ASHA and the Pan American Health Organization


One of the strategic objectives under ASHA's Strategic Pathway to Excellence is to enhance international engagement by collaborating with other organizations. In 2013, ASHA and the Pan American Health Organization, Regional Office for the Americas of the World Health Organization (PAHO/WHO) launched a collaboration and selected three of the PAHO's priority countries in the Latin American region that self-identified as having a need to address communication disorders: El Salvador, Guyana, and Honduras. The ASHA-PAHO on-site assessment teams identified the needs of each country and recommended offering educational and service delivery assistance in communication disorders. To meet the identified needs, ASHA established three ad hoc committees composed of ASHA members.

In 2016, the ASHA-PAHO collaboration has added three new countries: Paraguay, Cuba and Ecuador.

The 67th World Health Assembly (May 2014) adopted a resolution endorsing the WHO Global Disability Action Plan 2014–2021: Better Health for All People with Disability. Shortly thereafter, the 53rd PAHO Directing Council (October 2014) adopted a resolution endorsing the Regional Disability and Rehabilitation Action Plan (Pan American Health Organization, 2014). Both action plans are mutually aligned and provide a road map enabling WHO member countries and international partners to work together to improve the health and human rights of the one billion people around the world with long-term and functional disabilities.

PAHO map


General Objective: To strengthen knowledge and build capacity of professionals and/or organizations that address communication disorders in the areas of speech, language, swallowing, and hearing.

Specific Objectives:

  • In El Salvador, ASHA provides technical assistance to the Instituto Salvadoreño de Rehabilitación Integral (ISRI) for training and capacity-building for personnel in audiology and speech-language pathology.
  • In Guyana, ASHA provides technical assistance to the Ministry of Health to strengthen its national strategic plan for early detection and intervention of communication disorders.
  • In Honduras, ASHA provides technical assistance for the establishment of a personnel development program in phonoaudiology at the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de Honduras (UNAH).
  • In Paraguay, ASHA provides technical assistance to the Ministry of Health and the National Secretariat of Human Rights for Persons with Disabilities (SENADIS) to educate professionals and parents of individuals with communication disorders.

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