Karla N. Washington, PhD, S-LP(C), CCC-SLP, BCS-CL is an associate professor at the University of Toronto, Department of Speech-Language Pathology, where she directs the Pediatric Language, Learning, and Speech (PedLLS) Outcomes Lab. Her prior appointment was at the University of Cincinnati, Ohio, USA, Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders. Her research and clinical interests focus on speech-language development for monolingual and multilingual preschoolers. Specifically, her research seeks to characterize language learning and use in typical and disordered contexts with a particular interest in understanding how the child’s contextual factors (i.e., Environmental and Personal, as defined by the World Health Organization’s International Classification of Functioning, Disability, and Health framework) are related to their outcomes. Along with her colleagues in communication disorders, linguistics, education, physics, and engineering, she applies different methodologies (e.g., acoustic duration, fMRI) to document learning and impairment in different linguistic contexts. In her effort to characterize child language development and disorder she applies intervention designs as part of a Randomized Controlled Trial as well as cross-sectional and longitudinal designs. In her present work, her focus on multilingualism documents Jamaican Creole and English-speaking preschoolers’ speech and language use, including functional communication while her focus on monolingualism documents language use in English-speaking preschoolers with and without developmental language disorder.
Dr. Washington is board certified specialist in the area of child language development and disorders and is active in NIH- sponsored research. Her prior efforts have been funded by entities such as the US Department of Education and an Endowment Gift Fund. She is an invited member of the International Expert Panel on Multilingual Children’s Speech and was the 2021 Chair of American Speech-Language-Hearing Association’s (ASHA’s) Academic Affairs Board. Dr. Washington is an Editor for Language, Speech, and Hearing Services in Schools and is an ASHA Fellow.