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Karla Washington, CCC-SLP, S-LP(C), PhD, Lab

Biographical Sketch

Dr. Washington began her appointment (tenure-track) at the University of Cincinnati, Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders in Fall 2011. Previously, she completed her PhD at the University of Western Ontario, Canada in 2007 that focused on intervention outcomes and predictors for preschoolers with specific language impairment. In 2011 she completed her post doctoral fellowship on Pediatric Outcome Measurement for monolingual and culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) preschoolers, funded by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada, at the Bloorview Research Institute and University of Toronto, Canada. Washington - CV - (Sept 2014) (PDF)

Dr. Washington is a bilingual speech-language pathologist (CCC-SLP; S-LP[C]) and researcher whose scholarly interest focuses on enhancing the quality of clinical and educational services for children who are monolingual and those from CALD backgrounds, including speakers of more than one language. Dr. Washington's goal is to establish a body of evidence on outcomes associated with speech-language services that improves the developmental trajectory for young children. Dr Washington teaches the Language Disorders in Early Childhood and Research Methods coursework to graduate students. She also provides clinical-research supervision for graduate SLP students. UC Feature

Primary Research Area:
Child language development and disorders in monolingual English-speaking and culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) children

Research Interests:
-Emergent literacy development in children who are CALD
-Speech and language development in Jamaican Creole-speaking preschoolers
-Intervention outcomes for preschoolers with SLI using behavioral and neuroimaging tools
-Measurement development for establishing outcomes in monolingual English-speaking and CALD preschoolers

Current research projects:

-Characterization of typical versus disordered speech and language development in Jamaican preschoolers in the United States and Jamaica, which includes an education abroad program to Jamaica for CSD graduate and undergraduate students - Multilingual and Multicultural Experiences in Communication Sciences and Disorders - Education Abroad Program Jamaica

-Validation of the Intelligibility in Context Scale - Jamaican Creole

-Emergent literacy outcomes in English following parent shared storybook reading for English language learning and monolingual English-speaking preschoolers from low income backgrounds (quantitative and qualitative research project)

-Imaging language function in 4- to 5- year olds: A validation, feasibility, and pilot intervention study.

Photo of a doctor with an African Child

Pediatric Language, Literacy and Speech (PedLLS) Outcomes Lab

Dr. Washington is the Director of the PedLLS Outcomes Lab, which is housed in the French East Building, University of Cincinnati. We employ the theoretical framework offered by the World Health Organization (WHO), the International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health – Children and Youth (ICF-CY; WHO, 2007) to promote a broad view of health and well-being to guide our clinical and research practices in national and international settings.


American Speech-Language Hearing Association Advancing Academic Research-Careers Award (2013-2015) 2013 AARC

Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center - Imaging Research Council

University of Cincinnati (UC) Faculty Development Grants (2012-2013; 2013-2014; 2014-2015)

UC International Block Grant (2013 and 2014)

UC International Program Development Grant (2012)

UC University Research Council Faculty Grant (2014-2015)


The PedLLS lab collaborates with researchers and practitioners in Australia (Professor Sharynne McLeod), Canada (Professor Genese Warr-Leeper), Jamaica (Professors Hubert Devonish and Maureen Samms-Vaughan) and the United States (Professor Suzanne Boyce; Professor Nancy Creaghead; Professor Scott Holland; and A/Professor Jennifer Vannest)

Affiliations and Community Partners

Cincinnati Head Start Daycares and Preschools

Pediatric Neuroimaging Research Consortium, Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center (CCHMC)


2013-2016 Graduate Research Students: Dillon Davis; Rachel Greene; Catherine Henchy; Megan McDonald; Lauren McKinney; Allyson McFarland; Molly Murrison; Caitlin Waldo; Morgan Westhoeven

2014-2015 Honor's Capstone Students: Nicole Epure; Maggie Gilmore; Lauren Mikhail (WISE Scholar)

Undergraduate Research Students: Jade Clark (dual admission); Kara Swanson (dual admission)

Doctoral Student: Jenny Burton (CCC-SLP)

PedLLS Students Awards/Achievements

  1. Megan McDonald
    1. 2014-15 Students Preparing for Academic-Research Careers (SPARC) Award, American Speech-Language-Hearing Association: Validity and Reliability of the Intelligibility in Context Scale - Jamaican Creole 2014 SPARC Recipients
    2. 2014-15 Leadership Education in Neurodevelopmental and Related Disabilities (LEND) at CCHMC Trainee: Tuition and Research Stipend
  2. Lauren Mikhail
    1. 2014 Women in Science and Engineering (WISE) Scholar, University of Cincinnati WISE Scholars
  3. Lauren McKinney
    1. 2014-16 Yates Scholarship
  4. Caiti Waldo
    1. 2014-15 LEND at CCHMC Trainee: Tuition and Research Stipend


We are currently seeking PhD students who are interested in child language development and disorders with a focus on applying theory to clinical research practice. Prospective students should contact Dr. Washington at

Curriculum Vitae (select link to view)

Karla Washington, PhD
Karla Washington, PhD
Assistant Professor
Phone: 513-558-8533

Contact Us

Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders
3202 Eden Avenue
P.O. Box 670379
Cincinnati, OH 45267-0379
Phone: 513-558-8502
Fax:  513-558-8500

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