Addressing Diversity - Speech-Language Pathology & Audiology

The American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA) is committed to advancing diversity and inclusion throughout the Association’s work. Learn more.

To advance diversity and inclusion, the Association and the ASHA National Office are:

    • Recruiting a pipeline of more diverse students and future professionals through initiatives to increase the visibility of the professions to underrepresented populations
    • Supporting underrepresented students throughout their education
    • Enhancing ASHA members’ abilities to serve patients/clients from diverse backgrounds through the development of educational programs, products, and tools that enhance service delivery
    • Compiling normative data for individuals from a variety of cultures and linguistically diverse backgrounds
    • Identifying subject matter experts and bilingual personnel
    • Establishing resources to increase access to services or improve service delivery to underserved populations

ASHA programs and resources to support these efforts include the following examples:

    • Demographics of the ASHA membership and a Diversity Index for tracking changes in the numbers of ASHA members from underrepresented groups
    • Resources on multicultural issues such as professional development programs, journal and newsletter articles, booklets, brochures, webinars, conferences on multicultural issues;
    • The S.T.E.P. (Student To Empowered Professional) Mentoring Program, an online mentoring, recruitment, and retention program, which connects students in the professions with experienced mentors in meaningful, one-to-one mentoring relationships, provides guided learning experiences, online resources, tools, and inspiration;
    • The Minority Student Leadership Program (MSLP), a membership recruitment and retention program for students from historically underrepresented racial/ethnic backgrounds.

ASHA also provides practical resources, information, and tools for increasing cultural competence in service delivery, research, and educating students, including:

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