This study identifies communication barriers between speech-language pathologists and interpreters in a speech therapy setting that influence service delivery to Spanish-speaking clients and their families in the state of Kentucky. Current research is summarized regarding best practices between speech-language pathologists and interpreters. Objectives of the study were to identify how often Kentucky SLPs utilize interpreters, what is current practice during collaboration, what barriers are faced by interpreters when interpreting within a speech therapy setting, and what the overall level of satisfaction is of SLPs and interpreters regarding the collaboration experience, is future specialized training necessary, and if so which topics should be included in that training. Results of the study indicate that best practices are not being followed inconsistently and that SLPs inconsistently train interpreters on how to administer an assessment. Therefore, there is a high incidence of interpreters invalidating assessments due to lack of training from SLPs. As a result, Spanish-speaking clients are not being properly identified for the services that could be of benefit to them. The majority of SLPs and interpreters surveyed indicated that future specialized training is necessary to enhance service delivery to all culturally and linguistically diverse clients. Seven potential topics were identified for future training and areas of future research are discussed.

Semester/Year of Award

Fall 12-2013


Abbey Poffenberger

Mentor Department Affiliation

Languages, Cultures, and Humanities

Access Options

Restricted Access Thesis

Document Type

Bachelor Thesis

Degree Name

Honors Scholars

Degree Level



Teaching, Learning, and Educational Leadership

Department Name when Degree Awarded

Special Education

IRB Approval Number (if applicable)