American Speech-Language-Hearing Association

2000-2001 Projects on Multicultural Activities

Bilingual/Multicultural Clinical Training in Speech-Language Pathology
Alina de la Paz & Kely Lynn Nett
The Center for Bilingual Speech and Language Disorders, Inc.

Throughout the years, speech-language pathologists (SLPs) and assistants (SLPAs) have sought out specific multicultural training in our field with limited success. This is due to a lack of:

  • available university-based programs specializing in multicultural and bilingual training,
  • experienced bilingual/bicultural clinical supervisors and personnel,
  • funding sources for training experiences, and
  • clinical research and practice parameters for use with these populations.

This project will equip a minimum of 20 individuals, bilingual and monolingual SLPs, SLPAs, and graduate students with the necessary tools to provide culture fair assessment and intervention to bilingual and multicultural populations via direct, hands-on, training experiences. The goal of the project is to provide week-long, hands-on, intensive professional training designed to instruct the participants in areas related to bilingual/multicultural pediatric speech and language pathology care, including

  • cultural sensitivity,
  • utilization and adaptation of assessment tools and methods, treatment planning, selection and adaptation of treatment materials, and treatment delivery for bilingual/multicultural populations,
  • planning, developing and delivery of birth to five language groups in Spanish and English,
  • assessment and treatment planning for children with craniofacial anomalies as part of a multi-disciplinary cleft palate team serving bilingual/multicultural patients,
  • the role of assistants in service delivery to bilingual/multicultural populations, and
  • peer review, consultation, and problem-solving sessions for each participant's existing caseload (up to 2 cases).

Discussions on Diversity: An Inter-campus, Problem-based, Case-method Approach to Develop Sensitivity to and Knowledge of Cultural and Linguistic Diversity
Shelly Chabon
Rockhurst University

It is estimated that by 2050, the percentage of whites in the U.S. will decrease to 54.5% while the percentage of Hispanics will increase to 22.5%, African Americans to 14.5%, Asian Americans to almost 10%, and Native Americans to 1% (U.S. Bureau of the Census, 1995). Goldstein (2000) observes that these changing demographics are already being reflected on the caseloads of many SLPs. The percentage of ASHA members who are people of color has, however, slightly decreased during the last decade (ASHA, 1999). Despite ASHA's mandate to include coursework on and clinical practice with individuals from diverse backgrounds (ASHA, 1991), studies indicate the continuing failure of the academy to prepare culturally competent practitioners (Coleman, 2000). Among the challenges faced by educational programs are:

  1. recruiting aggressively students of color;
  2. increasing in all students the sensitivity to and knowledge of cultural and linguistic diversity; and
  3. increasing in faculty and staff the sensitivity to and knowledge of cultural and linguistic diversity and the ability to develop cultural competence in their students.

Dissatisfaction with traditional lecture-based methods for educating speech-language pathologists about multicultural issues and the identified need for programs in CSD to include information on culturally diverse populations led to the development of this project.

The project's objectives are:

Objective #1: To increase the number of culturally sensitive graduate students.

Objective #2. To provide a model to assist faculty in transmitting content and providing experiences necessary to develop cultural competence in their students, and

Objective #3: To increase the number of recruitment activities promoting the Rockhurst and Hampton programs to students of color.

Joint Training of Bilingual Interpreters and Speech Pathology Students
Edgarita Long
University of Arkansas

As the number of culturally and linguistically divers populations grows rapidly in the United States, it becomes increasingly necessary for speech-language pathologists to utilize bilingual support personnel to assure the provision of quality services. There is a significant need for training programs in university settings that teach student clinicians to train interpreters. When untrained volunteers or other individuals are utilized to assist with assessment or intervention of a minority language client, service delivery can be compromised (Kayser, 1995). In order to adequately serve clients, interpreters must be able to function within multiple communication contexts, understand educational and legal policies and procedures, be proficient in the use of correct terminology, understand differences in interpretation styles, and understand the purpose and procedures of test instruments utilized (Langdon, 1999). In addition, cultural differences of the clients, clinicians and interpreters need to be addressed to avoid negatively influencing service delivery (Kayser, 1995).

The objectives of the project are:

  • to establish a university training course for joint training of bilingual interpreters and speech pathology students,
  • to create supervisory evaluation forms for enhancing collaboration skills at the university level between interpreters and student clinicians, and
  • to develop videotapes, curriculum method, and clinical materials to be available for other university training programs.

Multicultural Presence and Understanding: A Model for Mentoring Undergraduate Students in Speech-Language Pathology
Lesley B. Olswang & Judith Stone-Goldman
University of Washington

A shortage of individuals from diverse backgrounds exists in our profession, in both clinical speech-language pathology and research in speech and hearing sciences. This shortage limits our ability to best serve people of diverse cultures and, directly or indirectly, causes research efforts to focus inadequately on people of color. Former ASHA President Donna Gefner addressed this issue in Asha magazine (July/August 1999). She exhorted members to "seek out, mentor, and encourage students of diverse backgrounds to pursue our discipline." Further she pointed out that students of diverse backgrounds must be adequately supported when they are undergraduates, so they are "prepared to apply to graduate school." In other words, it is not enough to encourage students or express interest in people with diverse backgrounds. ASHA members must be active in mentoring students of diverse backgrounds early enough in their education so as to increase the likelihood that they will enter graduate school in speech-language pathology.

The purpose of this project is to create a model to meet the following objectives:

I. Preparation of Diverse Personnel

  1. To mentor undergraduate students of diverse backgrounds so they are better prepared to pursue a graduate degree in speech-language pathology, and
  2. To increase these undergraduate students' awareness of and interest in clinical research in speech-language pathology.

II. Program Development

  1. To identify key variables in educating and mentoring undergraduate students of diverse backgrounds in order to strengthen our ability to do so in the future, and
  2. To expand our understanding of multicultural needs in service delivery.

Narrative Abilities in AAE Speaking Preschoolers: A Clinical Research Training Model
Linda Bland-Stewart
The George Washington University

The United States is a multicultural society with many diverse languages and dialects. By the year 2020 it is estimated that minority groups will compromise 38% of the overall U.S. population (Davis, Haub, Wilett, 1983), suggesting that a "majority minority" composition will prevail in many major US cities. A similar trend is mirrored within the public schools (Hodgekinson, 1985).

As a consequence of the racial, cultural and educational configurations found in many US schools, there exists a clash between the culture of the school and minority youth. Educators represent a culture that is largely "mainstream America" in attitudes and values, whereas the composition of minority youth is often the very antithesis of this mainstream perspective. Hence, an ever-widening schism prevails between the schools and youth such as African Americans. Establishing a common ground for understanding and communicating mutual aspirations, values, and concerns may be impeded by cultural barriers.

Language is the primary medium through which education is facilitated. Mastery and successful implementation of linguistic skills, both written and verbal, are imperative to the young student's ability to perform within an education environment. Because of the high linguistic load involved in education, the student's level and manner of linguistic ability directly influence their overall potential performance in the classroom. One aspect of language behavior that warrants attention is that of narrative abilities. It is particularly important to assess narrative skills in low-income AA children in relationship to their performance in an academic environment. Information received from this project will contribute to current knowledge of AA children's language abilities, specifically narrative skills. Moreover, findings have the potential for identifying best practices for minority populations in clinical and educational settings.

The project's objectives are:

  1. To increase normative data on African-American English (AAE) speaking children, specifically in the area of narrative abilities,
  2. To provide graduate clinicians, including minority clinicians, theoretical and clinical training in multicultural issues in speech-language pathology via assessment and research opportunities, and
  3. to provide a public service to a Head Start (HS) community.

2000-2001 Review Panel: Lenny Braverman, Emma Muñoz, Constance Dean Qualls, Chris Begay Vining, and Christine Yoshinaga-Itano.

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