Position Statement – June 2020

The Delaware Speech-Language-Hearing Association acknowledges and condemns the pervasive violence, injustice, and insidious racism that has been brought to a head in our country by the murders of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, and Breonna Taylor. People of color, especially members of the Black community, have long experienced systemic racism resulting in disproportionate health, education, and economic outcomes. It may seem as though the current situation has escalated quickly but to people of color oppression has been ingrained into the fabric of their daily lives, across the span of the history of the United States.

DSHA believes that open communication and intentional action are among the first steps we can make toward change. Part of DSHA’s mission is to provide resources, information, and advocacy to its members to promote the highest level of care to the individuals and communities we serve. Here you will find strategies that we can all use to actively become anti-racist advocates and allies who raise up the often disregarded voices of others and continue to hold paramount the health and welfare of our clients:

  • Step back and hold space for any individual who has experienced oppression – please listen, see, and honor those experiences
  • Consider any privileges you may have and take time to consider the impact racism and trauma has on your clients and colleagues while not burdening them with your questions and anxieties
  • Independently research the significant health and economic disparities attributable to institutionalized racism and intentionally work to provide more equitable services
  • Facilitate and support inclusive hiring in your workplace; actively counter discrimination and racism in the moment you observe it
  • Advocate for workplace trainings targeting cultural competence, racism, and bias
  • Ensure graduate programs are fully representative in both the students accepted and the professionals hired
  • Encourage diversity within your state organization and in other leadership roles
  • Complete continuing education developed by representative and diverse speakers
  • In addition to ethics coursework, complete continuing education in the areas of cultural competence/humility, implicit bias, trauma and racism
  • Utilize ASHA’s resources on cultural competence, join SIG 14, and read Vicki R. Deal-William’s statement in the ASHA Leader
  • Complete Harvard’s Implicit Bias tests
  • Seek out and use therapy materials that depict individuals from minoritized and marginalized communities
  • Use cultural best practice when engaged in clinical referrals, evaluation, treatment, reporting of outcomes, and discharge
  • Donate to social justice causes and organizations that support diversity, representation, and inclusion in the professions: National Black Association for Speech-Language and Hearing, Asian Pacific Islander Speech-Language-Hearing Caucus, L’GASP, Hispanic Caucus, Asian Indian Caucus, Native American Caucus, Caribbean Speech-Language-Hearing Association, and SLPs of Color
  • Join the ASHA STEP Mentoring program
  • Focus your energies on what you can professionally and personally do to dismantle this system which has caused the deaths of so many, rather than attending to distractions and attempts at discrediting those doing this work

DSHA is committed to learning more and working harder to end the oppression, inequality, and racism which impacts our colleagues, clients, and community daily. Please reach out if you need additional support or resources. If you are so inclined, please share other ways you know to amplify diverse voices in our professional setting and we will update this working resource as more strategies are identified. And please, reach out to join our team, we need you more than ever. We are stronger together.

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