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YUHSD partners with Tech4Talk to help students with speech impairments

The Yuma Union High School District Governing Board, last week, approved a district partnership with Tech4Talk, a 501(c)(3) non-profit dedicated to the speech needs of children.

Jeffery Cathey, who founded Tech4Talk, presented to the board on the Augmentation of Speech Services for Kids with Special Needs. As part of the presentation Cathey announced his company is donating 10 iPads with speech-related applications to the district. The Governing Board approved the donation later in the meeting by way of a 5-0 vote. Jeffery Cathey with guests speaking to board

“To improve the language skills of children and teens, quality, frequent, and consistent speech therapy is needed,” Cathey said. “Undoubtedly, there is no substitute for talented Speech Pathologists and Therapists who improve the quality of life, and the futures, of the children they assist. However, there is a shortage of resources in schools and the lack of availability of speech professionals. This is especially felt in rural communities, and are barriers for providing children and teens with speech impairments the support they need. For this reason, Tech4 Talk, in conjunction with speech professionals, strives to provide technological tools to supplement and reinforce speech therapy for children and teens.”

The vision for Tech4Talk came from Cathey's life experience. At 3 years old he was diagnosed with severe speech dysfluency. Because of good fortune he has had the ability to receive speech therapy in the public-school system, which helped him to better manage his speech impairment. To honor the speech professionals that made a difference in his life, while in high school, Cathey volunteered his time at a pediatric speech therapy center. It was here where he developed a passion for exploring how speech therapy can be enhanced through technology.

“Jeffery Cathey is an inspiration,” YUHSD Associate Superintendent Lisa Anderson said. “His presentation to the board was heartfelt and meaningful, and his company will provide students in our district, who are in need, an opportunity to utilize state-of-the-art technology as a supplement for their work with Speech Pathologists. We believe in the work, and are excited to partner with Tech4Talk.”

Eric Patten