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ASHA's Envisioned Future: 2025

ASHA's Envisioned Future supports the Association's Vision of making effective communication, a human right, accessible and achievable for all.

It is 2025, and the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA)—the professional, scientific, and credentialing association for audiologists, speech-language pathologists, and speech, language, and hearing scientists—leads the efforts in advocating for the clients its members serve. ASHA also plays an unparalleled role in advancing, sustaining, and promoting the discipline of communication sciences and disorders, related functions, and methods of communication. The Association's contributions to enriching the professions and commitment to diversity, resources, advocacy, and collaboration with related professional entities are well known and respected. 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 related disorders, including swallowing, balance, and vestibular disorders, they communicate with ASHA.

ASHA is the association of choice for professionals in human communication sciences and disorders. The relationship among the professions within the discipline is apparent in the programs, products, and services developed to serve member needs. The Association's long- standing commitment to the integral relationship between the professions of audiology and speech-language pathology is the cornerstone of organizational efforts.

ASHA supports the preparation of highly qualified service providers in speech-language pathology and audiology. ASHA's standards for certification and accreditation 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. The Association has expanded recognition of credentials worldwide and has negotiated and established new, formalized, multilateral recognition agreements. The continuum of service providers, including certified speech-language pathologists and audiologists, certified clinical specialists in speech-language pathology and audiology, and assistants/associates supervised by ASHA-certified speech-language pathologists and audiologists, is consistently and fully utilized in service delivery.

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, functioning, and education, have developed relationships and systems to enhance the interchange of professional knowledge, research, and education. The goal of such interchange is to promote recognition of the professions through national and international collaboration on issues related to communication sciences and disorders.

Professional practice informs and is informed by research, clinical expertise, and the values and preferences of the individuals served as well as their families. 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. Strong clinical and research partnerships contribute to the knowledge base in the discipline. There is sufficient capacity to drive, strengthen, and enhance the scientific base of the discipline. ASHA has a central role in data collection and knowledge compilation and transfer to members, consumers, and other disciplines.

Members and affiliates recognize the importance of evidence-based practice and actively seek evidence that serves as the basis for clinical decision making. Adhering to the principles of evidence-based practice, advances in relevant health care disciplines, prevention, education, habilitation, rehabilitation, and accompanying research and technology have improved functioning, participation and health, education, and vocational and recreational outcomes of persons across the life span with communication disorders.

Professional practice is more effectively aligned with reimbursement systems that reflect a more comprehensive, person- and family-centered, and collaborative practice model that increases access to such services. ASHA members play an active role in reimbursement processes, effectively demonstrating the value of their services, and empowering and educating patients and clients to understand access and reimbursement.

An Interprofessional Education (IPE) approach to training and educating new professionals has resulted in access to a broader 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 qualified speech-language pathologists and audiologists to meet consumer needs. Members engage in interprofessional collaborative practice.

Inclusive policies and practices are in place within the Association and throughout the discipline, to ensure that there is a diversity of perspective that informs professional practice and decision-making. The Association continues to attract increasing numbers of professionals from under-represented populations, including males. Members and affiliates continually strive to maintain the highest level of knowledge and skills necessary to provide services effectively in their preferred area(s) of practice in communication sciences and disorders, and to seek specialization when desired. Because of the members' expertise, services are provided in a culturally competent manner, are valued, and are in high demand.

ASHA provides recognized value to its members and affiliates. 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.

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