Dr. K.L. Demps, DrPH, MS, MA, CCC-SLP, CPH, CAS, CPCRT is a multi-lingual, nationally certified speech-language pathologist, linguist, certified autism specialist, certified public health researcher and certified in the practice of cognitive rehabilitation. She is founder and director of the non-profit, Dr. Love’s Healthcare, Dr. Love’s Integrative Nutrition & Lifestyle Medicine, PLLC and co-founder of KLD Consulting.
She is CEO and director of K&K Services, whose professional work has been recognized by the American Speech-Language Hearing Association, American Public Health Association and featured in BusinessWeek Magazine.
As a former University of North Texas Health Science Center (UNTHSC) public health graduate student officer, clinical researcher and Tarrant County Medical Reserve Corps volunteer, Dr. Demps has participated on numerous committees and research publications throughout her professional career, working to improve healthcare services for multicultural populations with special healthcare needs.
Demps has spent the last several years working with culturally and linguistically diverse (CLD) children with a variety of speech-language-hearing disorders in her private practice in the Dallas-Fort Worth area.
Her clinical experience at TCU’s Miller Speech and Hearing Clinic, externship sites at the Fort Worth ISD, local hospitals, and private clinics sharpened her area of expertise in speech and language delays among Spanish and Portuguese-speaking children with developmental and neurologically based disorders.
She completed a four-year, self-directed research as her linguistics master’s thesis, which examined the language choice and identity of Brazilian and Portuguese natives in the Dallas-Fort Worth area. During that time, Demps accepted an opportunity to conduct a vocal hygiene workshop in Sao Paulo, Brazil. Her time in Brazil allowed her to consult with a community leader seeking a multidisciplinary team that could provide speech, language, hearing, occupational, physical therapy and special education services to over fifty local children with special healthcare needs (CSHCN).
One of her most memorable research projects, extending over a five month travel period, was fulfilled by interviewing families of CSHCN and healthcare professionals on disability views and services in Italy, France, Spain, Portugal, Chile, Argentina, Brazil, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico and Canada. This study was a self-directed, TSHA-approved independent study designed to examine the sociolinguistic, economic, and sociocultural influences of disability views, specifically related to disorders of speech, language and hearing among CLD populations.
In the spring of 2005, Johnson presented this research at a private clinic in Puebla, Mexico, the University of Texas at Austin’s Texas Research Symposium, Texas Speech-Language-Hearing Association, ASHA school’s convention, at the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders (NIDCD) Research Symposium and ASHA’s speech pathology and audiology convention in San Diego.
During the summer of 2005, Johnson received a research assistantship to recruit patients in a study sponsored by UNTHSC and the RAND Corporation entitled Hablamos Juntos. This research examined the service delivery of health interpreting services for Latino populations with limited English proficiency skills. She also served as an interpreter for the annual UNTHSC sponsored Hispanic Wellness Fair.
During the summer 2006, Johnson presented three research projects at the ASHA schools and speech pathology conventions in Indianapolis and Miami. The first project examined the language attitudes of Mexican-American and African American speakers towards audiological and aural rehabilitative services in the U.S. The second project described the role of computational linguistics in the development of augmenative and alternative communication devices, which was presented as a poster presentation at ASHA’s special interest division 12 conference spring 2006. The third project provided an overview of the international practicum and continuing education opportunities available to speech-language pathologists. The final project was also presented at TSHA’s annual convention in Grapevine, TX.
Over the past decade, Demps has been invited as a guest speaker to professional research conferences in Italy, Mexico, Brazil, China, United Arab Emirates, India and New Zealand. Johnson has also provided several TSHA-approved service delivery model workshops in Texas and Mexico. Locally, her clinical and field research has been presented at UT Austin’s Texas Research Symposium, Texas Speech-Language Hearing Association (TSHA), Texas Public Health Association, American Public Health Associations, American Speech-Language Hearing Association (ASHA), as an ASHA Travel fellow at the NIDCD Research Symposium, ASHA’s special interest division conventions, UNTHSC Research Appreciation Day and as a Texas Public Health Workforce Diversity Grantee. Research topics have included leadership, international research and clinical residencies, CLD service delivery issues, augmentative and alternative communication, noise-induced hearing loss, sign language, socio- and computational linguistics. Current research interests range from health equities among minority and immigrant populations to international, trans-disciplinary healthcare research on continuing education and professional curriculum development of cultural and linguistic competencies within the allied and public health professions.
Working as a full-time speech pathologist has allowed Demps to serve as a field tester for AGS Publishing, Academic Therapy and Pearson standardized assessment tools and as a translator of ASHA-sponsored educational materials. As a public health graduate student, she volunteered as an interpreter at a local non-profit healthcare clinic, Mission Clinic, and a representative for One Church One Child, a non-profit agency that recruits, trains and licenses families to serve as foster caregivers or permanent adopters.
In support of her educational and research pursuits, Demps has received several grants, scholarships, and assistantships from TCU, UT, ASHA, TSHA, the Dallas Woman’s Club, and USA Funds Access to Education. She is also a member of the Cambridge Who’s Who Empowering Executives and Professionals, Fort Worth Sister Cities International Global Alumni Program, Council on World Affairs, The National Scholars Honor Society and a nominee for the International Health Professional of the Year.
An Industry Leader
She is an American Speech-Language Hearing Association (ASHA) Minority Student Leadership Program (MSLP) alumna, Research Mentor-Pair Travel Awardee, and SIG 11 (Administration & Supervision), 14 (Cultural and Linguistic Diversity), and 17 (Global Issues in Communication Sciences and Related Disorders) Affiliate. Demps is a Fort Worth native who has been actively involved in providing healthcare and community service at the local, state, national and international levels.
Working as a full-time speech pathologist has allowed Demps to proctor service delivery model workshops for culturally and linguistically diverse populations.
Dr. Demps is very passionate about the educational and humanitarian initiatives that have allowed her to travel worldwide. She has traveled to Vietnam and Cambodia as a People to People Citizen Ambassador delegate in Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology. She has also participated in Educational & Humanitarian Initiatives to Cuba, Egypt and Morocco, attended the People to People International (PTPI) Americas Regional Meetings in Kansas City, New Orleans and Atlanta as well as the Worldwide Conference in Estonia and Taiwan. As a PTPI member and board of trustee, she is also a dedicated supporter of PTPI’s International Friendship Fund.
Demps will continue to conduct consultations, research, and public health service through the International Association of Logopediatrics and Phoniatrics (IALP) and ASHA Board service. Her ultimate goal is to encourage and provide diverse ways in which healthcare professionals can increase their cultural and linguistic competencies and improve health outcomes in the U.S. and abroad through interprofessional curricula and practicum.