About Special Interest Group 13, Swallowing and Swallowing Disorders (Dysphagia)


The mission of the SIG on Swallowing and Swallowing Disorders is to provide leadership and advocacy for issues in swallowing and swallowing disorders and to serve affiliates who evaluate and manage individuals with swallowing and feeding disorders across the lifespan by supporting professional development, research, education, and communication necessary for delivery of the highest quality services.

Specialty Certification

Becoming a Board Recognized Specialist in Swallowing and Swallowing Disorders (BRS-S) is one step closer for interested applicants. Visit the BRS-S website for more information. We hope that you will take advantage of this exciting professional opportunity! For other information on specialty recognition, visit the Clinical Specialty Certification pages on ASHA's website.

Study and Professional Issues

Study Issues

  • Dysphagia assessment
  • Dysphagia treatment
  • Treatment efficacy and risk management
  • Cross-communication with other SIGs in the form of study sections
  • Reimbursement & insurance payments
  • Outcomes of dysphagia treatment: functional, cost, health, quality of life

Professional Issues

  • Clinical certification standards and their relationship to professional training
  • Practice standards/clinical guidelines
  • Interdisciplinary relationships in the health care setting
  • Identification of high priority clinical and research needs
  • Ethical considerations
  • Risk management
  • Improvement of graduate training and expansion continuing education
  • CMS, Medicare, insurance policies

Affiliate Benefits and SIG Programs

Perspectives on Swallowing and Swallowing Disorders (Dysphagia) is the SIG's online publication. Perspectives is published four times annually, in March, June, October, and December. SIG 13's Perspectives issues are offered for self-study to earn CEUs. Perspectives on Swallowing and Swallowing Disorders (Dysphagia) features:

  • News of SIG activities
  • The latest on research and clinical topics
  • Coverage of current professional, practice, and legislative and regulatory issues

Online Chats

SIGs sponsor live online chats. These events feature topic experts who answer questions from the audience. All ASHA and NSSLHA members may attend. Live online chats are not eligible for CEUs. Archived chats can be accessed online.

Continuing Education

  • The SIG sponsors a Short Course and a seminar at the annual ASHA Convention.
  • Perspectives contains continuing education articles. Readers may earn ASHA continuing education credit by completing self-study questions related to those articles. SIG affiliates may complete the self-study for a $5 processing fee.
  • Short Course: SIG affiliates are eligible for a 50% discount on select Short Courses at the ASHA Convention.


SIG affiliates have the opportunity to identify others with interest in swallowing and swallowing disorders:

  • SIG 13 has an online community where affiliates can discuss topics related to swallowing and swallowing disorders.
  • SIG 13 hold an annual affiliate meeting at the ASHA Convention.

Representation Within ASHA

  • The SIG 13 Coordinator represents the Dysphagia Special Interest Group within the ASHA Board of Special Interest Group Coordinators.
  • The Coordinating Committee responds to ASHA requests for input regarding policy, guidelines, committees, and other issues.
  • Affiliates have the opportunity to provide input to the SIG leadership and ASHA.

Coordinating Committee


Coordinator: Lynne Brady Wagner, Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital, Boston, Massachusetts
Associate Coordinator: Laurie Sterling, The Methodist Hospital, Houston, Texas
Perspectives Editor: Marni B. Simon, Connecticut Children's Medical Center
Professional Development Manager: Memorie M. Gosa, The University of Alabama
Julie Blair, Medical University of South Carolina
Jennifer Chapin, Hospital for Special Care, New Britain, Connecticut
Ex Officio: Gennith Johnson, Associate Director, Health Care Services in Speech-Language Pathology, ASHA

Additional SIG Volunteers

CE Content Manager: Todd Coleman, University of Iowa College of Medicine
Editorial Review Board

Staff Liaison for Communications

Victoria Davis, Production Editor, ASHA

Board Liaisons

Donna Fisher Smiley, Vice President for Audiology Practice
Sandra Laing Gillam, Vice President for Speech-Language Pathology Practice

Our Partners