College of Communication
China Studies

Commitment To Community

New Hope

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.

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