Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Activities

As a professional, you'll need to be versed in cultural competency, cultural humility, culturally responsive practice, and diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) in order to support the wide variety of clients and patients that will be seeking your services. By participating in events like the ones mentioned below, you'll practice cultural competency and cultural humility.

Your chapter should explore all facets of diversity and inclusion when creating events and programs. This can include activities related to learning more about various disabilities; ethnicities; gender; gender expression; gender identity; culture, language, dialect, and accent; race; religion; sex; sexual orientation; or veteran status.

Activity could include:

  • Having events or doing outreach activites tied to cultural holidays or awareness days/months.
  • Hosting a seminar, webinar, or book club
  • Doing a book/supply drive 
  • Hosting a panel of CSD professionals from marginalized groups
  • Devoting a meeting to an area in our field that is touched by DEI and hosting a chapter conversation
  • Co-hosting a discussion or event with a multicultural club or other CSD-organization
  • Developing a mentoring program to support BIPOC or marginalized students.
  • Starting a diversity coalition or committee focused on sharing DEI resources.
  • Performing outreach about CSD to middle and high school and community college students from underrepresented groups.
  • Attending a DEI event/program or reading/viewing a resource as a chapter and hosting a follow-up discussion

Chapter Examples

Hosting an Event

Albizu University, Puerto Rico (2022-23 Chapter of the Year)
At the beginning of the semester, we participated as volunteers in Deaf Children's and CODA Fun Day and in the Deaf vs. Hearing Game Day. Also, we had the opportunity to interview the Dr. Gloriana Cruz, ClinScD, CCC-SLP, through an Instagram Live were we talked about voice therapy with transgender patients and appropriate inclusive language used in interventions. Additionally, we hosted another Instagram Live interview with Coral M. Rodríguez Plaud, MS, CCC-SLP, who talked to us about what means to be a Puerto Rican bilingual Speech-Language Pathologist working with different populations in the United States.

Thiel College
In March 2023, our department planned an interdisciplinary DEI lecture, “Creating Safe(r) Spaces for Trans and Gender Non-Confirming Patients, Clients and Students; Trauma Informed Rapport Building Across Settings.” by AC Goldberg. The program was intended for students in healthcare majors across Thiel's campus. To pay for the event, it was offered to SLPs nationwide for CEUs. Our NSSLHA members asked AC to stay after the event for a student advocacy chat for the opportunity for increased learning specific to SLP. Our NSSLHA advisor posted on the NSSLHA advisor forum, and we advertised on social media. One hundred thirteen healthcare professionals (SLPs, clergy, OTs, AuD, and PA) attended the lecture, and over 30 SLP students and chapter advisors stayed after for the chat. After the event, our NSSLHA students were inspired to post reels on Instagram (link provided below) to discuss their learning and continue advocacy work for the trans and gender non-confirming patients, clients, and students we serve.

Hosting a Book/Supply Drive and Doing Outreach

Abilene Christian University
During the fall semester, our chapter held a diversity book drive so we could donate books with diverse characters to SLPs in Abilene. We ended up collecting around 20 books, which was exciting because we were able to provide many resources that are inclusive for a variety of clients. In our CSD program, we frequently discuss ways the field is becoming more diverse and broader, specifically through the increasing demand for bilingual SLPs and SLPs that provide voice and gender-affirming therapy for people who are transitioning genders.

MGH Institute of Health Professions
Our chapter focused on championing diversity, equity, and inclusion in multiple ways this year. We organized a book/supply drive for children at a local HeadStart and focusing on creating an inclusive and empathetic classroom environment for the children at the center. In collaboration with classroom teachers, we were intentional about choosing books for the students that celebrate diversity and inclusion in all forms. Individually, members of our chapter also participated in speaking to diverse high school student populations about the field of Speech-Language Pathology in order to foster student interest in science and healthcare.

Partnering With a Multicultural Club or Other CSD-Organization

University of Central Arkansas
This year, our NSSLHA chapter worked with the first Arkansas University National Black Association for Speech-Language and Hearing (AR-NBASLH) organization at UCA. We met with the advisors and officers of this upcoming organization to learn how to establish a welcoming environment in our NSSLHA chapter for minorities and marginalized groups. We incorporated their advice into the rest of our academic year. We had the officers speak to our membership to discuss the importance of DEI and talk about AR-NBASLH. We sent them a $500 donation to help them work to become an established and official organization at UCA.

James Madison University
One of our goals this year was to improve our DEI efforts, this started with building a connection with CSD-Demarginalized, a new organization at JMU designed to build a safe community for marginalized populations within the CSD major. As students at a predominantly white institution, in a major mainly comprised of females, we are trying to strive to find ways to increase diversity in our field. In February, NSSLHA hosted a meeting with CSD-Demarginalized and the CSD DEI director to discuss how we can promote DEI in our field, which helped us learn ways to make our club more inclusive.

Starting a Diversity Coalition or Committee

San Diego State University
Our chapter holds Justice, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion (JEDI) meetings in addition to our other NSSLHA meetings. At these meetings, we discuss important JEDI topics in our field. We discussed hidden identities within ourselves and the field and how they impact us in supporting clients and their families, and we highlighted SLPs and audiologists who are breaking barriers within our field. We discussed Julie Washington's article about schools recognizing African American English and respecting it as a dialect and Ingrid Desorme's article that she wrote for ASHAWire about what it means to be a Black SLP.

University of Central Florida
Our chapter has a dedicated Diversity & Inclusion Committee focused on promoting Diversity and Inclusion in the CSD field through highlighting diverse individuals in our own Chapter, bringing in guest speakers (e.g., SLPs and Audiologists) from diverse backgrounds, and hosting events that celebrate diversity and inclusion. We hosted ASL informational presentations at local middle schools, held guest speaker events speaking about inclusivity in the classroom, and heard from SLPs from many diverse backgrounds and how they dealt with issues related to inclusion and diversity in our field and how we as young professionals can help.

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