Doctor Leigha Dark

Doctor Leigha Dark

Academic Course Advisor, Speech Pathology,
Speech Pathology

Casual Academic - Subject REHA4014,
Dean's Unit, School of Health Sciences

Senior Lecturer, Speech Pathology,
Speech Pathology

Biography

Dr Leigha Dark is Senior Lecturer and Academic Course Advisor in Speech Pathology at Western Sydney University and is a Certified Practising Speech Pathologist with over 16 years experience. She holds BA (Hons) and PhD degrees in Speech Pathology and Communication Sciences from the University of Sydney and postgraduate qualifications in Higher Education. Leigha conducts research in areas including disability across the lifespan, Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC), learning and implementation of manual sign and gesture, client and family experiences of multimodal communication, and education of speech pathology students, utilising mostly qualitative methodology.

Leigha worked for 10 years as a Speech Pathologist within the not-for profit sector across numerous roles including clinical, supervisory, management, education and senior consultancy. Leigha's clinical work has primarily been in the field of disability and encompassed areas such speech, language and communication across the lifespan, Augmentative and Alternative Communication including Key Word Sign and gesture, swallowing and mealtime management, elearning and professional development.

Since 2013, Leigha held the role of Lecturer in Speech Pathology at Australian Catholic University where she contributed to the design, development and delivery of the new Bachelor of Speech Pathology program. Leigha taught across numerous range of practice areas within the discipline which included face to face, blended and simulation-based units focused on Professional Practice, Evidence Based Practice, Motor Speech Disorders, Voice Disorders, Multimodal Communication and Community Engagement.

In addition to her discipline specific research interests, Leigha has a keen interest in Scholarship of Learning and Teaching and has been successful in receiving a number of internal grants to further initiatives in the areas of blended learning and multimodal strategies to enhance student engagement, student assessment, and collaborative feedback practices. Leigha supervises Honours and HDR students within Speech Pathology and other Allied health disciplines, and is currently working with a number of HDR students towards completion.

This information has been contributed by Doctor Dark.

Qualifications

  • PhD University of Sydney

Professional Memberships

  • Certified Practising Speech Pathologist (2019 - 2020)
  • Member Speech Pathology Australia (2019 - 2020)
  • Member Key Word Sign Australia (2019 - 2020)

Awards

  • Australian Award for University Teaching Citation for Outstanding Contribution to Student Learning (Early Career) 2017-10-01
  • Australian Catholic University Citation for Outstanding Contribution to Student 2017-06-01
  • Faculty of Health Science Citation for Outstanding Contribution to Student 2016-06-01
  • ACU Faculty of Health Science Research Award 2015-06-01
  • Australian Catholic University Good Assessment Prize 2013-10-01
  • Best Learning Resource [WINNER] Australian Institute of Training and Development Awards for DQ Online Learning Portal, Disability Dynamic www.dq.org.au 2013-10-01
  • Excellence in Workforce Development Award [WINNER] NSW Disability Innovation Awards for DQ Online Learning Portal, Disability Dynamic www.dq.org.au 2013-06-01

Interests

  • Augmentative and Alternative Communication
  • Ageing
  • Assessment and Feedback
  • Communicative Participation
  • Disability and inclusion
  • Key Word Sign and Gesture
  • Student Learning Strategies

Organisational Unit (School / Division)

  • Speech Pathology
  • Dean's Unit, School of Health Sciences
  • Speech Pathology

Contact

Email: L.Dark@westernsydney.edu.au
Phone: (02) 4620 3295
Mobile:
Location: 24.2.118
CampbelltownCampbelltown

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Publications

Chapters in Books

  • Dark, L., Brownlie, E. and Bloomberg, K. (2019), 'Selecting, developing and supporting key word sign vocabularies for children with developmental disabilities', Manual Sign Acquisition in Children with Developmental Disabilities, Nova Science Publishers 9781536153774.
  • Grove, N., Dark, L., Brownlie, E. and Bloomberg, K. (2019), 'Assessment and intervention for problems in sign production', Manual Sign Acquisition in Children with Developmental Disabilities, Nova Science Publishers 9781536153774.

Journal Articles

  • Novak, I., Morgan, C., Fahey, M., Finch-Edmondson, M., Galea, C., Hines, A., Langdon, K., Mc Namara, M., Paton, M., Popat, H., Shore, B., Khamis, A., Stanton, E., Finemore, O., Tricks, A., Velde, A., Dark, L., Morton, N. and Badawi, N. (2020), 'State of the Evidence Traffic Lights 2019 : systematic review of interventions for preventing and treating children with cerebral palsy', Current Neurology and Neuroscience Reports, vol 20, no 2 .
  • Dark, L., Clemson, L. and Balandin, S. (2016), 'Communication changes experienced by adults with cerebral palsy as they age', International Journal of Speech-Language Pathology, vol 18, no 6 , pp 521 - 532.
  • Novak, I., McIntyre, S., Morgan, C., Campbell, L., Dark, L., Morton, N., Stumbles, E., Wilson, S. and Goldsmith, S. (2014), 'Novak et al. reply', Developmental Medicine and Child Neurology, vol 56, no 4 , pp 403 - 406.
  • Novak, I., McIntyre, S., Morgan, C., Campbell, L., Dark, L., Morton, N., Stumbles, E., Wilson, S. and Goldsmith, S. (2013), 'A systematic review of interventions for children with cerebral palsy : state of the evidence', Developmental Medicine and Child Neurology, vol 55, no 10 , pp 885 - 910.
  • Poulos, A., Baladin, S., Llewellyn, G., Mccarthy, L. and Dark, L. (2011), 'Women with physical disability and the mammogram : an observational study to identify barriers and facilitators', Radiography, vol 17, no 1 , pp 14 - 19.
  • Dark, L., Balandin, S. and Clemson, L. (2011), 'Communicating about loss : experiences of older Australian adults with cerebral palsy and complex communication needs', Communication Disorders Quarterly, vol 32, no 3 , pp 176 - 189.
  • Dark, L. and Balandin, S. (2007), 'Prediction and selection of vocabulary for two leisure activities', Augmentative and Alternative Communication, vol 23, no 4 , pp 288 - 299.
  • Trembath, D., Dark, L. and Balandin, S. (2006), 'Why any old words won't do', ACQ, vol 8, no 3 , pp 117 - 119.

Conference Papers

  • Tang, C., Thyer, E., Bye, R., Tannous, C., Kenny, B., Penkala, S., Tulliani, N., Peel, N., Sun, Y., Zhu, X., Dark, L. and Gordon, R. (2021), 'The impact of COVID online learning on first year clinical health students' sense of belonging : student and academic perspectives', Students Transitions Achievement Retention and Success Conference, online.
  • Turnbull, H., Dark, L., Skinner, I. and Hemsley, B. (2019), 'An integrative review of health literacy demands of speech pathology reports on people with communication disability : implications for inclusive practices', Speech Pathology Association of Australia. National Conference, Brisbane, Qld.
  • Dark, L., Maiden, R. and El Choueifati, N. (2019), 'Instructional strategies used to teach key word sign : engaging with Australian speech pathologists about their decision-making processes and practices', Speech Pathology Association of Australia. National Conference, Brisbane, Qld..
  • Edwards, A., Froude, E., Carding, P., Sharpe, G. and Dark, L. (2019), 'Expert opinions regarding the factors that influence videofluoroscopy training (P)', Speech Pathology Association of Australia. National Conference, Brisbane, Qld..
  • Allan, E., Dark, L. and Brownlie, E. (2018), 'Parents' experiences of learning and using key word sign', Speech Pathology Association of Australia. National Conference, Adelaide, S.A..
  • Boardman, E., Dark, L. and Edwards, A. (2018), 'Facilitating participation of children with disability and commuication difficulties in leisure : parents' perceptions and experiences', Speech Pathology Association of Australia. National Conference, Adelaide, S.A..
  • Clarkson, G. and Dark, L. (2017), 'Exploring the use of a community of practice to improve blended and flipped approaches to teaching and learning health sciences', Higher Education Research and Development Society of Australasia. Conference, Sydney, N.S.W..
  • Dark, L. and Sheppard, L. (2017), 'Creating inter-professional collaboration opportunities within curriculum : an exploration of the impact on professional identity', Higher Education Research and Development Society of Australasia. Conference, Sydney, N.S.W..

Leigha conducts research in areas including disability across the lifespan, Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC), learning and implementation of manual sign and gesture, client and family experiences of multimodal communication, and education of speech pathology students, utilising mostly qualitative methodology.

Current and past research projects and associated supervision include:

2018 -

Co-Supervisor, HDR

Health literacy demands, and information accessibility of allied health reports for people with communication disability and their support networks

Mrs Harmony Turnbull, Speech Pathology, University of Technology Sydney

 

2018 - 2019

Co-Supervisor, HDR

Factors in the successful training of Video Fluoroscopic Swallowing Study analysts’ skill development

Mrs Ann Edwards, Speech Pathology, Australian Catholic University

 

2019 –

Co-Supervisor, Honours

Parent perspectives of using the Sameview app to coordinate care for their child with a disability

Ms Mitsuki Walker, Occupational Therapy, Australian Catholic University

 

2018 – 2019

Primary Supervisor, Honours

Instructional strategies used to teach Key Word Sign: An analysis of Australian speech-language pathologists’ decision-making processes and practices

Ms Rachel Maiden, Speech Pathology, Australian Catholic University

2017 – 2018

Primary Supervisor, Honours

Parents’ perspectives of facilitating leisure participants for their child with a disability and complex communication needs

Ms Emily Boardman, Speech Pathology, ACU

 

2017 – 2018

Primary Supervisor, Honours

Communication changes in older adults with cerebral palsy: psychosocial changes and impact on identity

Ms Vanessa Tran, Speech Pathology, Australian Catholic University

 

2017 – 2018

Primary Supervisor, Honours

Supporting children with complex communication needs using Key Word Sign: Parents’ perspectives

Mrs Elizabeth Allan, Speech Pathology, Australian Catholic University

 

2015 – 2016

Co-Supervisor, Honours

Exploring the relationship between self-determination and work readiness in youth with intellectual disability

Ms Amanda Chan, Occupational Therapy, Australian Catholic University.

 

 

 

 

 

 

This information has been contributed by Doctor Dark.

Supervision

Current Supervision

Thesis Title: Examining the contributions and roles sex workers can play when providing services to clients with disability
Field of Research:

Western Sydney University

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