pamela Prather, Matthew Rossoff, Susan Schuld, Lester Thomas Shane, Jeremy Sortore, and Amanda Stephens Lee.
We hope that this document will help you as you navigate the murky waters of this global pandemic."