Topic Areas: Equity, Inclusion and Influence of Cultural and Linguistic Diversity

Topic Chairs: Betty Yu and Yvette D. Hyter

Content Area: General Interest

This topic is related to diversity, equity, inclusion, and power relations within speech, language and hearing sciences. The special focus is on addressing systemic disparities, marginalization, and the needs of under-served communities. Proposals should indicate how culture, language/language variations, and other sociocultural factors (such as race/ethnicity, socioeconomic status, national origin, immigration status, gender, sexuality, religion and dis/ability) affect: 1) research, education/curricular development, professional practice, recruitment/retention, and policy development and implementation; 2) the lives of those impacted by our education, research, professional practice and policy development; 3) assessment and intervention processes and outcomes; and 4) relationship to research participants. Education, practice and/or research that addresses the implementation of interprofessional competencies specific to equity, inclusion, and cultural and linguistic diversity should also be included in this topic area.

Research and Professional Education

  • Impact of cultural, linguistic, and socioeconomic factors on prevention, assessment, intervention, education, research and other service delivery issues in speech, language and hearing sciences
  • Impact of systemic racism, exclusion, and oppression on prevention, assessment intervention, education, research and other service delivery issues in speech, language and hearing sciences
  • Impact of impoverishment (caused by power inequities among/between groups of people) on prevention, assessment, intervention education, research and other service delivery issues in speech, language and hearing sciences
  • Developmental differences and similarities across cultural, linguistic and socioeconomic contexts
  • Cultural, linguistic and socioeconomic factors affecting functional communication outcomes across the lifespan
  • Considerations for responding to the unique cultural, linguistic and social characteristics of families, including families with internationally adopted children, families seeking resettlement and asylum, transnational families, and migrant families
  • Considerations for affirming clients’/participants’ gender identity and gender expression
  • Recruitment, retention, graduation, leadership development, mentorship, and career placement of students whose communities are underrepresented in and underserved by our professions
  • Recruitment, retention, professional development, leadership development, mentorship, and career support of faculty and practitioners whose communities are underrepresented in and underserved by our professions
  • The development and maintenance of cultural humility, cultural awareness, critical thinking, cultural knowledge, and cultural reciprocity in order to provide responsive services and engage in culturally responsive research
  • Administrative and policy issues affecting diversity, equity and inclusion in speech, language and hearing sciences
  • Working with cultural mediators, interpreters and translators across disciplines in clinical practice, education and research
  • Considerations for the provision of ethical services to all populations with self-awareness of one’s own cultural/linguistic background and life experiences and that of the client/student/participant
  • Issues of development and access to technologies that are culturally relevant, linguistically appropriate and affordable
  • Interprofessional education, practice, and research as they relate to cultural/linguistic diversity, equity, and inclusion
  • Transnational and international Issues that affect and/or address the research or practice of clinicians, educators, and scholars based in the U.S.

Related Topics

Proposals involving this population, but with a primary focus on:

  • Development and developmental disorders for infants through preschoolers, should be submitted to the Language in Infants through Preschoolers; and for school age children, should be submitted to Language and Learning in School-Age Individuals.
  • Clinical practice, education, research in an international context should be submitted to Global Issues and Practices.
  • Issues related to underrepresented populations in the field but that do not address the sociocultural contexts and power dynamics affecting those populations should be submitted to other topic areas. For example:
    • Proposals addressing the science and implementation of accent modification that do not address the power differential between language varieties, should be submitted to Speech and Language Science.
    • Proposals related to increasing the representation of men in the professions that do not address male privilege and gender inequities that affect feminized professions, should be submitted to Leadership and Professional Issues.

About ASHA

The American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA) is the national professional, scientific, and credentialing association for members and affiliates who are audiologists, speech-language pathologists, speech, language, and hearing scientists, audiology and speech-language pathology support personnel, and students.

About the Convention

The ASHA Convention is one of the largest professional development events for audiologists; speech-language pathologists; and speech, language, and hearing scientists. Bringing together approximately 15,000 attendees, the annual Convention offers more than 2,500 sessions eligible for ASHA continuing education credit covering the latest research, clinical skills, and techniques in communication sciences and disorders.

Contact Us

For inquiries about the ASHA Convention:

The ASHA Action Center welcomes questions and requests for information from members and non-members.

Available 8:30 a.m.–5:00 p.m. ET

Members: 800-498-2071
Non-Member: 800-638-8255

Connect With Us