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has a dialect

I speak frequently on topics such as language and literacy disorders, diversity within the profession of speech-language pathology, school-based service delivery, and cultural competency and humility. Contact me if you have specific topic you want to learn about and I would be happy to customize to your need and audience. 




Dr. Harrell’s presentation for the SLPs in Jefferson County Public Schools was outstanding. Our population is very diverse with many different cultures, languages, and dialects. It’s important for SLPs to not only look at disorder versus difference with English as a second language but also with students who present with different dialects. Dr. Harrell addressed how to identify non contrastive features which should be addressed in therapy. She also addressed scoring of standardized tests with students who have a dialect which would affect the score on such an assessment. The presentation was extremely informative, and we look forward to collaborating with Dr. Harrell in the future.


Tammy Pierce, M.A., C.C.C.-S.L.P.

Speech-Language Pathologist

JCPS ECE Supervisor of Communication Disorders


I  greatly enjoyed your presentation. I’ve been with JCPS for 6yrs, and we have never had a PD pertaining to Cultural Differences in communication with children who are African-American. Something from your presentation that will be helpful to me as a school SLP was how you discussed what contrasting features vs non-contrastive features were. While I have known what these things consisted of just from being a person of color, I did not know what the actual terminology for these two things were. This will greatly help me with report writing and using more technical terms to describe a student’s speech and why it’s not considered a disorder. 


Over my 6yrs of experience with JCPS, I have inherited many IEPs for students where the student had goals for things like grammar and it was considered a disorder because the student was speaking in AAE. I have struggled a lot with some students being over diagnosed with speech disorders when it is really a difference. I think this presentation ties in with JCPS racial equity plan and will help in not over-identifying kids who speak in AAE.


Thank you so much for your insight and information that you provided us.






Alex Jones, M.Ed., CCC-SLP

speaking experience

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Fill out the form on our contact page and let me know which area you are interested in:

  • Consulting/Training

  • Speaking

  • Mentoring

  • Comprehensive evaluation for speech-language services

  • Curriculum Development

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