American Speech-Language-Hearing Association

1996–1997 Projects on Multicultural Activities

An Experimental Recruitment Program for Minority High School Students
LaVerne Baker & Joe Melcher
Xavier University

The objectives of the Experimental Recruitment Program were to:

  • increase the enrollment of racial/ethnic minorities in the speech and hearing program at Xavier University 15% by providing minority junior and senior high school students interested in careers in communications with a recruitment experience designed to make the professions attractive as career choices, and
  • disseminate health education information on the prevention of hearing and voice problems to minority high school students.

Informational letters and application forms for students were sent to high school principals and counselors. Information was also published in the Superintendent's Bulletin. Letters were sent to Area supervisors for dissemination to speech-language pathologists. The services of Xavier University Public Relations and Communication Office were enlisted to provide information for public service announcements on local radio and cable TV stations as well as notices to the local newspapers. Follow up telephone calls were made and flyers were distributed.

Nineteen (19) minority students were admitted to the program. Sessions included information about the professions using videos, minority professional role models, and Xavier University speech and hearing majors who served as peer educators. Students were then divided into two groups and received instruction on the anatomy of the hearing and laryngeal mechanisms and the prevention of hearing and voice disorders. Students were prepared to become student Peer Communication Educators in order to go back to their schools and disseminate information about the prevention of hearing and voice disorders. Four of the senior students who participated in the recruitment program applied and were accepted into Xavier University. Additional follow up will be necessary to determine whether other participating students enrolled in a speech and hearing program at other institutions. The program culminated with an invitational brunch and awards ceremony. Suggestions for improving the program, sample letters, press releases, application forms, agendas, Pre- and Post-Tests are included in the final report.

Internet Website for Multicultural Communication Sciences and Disorders
Thomas P. Marquardt & Liz Peña
University of Texas

The purpose of the project was to develop an Internet website on Multicultural Communication Sciences and Disorders (MCSD). The website went online in March 1997. The objectives of the project were to:

  • provide information on university training programs, research funding opportunities, and upcoming events in MCSD;
  • develop an information base on tests, treatment paradigms, data-based publications, and bibliographic references for professionals and consumers interested in MCSD;
  • establish Internet links with organizations, agencies, and individuals;
  • provide an interactive forum for discussion of multicultural issues related to research, clinical practica and public service; and
  • provide website space for organizations interested in MCSD.

Formal clinical cases will be placed on the website with e-mail based commentary posted by the Institute for Learning and Communication Strategies. Additional clinical case studies will be solicited with a new case posted at approximately 30-day intervals. An Advisory Board, consisting of Robert Mayo (University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill), Carol Westby (Wichita State University), and Vera Gutierrez-Clellen (San Diego State University), reviewed the website and provided comments. Doctoral students in the Leadership Project in Multicultural Communication Sciences and Disorders were assigned to develop and maintain the content base of the various areas of the website. Critical commentary continues to be received from the Advisory Board, doctoral students of the Leadership Project and users of the site. In addition, suggestions for revisions and additions have been obtained from participants at the 1997 Research Symposium on Language Diversity and the 1997 annual convention of the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association. The National Black Association for Speech-Language and Hearing (NBASLH) serves as an organizational sponsor of the website. The International Affairs Association has agreed to co-sponsor the site and maintain information on international multicultural events and activities in communication sciences and disorders.

Project Hózhó
Christine B. Vining
University of New Mexico

Developing linkages with diverse communities is important and necessary to better infuse multiculturalism into university programs and to ultimately improve the quality of speech-language services provided to children and families from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds. Project Hózhó, a 12-month pre-service project, was designed to support these linkages and focused on bridging the cultural gap between student clinicians and clients from Native American cultures. The objectives for this project were to:

  • provide opportunities for graduate students in the University of New Mexico Department of Speech and Hearing Sciences to obtain hands-on experience with children from multicultural backgrounds in Native American communities,
  • develop resource materials and clinical skills that will assist students in developing an awareness of issues that are prominent in service delivery to this population, and
  • disseminate information on service delivery to Native American children through in-service training within and outside the university setting.

Student participants were chosen on the basis of interest, eligibility for assistantship through the Department of Speech and Hearing Sciences, and an interview with the Project Director. The Cross-Cultural Adaptability Inventory (CCAI) by Kelley and Meyers was used to help assess the students' ability to adapt to other cultures. Three students were assigned to different communities where they had the opportunity to observe their supervisors working with clients, families/caregivers, and other service providers; observe a variety of clinical sites and service providers; learn culturally appropriate assessment and intervention strategies; establish mentoring relationships; and interact with children with developmental disabilities and their families/caregivers. Students were exposed to seven different communities, more than eight different tribes, and several different languages. In addition, students participated in the development of three resource books which contain a compilation of articles related to three different topics: "Native American Tribes in New Mexico," "Working with Diverse Families," and "Multicultural Assessment Issues."

A research project supported by this grant involved a survey of clinicians in the field who had extensive experience working with Native American tribes in New Mexico. The purpose of this study was to gather qualitative data on successful strategies being used with this population by experienced speech-language pathologists and audiologists and to gain information regarding how service providers accommodate for Native American cultural and linguistic differences.

The Recruitment and Retention of African American Students in Communication Disorders in Historically Black Institutions
M. Eugene Wiggins
National Black Association for Speech-Language and Hearing

This project was designed to address the need to increase the representation of African Americans in the communication sciences and disorders professions. The objectives of the project were to:

  • establish a comprehensive conference on the recruitment and retention of African American students in communication sciences and disorders preprofessional and graduate programs at Historically Black Institutions (HBI),
  • provide financial support for the program directors to attend the conference,
  • provide opportunities for undergraduate and graduate programs to network and design practical strategies to facilitate the entry of HBI undergraduate African American students into HBI graduate programs specifically,
  • discuss and outline specific recruitment strategies for undergraduate and graduate program directors,
  • discuss and outline specific retention strategies for undergraduate and graduate program directors, and
  • identify specific time lines when graduate program directors will report an increase in their African American student enrollment.

Eleven program directors from undergraduate and graduate programs at HBIs attended a two-day invitational conference. The goal was to design specific strategies for recruiting more African American students into their programs and to enhance the network between the two program levels. A future meeting will include discussion of the mission of HBIs, the mission of speech-language pathology/audiology programs at HBIs, and barriers to success. Program directors viewed the lack of financial resources for entering graduate students as a major reason for the low enrollment of African American students in their programs. They agreed that an aggressive recruitment campaign for African American students must include an aggressive search for financial resources for those students. There was discussion of the development of a Coalition of Program Directors and NBASLH representatives whose goal would be to discuss the possibility of soliciting grant funds from federal and private corporate agencies as an effective recruitment strategy.

Objective VI of the project, the presentation of a timetable for recruitment and retention activities over a five year period, was not addressed at the conference due to time restraints. The National Black Association for Speech-Language and Hearing plans to share the conference's recommendations through publication in ECHO magazine and upon requests directed to the Association.

¡Saber Es Poder! (Knowledge Is Power!)
Linda H. Leeper
New Mexico State University

The goal of the ¡Saber Es Poder! (Knowledge Is Power!) Project was to develop a package of informative materials for Spanish-speaking families and other caregivers of preschool-aged children. Fourteen different informational brochures (7 Spanish-language and 7 English-language) were developed which focused on seven different topics related to preschool-aged children's communication problems and questions frequently asked by their parents/caregivers. The brochures are appropriate for distribution to Mexican and Mexican-American consumers. Topics covered by the brochures include:

  • delineation of language/speech developmental milestones from birth to age five years,
  • descriptions of the structure and function of the ear and the potential impact of otitis media on the development of communication skills,
  • explanation of the influence of cleft lip and/or palate on a child's developing communication functions and the role of the individual members of a cleft palate team in supporting the child's development, and
  • the relationship between speech dysfluency and stuttering.

Brochures include Speech & Language Development (Desarrollo Del Habla & Lenguaje), Raising a Bilingual Child (Criando A Un Hijo Bilingue), Does My Child Stutter? (Tartamudea Mi Hijo?), Working With the Cleft Palate Team (Trabajanco con el Equipo de Labio & Paladar Leporino), Otitis Media (Otitis Media), How We Hear (Como Oimas), and Infant Hearing (Assessment/Evaluacion de la Audicion de los Infantes) . An Advisory Board provided on-going review and consisted of one parent and a professional speech-language pathologist, pediatrician, social worker, and plastic surgeon. All members were of Mexican-American descent and/or had knowledge and experience with both the Mexican-American culture and needs of at-risk children and their families/caregivers. Brochures were also reviewed by a variety of audiences, for example participants at the 1997 ASHA Annual Convention. Brochures are available in printed form and on computer disk. In addition, brochures will be mailed to the New Mexico Speech-Language and Hearing Association and the El Paso Speech-Language-Hearing Association for distribution to consumers and professionals, to the Department of Special Education State of New Mexico for distribution to local education agencies, and to the offices of pediatricians and dentists in Southern New Mexico.

Three Saturdays in January: Workshops to Increase Clinical Knowledge for Work with Latino Clients
Michael Flahive
Saint Xavier University

This project was designed to increase the knowledge base of speech-language pathologists, speech assistants, and students in communications sciences and disorders in Northern Illinois, Northwest Indiana and Southern Wisconsin, regarding clinical service provision to Latino children and adults. The project was further intended to challenge participants to focus their clinical expertise and problem-solving abilities by actively brainstorming solutions in meeting the needs of Spanish-speaking persons and to assist personnel who provide clinical supervision to better work with culturally diverse clinicians. Supervisors include members of the consorting academic programs as well as clinicians in the field who provide mentoring expertise to speech assistants, clinical fellowships, and other forms of supervisory expertise. Over 400 participants registered for activities across the three presentation dates.

Project activities were developed by a Chicagoland Consortium of Programs in Communication Sciences and Disorders which included the graduate programs in speech-language pathology at Northwestern University, Northern Illinois University, Rush Presbyterian-St. Luke's Medical Center (RUSH University), and Saint Xavier University. Three half-day workshops were held. Each session began with an hour-long satellite teleconference provided by a nationally respected figure who focused on multicultural issues in working with children, multicultural issues in working with adults, or "nuts & bolts" clinical problem-solving. Presenters included Heniette Langdon, Luis Riquelme, and Hortencia Kayser. Five sites throughout the region served to downlink satellite broadcasts which originated from New Mexico State University, including each of the campuses of the Chicagoland Communication Disorder Consortium and an additional location utilized by Northern Illinois for distance education activities. Each site had an experienced facilitator. Program activities included the major topic satellite presentation followed by discussion sessions. The project's final report includes videotapes and handout materials from each presenter and a summary of the issues discussed across each of the downlink sites.

1996–1997 Review Panel: Bopanna Ballachanda, Lynda Campbell, Rhonda Friedlander, Robert Rimac, Luciano Valles, Milo Waddoups

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