ASHA's Envisioned Future: 2030
It is 2030, and the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA)—the professional, scientific, and credentialing association for speech-language pathologists, audiologists, and speech, language, and hearing scientists—is the leading organization for communication sciences and disorders, including speech, language, hearing, swallowing, voice, resonance, cognitive communication, balance disorders, and related functions. When policy makers, payers, federal and state agency personnel, media, other professionals, and consumers need guidance, knowledge, and advice on standards, credentials, scope of practice, research, legislation, regulations, and clinical information related to communication sciences and disorders, they communicate with ASHA because of its reputation, diversity, expertise, resource information, advocacy activities, and outreach.
ASHA supports the preparation of highly qualified and autonomous service providers in speech-language pathology and audiology. ASHA's high levels of quality certification and accreditation standards are reflected in all state licensure/registration and credentialing programs and in all communication sciences and disorders academic programs. ASHA respects and supports the preparation and credentialing of speech-language pathology and audiology service providers in the global marketplace. Recognition of credentials worldwide includes formalized and negotiated multilateral recognition agreements. The full continuum of service providers includes certified speech-language pathologists and audiologists, recognized clinical specialists in speech-language pathology and audiology, and assistants/associates supervised by ASHA-certified speech-language pathologists and audiologists.
ASHA and other speech-language pathology, audiology, and speech, language, and hearing science organizations worldwide, along with organizations that are focused on aspects of human health and functioning, have developed relationships and systems to enhance the interchange of professional knowledge, research, and education, with the goal of promoting international recognition of the professions and international collaboration on issues related to communication sciences and disorders.
Professional practice is informed by research, clinical expertise, and the values and preferences of the individual receiving services and his or her family. Speech-language pathologists and audiologists have timely and ready access to, and advance the use of, current research, technological advances, expert opinion, and client/student-centered information. ASHA has a central role in knowledge compilation and transfer to members, consumers, and other disciplines. Strong clinical and research partnerships contribute to the knowledge base in the discipline. There is a sufficient supply of basic and clinical scientists to strengthen and enhance the scientific base of the discipline.
Adhering to the principles of evidence-based practice, advances in medicine, prevention, habilitation, rehabilitation, and accompanying research and technology have reduced barriers related to functioning, disability, and health for persons across the life span with communication disorders from genetic, neurological, and other etiologies; these advances have also increased the level and efficiency of care so that services for persons with communication disorders reach the greatest number of people in the most cost-effective manner.
All current and emerging areas of practice in communication sciences and disorders (e.g., literacy, wellness, telehealth, assistive and augmentative technologies, and prevention) are consistently provided and are adequately funded and reimbursed by private payers as well as state and national reimbursement agencies.
There is a sufficient supply of qualified faculty to meet the teaching, scholarly, research, and technological needs of academic programs as they strive to enhance the scientific base of the discipline and educate enough qualified speech-language pathologists and audiologists to meet consumer needs.
The members and affiliates of the Association represent the diversity of persons in the United States and those in need of services. All members of the Association have acquired the knowledge and skills necessary to provide services effectively in their preferred area(s) of practice in communication sciences and disorders, and to seek specialization if desired. They recognize the importance of evidence-based practice and actively seek evidence that serves as the basis for clinical decision making. Members engage in interprofessional collaborative practice. Because of the members' expertise, services are provided in a culturally competent manner, are valued, and are in high demand. High-quality services are provided, and consumers have optimum communication abilities across their life span.
ASHA is recognized as the premier scientific and professional organization providing programs, services, and products for audiologists, speech-language pathologists, and speech, language, and hearing scientists, as well as affiliate groups. ASHA is the association of choice in communication sciences and disorders. As a result of ASHA's efforts in advocacy, the public recognizes speech-language pathologists and audiologists by their titles, and understands and respects them for the vital role they play in the prevention, evaluation, diagnosis, and treatment of disorders and the generation and dissemination of scholarship related to these services.
For information related to ASHA's Envisioned Future: 2030 contact Deborah Sartin, director, Office of Business Excellence, at DSartin@asha.org.