Commitment To Community
The Butler University Speakers Lab believes that communication
has the power to bridge the gaps that divide society. Since 1998,
Speakers Lab has extended its communication training programs to
St. Vincent Hospital's New Hope program in an effort to bridge the
gap that often exists between those with special needs and the rest
of society. New Hope is a support service for children, teens, and
adults who are physically or mentally impaired. Speakers Lab tutors
meet with New Hope clients approximately six times a semester with
the goal of improving their public speaking skills so that they may
lead increasingly independent lives and become more active
participants in the community.
During the 2006-2007 academic year, the Speakers Lab has
re-committed itself to the community outreach initiative with New
Hope by partnering with PEERS; a branch of New Hope whose goal is
to improve the quality of communication among teenagers with
autism. Over the past eight years, the relationship between the
Speakers Lab and the teenagers and adults of New Hope continues to
prove that open, respectful dialogue has the power to improve
public speaking skills and foster a new understanding of civic
responsibility in Speakers Lab tutors and New Hope clients alike.
The Speakers Lab envisions that enhanced public awareness of the
issues that face individuals with special needs will lead to
further support and understanding.