Schoolhouse Educational Services (SES), in conjunction with authors Richard Woodcock, Stephen Camarata and Mary Camarata, is releasing a new product at the ASHA Convention in Los Angeles, CA, November 9 – 11, 2017. The Woodcock-Camarata Articulation Battery (WCAB) facilitates expert assessment of speech sound disorders while providing a stream-lined user experience. Schoolhouse sat down with assessment author Stephen Camarata to review this new product and the impact that this new assessment will have.
SES: What is the main problem that the Woodcock-Camarata Articulation Battery will be solving?
Stephen Camarata: The biggest problem with current articulation testing is that only one level of speech production is assessed (phonemes) and that all sounds must be administered even in those situations where different information may be needed. For example, word level production is extremely important in cases of severe speech disorder, but current tests only test individual sounds. In other assessment situations, a clinician may simply need to obtain a standardized score for eligibility or placement services. All of these things are difficult with traditional articulation assessments but can be efficiently completed with the WCAB. Every clinician has control over the assessment with the WCAB.
SES: Why are you excited about this product personally?
Stephen Camarata: I am very excited because this will provide a speech assessment tool that dramatically improves clinicians’ ability to serve their patients with speech disorders. Not only can this be applied to children, but also to adults with conditions such as apraxia, aphasia, ALS, Parkinson’s disease or other neurological conditions. Computerized administration, modern psychometric scaling and a bank of suggested goals that can be individualized are all important tools for clinicians.
SES: What can you tell us about the creation process?
Stephen Camarata: I have been teaching phonetics for more than 30 years and have seen how difficult transcription can be in patients with severe speech disorder. Also, the focus of traditional articulation assessments is exclusively on phonemes, but the performance level for speech communication is minimally, at the word level, so word production accuracy should also be assessed.
In my work with Down Syndrome, I noticed that clinicians had great difficulty with transcription, but could quickly and accurately judge whether words were being produced correctly (or not). I also realized that by using computerized administration, systematic evaluation of articulation can be completed without transcription. The WCAB is the product of this experience.
SES: And Dr. Woodcock, he was a part of this process, correct?
Stephen Camarata: Another key aspect of development has been the contributions of Richard Woodcock, who is one of the foremost test developers in the world. His work includes best-selling tests of cognitive abilities and achievement as well as the widely used Woodcock reading mastery test. His expertise has brought state-of-the-art sampling and norm referencing to the world of articulation assessment and allowed for modernization of the scoring and interpretation for the WCAB. We are very fortunate indeed to have his knowledge and expertise.
More on this new product:
This test takes about 15 to 20 minutes to administer, and includes more than 65 phonemes including blends.
- In-depth assessment in a short period of time
- No need to listen for individual targeted phonemes within whole words
- Identifies errors, error patterns, stimulability, and treatment options
- Examinee views stimuli on an auxiliary monitor
- No internet access necessary to administer and generate report
- Immediate test report that includes diagnostic implications and recommendations
- Norm-referenced with developmental ages
- Screener and full battery options