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Meet David Dean of Key Communication Speech & Language Services

Today we’d like to introduce you to David Dean.

Hi David, so excited to have you on the platform. So before we get into questions about your work-life, maybe you can bring our readers up to speed on your story and how you got to where you are today?
I’ve always had a passion for helping others in any way I can. My first major was chemistry and when that didn’t work out, I was forced to really think about my future when selecting my new major. As a child, I was in oratorical competitions and public speaking events, so it was only natural to look into what my university offered for communication. Once I learned about the speech pathology tract, I was curious about the treatments and learning how others overcame communication disorders.

I attended North Carolina Agricultural & Technical State University for my undergraduate degree in speech-language pathology (2013) and South Carolina State University for my graduate degree in speech-language pathology (2016). A proud product of two Historically Black College or University.

My career began working in the school district for almost six years serving the pre-k to 5th-grade populations. In addition to that, I’ve been able to work other settings such as private practice, home-health for pediatrics & geriatrics, and more recently full-time with my own private practice today.

I experienced burn-out, feeling like an average therapist, and various highs & lows. However, I never stopped or gave up on myself because I knew my purpose was bigger than me.

I’m sure you wouldn’t say it’s been obstacle free, but so far would you say the journey have been a fairly smooth road?
The road to present day, I would describe as bumpy and smooth. In the beginning of my career, I have to honestly say I didn’t feel as confident in myself and my pay was much lower which did not help with the motivation. I know it’s not all about the money, however you do want to be able to live a decent lifestyle and not live check to check.

To become a speech-language pathologist was definitely rigorous from undergraduate school, to graduate school, to taking the national boards. I failed my national certification exam nine times which would’ve discouraged most, but it kept pushing me to pass because I knew that everything happens for a reason and I was supposed to be in this field. It was God testing my patience and my trust in him.

Like most, we have our good days and bad days. The freedom of the field of speech-language pathology is that we have so many different settings to choose from when we get tired of working in one. I experienced “burn out” while working in the school system. I loved the kids but the passion to be there was leaving from me. Little did I know it, God pushing me out of my comfort zone into full-time entrepreneurship with my private practice.

Thanks – so what else should our readers know about Key Communication Speech & Language Services, Inc.?
Currently, I am the Owner and CEO of my private practice Key Communication Speech & Language Services, Inc. specializing in the early intervention populations (0-3 years old) but also serves ages 3-21 years old. We offer clinic-based services, in-home services, virtual therapy, and soon bilingual services (Spanish).

What sets me apart from others is that we truly offer diversity. That’s one of my founding principles. I wanted to make sure when I hired staff that I created more opportunities for everyone especially for minorities. Within my field, it’s 92% Caucasian female, and the other 8% are various minorities. African Americans make up roughly 3.6% and black men 3.7%.

I did not understand how important it was for me being an African-American male in this field and now present day an African-American male private practice owner. Over the years, I just observed the field, the opportunities, social injustices in America, and etc. which then made me realize how important representation is for the younger generations.

I want readers to know that this business was built from love, appreciation, and a need for change. I’m so proud of the brand I’ve built and will continue to build. I’m most proud of my brand’s expansion. It started from just me part-time doing in-home therapy to now having a clinic location, staff, expansion in other cities and etc. I’m from the small town of Charleston, South Carolina, so to see the growth not only as a person but professionally keeps me grounded.

So, before we go, how can our readers or others connect or collaborate with you? How can they support you?
Support and collaboration in any field is key for growth. In my field, you don’t see it as much but I’m making sure I do different. I’m always open for anyone who wants insight on the field, job shadowing, mentoring, entrepreneurship, etc. I also do some Instagram live sessions on my business IG page (@keycommunicationsls) with other speech pathologists in various settings male and female. So you can support me there as well. I’m open answer any questions through DM and my email keycommunicaton16@gmail.com.

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1 Comment

  1. Gerald Dean

    September 18, 2021 at 23:30

    To David Dean, I just want to say that I’m very proud of you and all that you have accomplished in what seems to be a short time, and I’m extremely proud of the fact that you acknowledged God as the person who pushed you out of your comfort zone,. Continue to have that passion to help others and to be a great role model for the future of all young people and being one of your uncles, I know that Mr. &Mrs. Joseph and Linda Dean and the close bond with your Siblings we are all proud of you and pray that you have continuous success in your career. God Bless

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