Cleft Palate & Craniofacial


What about Cleft Palate?



Committee Members

What about Cleft Palate?

A craniofacial disorder is an umbrella term that refers to a structural abnormality of the skull and/or the face.


Craniofacial disorders are typically congenital and present at birth. The most common type of craniofacial disorder is Cleft Palate +/- Lip/Velopharyngeal Dysfunction (VPD). Clefts can occur as isolated conditions or with other congenital defects. It is associated with about 300 syndromes, most of which have a known genetic cause. The most common syndromes and conditions include Pierre Robin Sequence, 22q11 deletion syndrome, Stickler syndrome types I–III, and Treacher-Collins syndrome”.


The focus of the committee centers around supporting families and professionals in the assessment and treatment of individuals with Cleft Palate +/- Lip across the areas of speech, language, communicative participation and feeding.

Play Video


Webinar 1.

Overview of Cleft Palate and Cleft Palate Speech (Dr. Alice Lee & Dr. Triona Sweeney)


Webinar 2.

Assessment: Cleft Palate Speech/Velopharyngeal Dysfunction (Dr. Debbie Sell & Dr. Yoshiko Takei)

Webinar 3.

Intervention: Cleft Palate Speech/Velopharyngeal Dysfunction (Prof. Judy LeDuc, Prof. Kristiane van Lierde, Prof. Valerie Pereira)

Subramaniyan, B., Sell, D., Sweeney, T. & Pereira, V. (2022). Cleft lip and palate: an overview with a particular emphasis on communication issues in resource limited regions. In S. Levy, P. Enderby (Eds.), The Unserved. Addressing Communication Disorders in Unserved and Underserved Populations (pp.85-94). J&R Press.


09 Cleft Lip and Palate – An Overview with a Particular Emphasis on Communication Issues in Resource-Limited Regions by Subramaniyan et al



Committee Members have very close links with professional and voluntary bodies and NGOs, facilitating networking and collaborative international work. These include Transforming Faces, Circle of Cleft Professionals, European Cleft Organization, CLEFT-Bridging the Gap, American Cleft-Palate Association, Royal College of Speech-Language Therapists (UK), Japanese Cleft Palate Association, the Craniofacial Society of Great Britain and Ireland, and the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association.
Please see the highlights of the committee’s work program from 2019-2023 here.

Space to provide documents / pictures

Plans 2024-2025

IALP Core Strategies

The committee is committed to the IALP core strategies and our work program for 2024-205 will aim to put in place specified action plans.


Recruitment of New Members

In Dec 2023, the committee bade farewell to members Kristiane van Lierde, Judy LeDuc and Alice Lee as their terms had come to an end. Deputy Chair, Triona Sweeney, stepped down for the same reason and has taken on a new role as Consultant to the committee. Debbie Sell has stepped in as Deputy Chair of the committee. The committee is actively seeking to expand and wishes to include diversity in terms of academic and clinical backgrounds, geographical regions and to have multi-generation representation.


Transforming Faces-IALP Mentoring Project

The committee is committed to continuing to support the project and aims to run live Q and A sessions for all Mentors and Mentees.


IALP Centennial Composium, 2024

The committee’s abstract has been accepted. We look forward to presenting on the topic: Speech-Language Pathology/Therapy in Cleft Care- Where we are now and where are we heading?



Committee Members and Consultants

Term of office 2022-2025

Valerie Pereira (Hong Kong)


Debbie Sell (UK )

Deputy Chair

Triona Sweeney (Ireland)


Suraj Subramaniyan (India)


Yoshiko Takei (Japan)


Mikaela Bow (Australia)


Karen Goldschmied (Chile)


Carolina Rivera (Costa Rica)


Affiliated Society Membership

There are 3 types of membership of Affiliate Society, depending on the profile of the organization. Category A Society Membership: National organizations in communication sciences and disorders having individual members among their membership. Examples of this category are The American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA ), Speech Pathology Australia (SPA)and The Egyptian Society for Phoniatrics and Logopedics. (ESPL) Category B Society Membership: Multinational, regional, or local organizations in communication sciences and disorders having individual members among their membership. Category C Society Membership: Multinational, national, regional, or local organizations in communication sciences and disorders comprised of Societies as their membership. When your National Society/Association wishes to join the IALP as an Affiliated Society, please fill in and send the Application Form for IALP Affiliated Membership below.

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Student Membership

An individual enrolled for part- or full-time study for preregistration, undergraduate or postgraduate studies directly related to the field of human communication disorders and sciences at a formal education institution. Students must provide official evidence of enrolment at the time of joining the Association and/or registering for a congress/composium.

Individual Membership

On behalf of the IALP I would like to thank you for considering membership in our global organisation of professionals.