July 31st- August 9th, 2019
Year of Return
Travel abroad with Smiles for Speech and become a part of making the world a different place! This adventure to Ghana, West Africa is a great opportunity to join an inspired community of like-minded therapeutic professionals in the fields of Speech-Language Pathology and Occupational Therapy. We will share effective methods of treatment to train teachers and caregivers while providing hands on instruction for many underserved children. Join us as we explore the rich history and culture of Ghana , it will be a trip of a lifetime!
"I was reborn on my mission trip with Smiles for Speech. I was able to recognize myself and my spirit in the families and kids we visited. I think they made more of an impact on me then I did for them." — Irene, Falls Church, VA
Our tour will begin with a visit to Autism Compassion Africa (ACA) located in Cape Coast. This NGO focuses on supporting non-verbal children with Autism. ACA is led by an ABA Specialist and currently without a Speech-language Pathologist. Leadership is very excited about our visit!
We will visit Elmina Castle and the Cape Coast Castle, which is where Africans were held while waiting to board the ships as the dark history of slavery began. We will also visit Kakum National Park, a coastal forest that is home to hundreds of species of birds, with the optional walk on canopy walkway created by seven bridges spanning across enormous trees.
In Accra, we will visit several non-profit educational centers, where we will provide intervention and training for children that receive services at the center. Speech- Language Pathologists will have the opportunity to mentor new graduates from a Speech-Language Pathology program in Ghana. We hope to pair SLPs with students as mentors that will provide support for years to come.
We will experience Ghanaian traditions and culture. and enjoy culinary delicacies of Accra, such as the famous Jollof rice with kelewele (spicy ripe fried plantain), suya (kebabs), Fufu (yam) and light soup, Kenkey (fermented maize meal) served with fried fish and hot peppers, banku and tilapia. On our downtime, we will visit the beautiful beaches of Accra and see wildlife that is unique to Ghana.
Smiles for Speech is so much more than its name. First, it is professionals who are giving their time, experience, and expertise, to help children in third world country increase their communication skills as well as provide different kinds of experiences for the children… However, the smiles were actually provided by the children, their teachers and caregivers... At each location that we visited, we were greeted by smiling faces, hugging arms and kisses.
-Laurie, Atlanta, GA
9 x nights / 10 days accommodations
Transportation to all schools, centers, and non-profit organizations
3 meals a day
Transportation to Cape Coast
Visit to UNESCO World Heritage castles
Visit to Kakum National Park
Optional to walk the one of a kind canopy walkway
“I joined Smiles for Speech because I wanted to change lives… but every life I touched changed mine.” — Jendayi, New York, NY
Mission Trip Cost: $1980*
A deposit of $500 (non-refundable) is required by February 15th to reserve a spot. The remaining balance must be paid by June 15th, 2019. Payment plans are available. If you are interested in joining Smiles for Speech, please forward your resume to firstname.lastname@example.org and tell us about yourself and why you would like to be a part of the team.
*Costs for airfare, Visa Application, any required vaccines, and global medical insurance are not included.
Sandy Dorsey, MA, CCC-SLP, TSHH, Founder
Sandy Dorsey is a certified Speech-Language Pathologist. She is the owner of All About Speech, LLC, a private practice based in New York City that offers speech-language services to school aged children with special needs. For over 20 years, Sandy has provided diagnostic and therapeutic services to wide-ranging populations. Sandy holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Speech-Language Pathology from Howard University and a Masters of Arts degree in Speech-Language Pathology from the University of Tennessee-Knoxville. Sandy’s commitment for helping others prompted her to start Smiles for Speech, Inc. (SFS) in July, 2017 so that children with special needs from disadvantaged backgrounds would have access to diagnostic and therapeutic services and to serve as a resource to families and the overall community.
Alayna E. Townsend, PhD, CCC-SLP, Director of Development
Alayna E. Townsend, PhD, CCC-SLP is a Speech-Language Pathologist with a specialty in autism spectrum disorder (ASD). She is currently the lead speech-pathologist and an interdisciplinary diagnostic team member at UT Physicians Center for Autism and Related Conditions (CARC). Dr. Townsend also serves as clinical educator and adjunct professor at the University of Houston. She has clinical expertise in the early diagnosis of children at-risk of ASD, early language development, Childhood Apraxia of Speech (CAS), and Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC). She received her doctoral degree in Speech-Language Pathology at Howard University which was focused on the identification of early detectors of autism in infants. Dr. Townsend earned her Master of Arts degree at the University of Cincinnati and her Bachelor of Science degree at Xavier University of Louisiana.
Corneta Kelley, MA,CCC-SLP, Director of Special Initiatives
Corneta Kelley is USA native, born in Tulsa, Oklahoma and a Speech-Language Pathologist licensed in the states of Arizona and California. She attended the University of Oklahoma, University of Central Oklahoma and Saint Louis University, earning two degrees, Bachelor of Science in Education Degree and a Master’s of Arts in Communication Disorders. Corneta founded Intercept Speech and Language, LLC, in 1999, in the city of Inglewood, California. In 2005, Corneta relocated the practice to join family and began serving the community of Sierra Vista, AZ building a network of Speech-Language Pathologists dedicated to providing the best resources, materials and supports for children and families. After 19 years in private practice, Corneta’s current focus will incorporate contract and travel assignment services in the USA and abroad.
Q & A
How many people will travel on this trip?
Approximately 10-15 professionals will travel to Ghana. Individuals will have international travel experience, exceptional interpersonal skills, demonstrated experience in their field, and a strong commitment to working with children with special needs.
What are the professional requirements for consideration to join the project?
We ask that you forward your updated CV/resume and a brief statement summarizing your interest in joining the group. Once your CV/resume has been reviewed, you will be contacted to schedule a brief phone interview.
How will hotel accommodations be assigned?
Rooms will be assigned on a first come, first serve basis as initial deposits are received. Every effort will be made to honor requests to assign rooms to individuals that have expressed interest in sharing a room.
Which airport should I use to book the flight?
Flights should be booked to arrive at the Kotoka International Airport located in Accra, Ghana to arrive on July 31, 2019.
Are transfers included?
Yes, transfers are included.
What can I expect the daily program to look like?
A typical day is scheduled to include:
Visits to Educational Centers or Planned Tour
Return to Educational Centers or Planned Tour
Our goal is that you give your very best and allow yourself rest time as needed. Each team member can choose which activities they would like to attend.