Home Academia & Research Want to Improve Your Cultural Competency? Check Out SIG 14, Cultural and Linguistic Diversity

Want to Improve Your Cultural Competency? Check Out SIG 14, Cultural and Linguistic Diversity

by Melissa White
written by
SLP helping student

This special interest group focuses on the intersection of sociocultural factors with audiology and speech-language pathology services.

1. What would you say to encourage other colleagues to join SIG 14?

SIG 14 has an amazing community of professionals, and I enjoy the discussions and information shared. I appreciate being able to tap them on the shoulder when I have a complicated case. Having access to Perspectives is also a great perk of SIG 14, with articles focused on culturally and linguistically diverse populations across the lifespan and across disabilities.

2. How has your involvement in this SIG improved your understanding of and engagement with culturally and linguistically diverse (CLD) populations?

Having access to new information in the field as it relates to CLD populations allows me to stay current and improve my conversations with families and professionals. SIG 14 consistently develops content that looks at how an individual’s culture and language affect all areas of audiology and speech-language pathology. For example, our SIG will be hosting a live online chat on September 25, “Trauma-Informed Care: Perspectives from Education, Social Work, and Communication Disorders.”  It will delve into how trauma impacts service delivery and offer strategies to share with other professionals.

3. What is one hot topic discussed by your SIG that you feel the rest of your profession should know about?  

A question about salary information for bilingual SLPs received several responses on our SIG online community recently. Some of our affiliates wanted to know whether bilingual SLPs receive stipends for assessments. While ASHA tracks information about salary, information specific to bilingual SLPs is more challenging to find. Many posting in the community felt that salary was dependent on how much the state/workplace valued bilingual service providers. The consensus was that few had worked in locations where stipends were offered, and they noted that additional work such as translating for IEPs was not compensated, rather expected.

4. What are the specific tangible benefits (access to Perspectives and the online community group, for example)? The less-tangible benefits?

One of the benefits that I take advantage of frequently is the access to not only our SIG 14 Perspectives articles but also articles from the other SIG Perspectives. I read SIG 11, 17, and 18 articles to stay current on topics related to supervision, global issues, and telepractice. After reading articles, you can also earn ASHA CEUs through self-study. Each exam costs only $5 for SIG affiliates. Another benefit is the SIG discount for the ASHA Convention Short Courses. I used mine last year when I registered for the SIG 14 short course “Intervention Strategies for Multilingual Children with Language & Speech Sound Disorders: A Tutorial.”

5. What is your favorite recent Perspectives article, and why?

I enjoyed reading “Evidence-Based Clinical Decision-Making for Bilingual Children with Autism Spectrum Disorders: A Guide for Clinicians.”  It used a clinical scenario to address common questions SLPs face as they work with bilingual children with autism spectrum disorder. It gives SLPs a tangible, evidence-based way to address myths related to this population.

Melissa D. White, MA, CCC-SLP, coordinator of SIG 14, is co-director of clinical services for Bilingual Therapies, Inc. in Atlanta.  melidwhite@gmail.com

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