Nicola Hart qualified as a Speech and Language therapist in 1992, studying in Leicester, UK.
She has lived in Ireland since 1994, and has spent most of her career working with people who have intellectual disabilities. She has been working for Down Syndrome Ireland (DSI) since 2010, initially as lead therapist in a local branch before moving into a national role. She is currently employed as DSI National Research and Support Specialist, influencing policy on inclusive education as well as speech, language and communication issues.
Nicola is a CORU registered and continues to provide general advice, training and support on speech and language issues associated with Down syndrome, and co-ordinates the DSI Special Interest Group for Speech and Language Therapists working with people who have Down syndrome.
Nicola is committed to promoting evidence-led practice, and works with clients, colleagues and researchers to promote research, She has recently co-authored a peer-reviewed paper titled ‘Speech and language therapy services for people with Down syndrome; the disparity between research and practice.’ https://doi.org/10.1111/jppi.12405
She is a member of the Lámh Research and Development committee and worked on the concept and content of the award-winning Lámh Time app, and was previously a member of the working group which produced an IASLT position paper on Speech and Language Therapy provision for Children with Intellectual Disabilities.
Nicola has a lifelong commitment to disability issues and social justice, and continues to advocate for improved therapy provision for people with intellectual disabilities across the lifespan.