Strategic Objective Highlights

November 2023 (updates posted biannually)

As a part of ASHA's Strategic Pathway, the ASHA Board of Directors established nine Strategic Objectives designed to dramatically change:

  • the way we practice and how we are paid for our services
  • the way others perceive and value the services we provide
  • the science underlying service delivery
  • what our membership looks like
  • our partners for addressing communication and related disorders here and around the world

For each of the Strategic Objectives included in ASHA's Strategic Pathway to Excellence, an owner was assigned, an objective outcome was developed, and work is underway toward those outcomes. Following are highlights of each Strategic Objective and contact information for the Objective Owner.

Strategic Objective #1: Expand data available for quality improvement and demonstration of value

Objective Owner
Rob Mullen, Director, National Center for Evidence-Based Practice in Communication Disorders (rmullen@asha.org)
Outcome
ASHA has advanced large-scale databases and outcomes measurement efforts to enable practice improvements, demonstrate value to external parties, and inform client choice.
Highlights
  • Data collection is ongoing for the new Audiology NOMS Registry and the new version of the SLP NOMS Registry.
  • A new deliverable, Demonstration of Value Fact Sheets, has been developed, with six Fact Sheets published to date:
    • The Value of Speech-Language Pathologists in Acute Care Settings
    • The Value of Speech-Language Pathologists in Treating Persons with Parkinsons Disease
    • The Value of Speech-Language Pathologists in Pediatric Feeding and Swallowing Disorders
    • The Value of Audiologists in the Treatment of Hearing Loss and Cognitive Decline/Dementia
    • The Value of Audiologists in the Assessment and Treatment of Balance and Dizziness
    • The Value of Audiologists During the Hearing Aid Fitting Process: Real-Ear Measurement.

Strategic Objective #2: Advance Interprofessional Education and Interprofessional Collaborative Practice (IPE/IPP)

Objective Owner
Loretta Nunez, MA, AuD, CCC-A/SLP, FNAP, Director, Academic Affairs & Research Education (lnunez@asha.org)
Outcome
Academic programs employ IPE approaches to personnel preparation and both students and ASHA members engage in interprofessional collaborative practice.
Highlights
  • Published expanded and revised IPE/IPP web-based "hub" that feature practical how to resources, case studies, the benefits of IPE/IPP, and IPE/IPP evidence and research resources. A Quick Links page is available to access downloadable resources such as rubrics, checklists, videos, etc. for easy incorporation into education and professional development activities and clinical practice.
  • ASHA is implementing a marketing/communication plan on high impact messaging and resources to advance IPE/IPP.
  • ASHA is offering a stipend program to support ASHA members who attend the Interprofessional Education Collaborative (IPEC) Faculty Development Institutes.
  • ASHA supported Faculty Development Institute (AFDI) cohorts (2021, 2019) in their efforts toward curricular enhancements for evidence-based practice, interprofessional education and collaborative practice, cultural competence, and working at the top of one’s license. Future efforts will focus on infusing these four focus areas into available ASHA opportunities for faculty development, teaching and learning resources, and the dissemination of information.
  • Identifying and disseminating IPE/IPP evidence and research resources (e.g., systematic reviews, research agendas, implementation science models, and funding opportunities) that support research in IPE/IPP conducted by members of the CSD discipline.
  • Information and resources about IPE/IPP, the competencies, and its value to clinical outcomes shared via meetings, presentations, exhibits, ASHA publications, ASHA Convention, and related ASHA conferences.
  • Collaborations with related professional organizations and state associations to advance IPE/IPP.
  • Links to seminal reference documents, instructional videos, and IPE/IPP conferences are disseminated on an ongoing basis.
  • IPE/IPP competencies are incorporated into ASHA's Scope of Practice for Audiology, Scope of Practice for SLP, ASHA's Code of Ethics, CAA Accreditation standards, CFCC certification standards, and Academic Affairs Board recommendations for undergraduate education in CSD.

Strategic Objective #3: Enhance the generation, publication, knowledge translation, and implementation of clinical research

Objective Owner
Margaret Rogers, PhD, Chief Staff Officer for Science and Research (mrogers@asha.org)
Outcome
ASHA has enhanced the generation, publication, knowledge translation, and implementation of clinical research
Highlights

Generation

  • All 11 Academic and Research Mentoring (ARM) Network programs, which span three academic–research career stages, were successfully delivered in 2023.
    • Considering an Academic-Research Career
      • Progeny, Students Preparing for Academic Research Careers (SPARC), Research Mentoring-Pair Travel Award (RMPTA), Audiology Research Travel Award (ARTA)
    • Launching an Academic-Research Career
      • Mentoring Academic Research Careers (MARC), Pathways, Lessons for Success (LfS)
    • Advancing an Academic–Research Career
      • Advancing Academic Research Careers (AARC), Grant Review & Reviewer Training (GRRT), Clinical Practice Research Institute (CPRI), and Dissemination and Implementation Science Travel Award (DISTAnce)
  • Participant Outcomes at 3-years and 6-years post-participation are available at ARM Network Program Participant Outcomes Data. Highlights include:
    • 77% of the participants across these 11 programs remained in the academic–research pipeline at 6 years post-participation.
    • For Pathways, LfS, and MARC, three years after the program, 70% of participants who applied were successful in obtaining research funding, and after 6 years, 81% had obtained research funding.
    • For AARC, GRRT, CPRI, & DISTAnce, three years after the program, 82% of participants who applied were successful in obtaining research funding, and after 6 years, 88% had obtained research funding. All participants remained in the academic–research pipeline after 6 years.

Publication and Knowledge Translation of Clinical Practice Research

  • ASHA’s first two Evidence-Based Clinical Practice Guidelines (CPGs) were published in 2022 in AJA and AJSLP on these topics:
  • A JSLHR Forum on Bilingualism, stemming from the NIDCD-funded 2022 Research Symposium in CSD, was recently published in the August 2023 issue.
  • Development of a Teaching, Learning, and Research Hub (TLR Hub) is progressing. The TLR Hub consolidates access to curated resources and modules developed for faculty, researchers, and learners.
    • Several extant resources will be migrated into the TLR Hub (e.g., ASHA's Clinical Research Education [CREd] Library, the Culturally Responsive Teaching and Learning Collection, Teaching Symposium on Teaching Foundational Sciences in CSD).
    • New resources will be available in the TLR Hub such as a series of modules on teaching Evidence-Based Assessment and Mitigating Bias in Clinical Assessment. The Clinical Research, Implementation Science, and Evidence-Based Practice (CRISP) Committee created these modules. The CRISP Committee is also presenting on this topic at the 2023 ASHA Convention – Bias in Evidence-Based Assessment and What Do We Do About It? (Session #1598: 2023 ASHA Convention).

    Implementation of Clinical Research and Implementation Science

    • Dissemination and Implementation Travel Award (DISTAnce) is a research mentoring program that supports CSD scientists to incorporate implementation science into their next federal research grant proposal. The travel award provides funds to support awardees to attend the annual AcademyHealth Conference on the Science of Dissemination and Implementation in Health with a mentor who has expertise in implementation science and commits to consulting as the awardee prepares a research grant proposal. Twenty awardees have been supported over the five years that the program has been offered and 100% of those who participated between 2019–2022 have completed a timeline of grant preparation milestones leading to their submission of a proposal that incorporates implementation science.

    Strategic Objective #4: Enhance service delivery across the continuum of care to increase value and access to services

    Objective Owner
    Lemmietta McNeilly, PhD, CCC-SLP, FASAE, CAE, FNAP, ASHA Fellow, Chief Staff Officer for Speech-Language Pathology (lmcneilly@asha.org)
    Outcome
    Enhanced service delivery across the continuum of care to increase value and access to services
    Highlights
    • Service Delivery webpage includes access to resources on varied clinical practice issues, e.g., telepractice, functional goals using the ICF framework, and practice documentation.
    • Social Determinants of Health (SDOH)
      • Launched web resource incorporating user experience survey research describing social determinants of health, the role of the clinician, tools and supports, and additional resources.
      • Held two focus groups addressing member familiarity and needs related to SDOH.
      • Developed “Get the Big Picture” visuals for website QR cards, print resources, and ads.
      • Shared QR cards at related professional organizations for nursing and public health audiences.
      • Developed marketing plan to begin in January 2024.
      • Members of SLP Practices completed SDOH-related presentations for 2 state association meetings, poster sessions at SENTAC, and a publication in Advances in Neonatal Care.
    • The Supervision Hub was created to be a central resource for all information related to supervision and mentorship of graduate clinicians, clinical fellows and assistants. Ten free webinars/conversations on supervisions have been curated within the hub to provide additional information to members.
    • ASHA’s developmental milestones have been updated. Feeding and swallowing milestones are included for children age birth to three, and communication milestones from birth to five for children learning to speak English in the U.S.
    • GAPP continues to monitor state legislation and regulations related to assistants to support licensing/credentialing in alignment with ASHA's C-SLPA and changes to telepractice post-pandemic.
      • 2023: Several states have passed laws and/or regulations accepting ASHA’s C-SLPA as an option for meeting some, or all, of their licensing/credentialing requirements. This includes AR, AZ, CO, ID, IL, MD, OK, NC, SC, SD, TN, TX, UT, and WY.
    • The ASHA certification program for assistants in audiology and speech-language pathology continues to grow.

      • As of October 2023, a total of 919 assistants have been awarded certification, with 54 individuals certified C-AA and 865 certified C-SLPA. Additionally, 11 applications for C-AA and 104 applications for C-SLPA are in review/approved to take the exam.
      • Mentoring program for assistants in audiology and speech-language pathology and activities at Convention in Boston.
    • In 2023, the ASHA Faculty Development Institute (AFDI) 2021 cohort members have submitted their final reports for curricular enhancements on two of the four topics practicing at the top of the license, evidence-based practice, interprofessional education and collaborative practice, and cultural competence.

    Strategic Objective #5: Increase influence and demonstrated value of audiology and speech-language pathology services

    Interim Objective Owner
    Lemmietta McNeilly, PhD, CCC-SLP, FASAE, CAE, FNAP, ASHA Fellow, Chief Staff Officer for Speech-Language Pathology (lmcneilly@asha.org)
    Outcome
    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
    Highlights
    • The Audiology & Speech-Language Pathology Compact has been adopted in 29 states. The ASLP-IC Commission’s Executive Committee has issued an RFP for a vendor to develop a database to operationalize the Compact, in collaboration with the Occupational Therapy Compact and the Counseling Compact. The Commission's Executive Committee recently held interviews with applicants for the Executive Director position for the Compact and are currently in contract negotiations with the top candidate. The ASLP-IC Commission held their first annual business meeting and adopted bylaw amendments to change the fiscal year, a rule on the requirements for the criminal background check, and the 2023–2024 budget. The Compact is expected to be in operation by late 2024.
    • 2 of 8 planned coding and payment educational modules have been built and are currently undergoing testing. Content development is ongoing.
    • ASHA hosted its 5th Annual Payer Summit October 5–6 in Washington, DC, bringing together national payers, utilization management companies, and state Medicaid programs to discuss audiology and speech-language pathology coverage, coding, and policy issues. This year, we hosted 24 attendees representing 16 different payers, significantly more attendees than in previous years. The Summit focused on identification of challenges for ASHA members and payers alike and strategies to address key issues impacting audiologists and SLPs. Topics included member pain points―such as payment reductions, coding, and billing, responding to denials and audits, lack of coverage for services, and Medicaid billing in schools―as well as ways clinicians can more successfully engage with payers, and how ASHA and payers can continue to strengthen our working relationships and proactively address issues together.
    • We have 199 Grasstops Envoys as of October 26, 2023.
    • Capitol Hill Day: 73 volunteer leaders from 41 states and territories participated in more than 119 congressional meetings to advocate for the professions. ASHA members participated in 68 Senate meetings and 51 House meetings with 69 Democratic offices, 48 Republican offices and 2 Independent offices.
      • The Medicare Audiology Access Improvement Act (S. 2377), which would expand Medicare coverage of services provided by audiologists, was subsequently introduced with the most ever (8) original cosponsors.
      • The Expanded Telehealth Access Act (H.R. 3875/S. 2880), which would add audiologists and SLPs as permanent Medicare telehealth providers, was subsequently introduced and has 45 cosponsors in the House and 5 in the Senate.
      • The Strengthening Medicare for Patients and Providers Act (H.R. 2474), which would increase add an inflationary update to Medicare Part B payments to offset other payment cuts, has added 51 cosponsors since Hill Day.
      • The Workplace Violence Prevention for Health Care and Social Service Workers Act (H.R. 2663/S. 1176), which would help protect health care workers from workplace violence, has added 101 House cosponsors and 5 Senate cosponsors since Hill Day.

    Strategic Objective #6: Increase Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) within the Association and the discipline

    Objective Owner
    Megan-Brette Hamilton, PhD, CCC-SLP, Chief Staff Officer for Multicultural Affairs (mhamilton@asha.org)
    Outcome
    ASHA has implemented equitable practices and CSD is a more diverse and inclusive discipline.
    • ASHA’s standards and systems improve the quality of care for all populations and increase access to and inclusion in the discipline
    • ASHA offers tools and resources for enhancing professional interactions across race/ethnicity
    • ASHA’s membership is more diverse
    Highlights
    • The Taking Action Against Microaggressions course series is available. This series covers information on recognizing, experiencing, witnessing, and combatting microaggressions. The course content is available for free on the ASHA website, and ASHA members who want to earn CE credit may do so by subscribing to the ASHA Learning Pass.
    • A collection of articles, resources, and webinars on culturally responsive teaching and learning (CRTL) in higher education for academic, clinical, and research education in communication sciences and disorders is now available and open to submissions.
    • The updated Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) statement was developed and posted to ASHA’s website. This new statement includes aspects of equity which were not in the previous DEI statement.
    • CFCC has approved a requirement as a part of certification maintenance focused on diversity, equity, inclusion, cultural competence, cultural humility, or culturally responsive practice.This requirement went into effect January 1, 2023.
    • CAA modified standard 3.4A/B in 2021 to more fully incorporate concepts of diversity, equity, and inclusion—not just across the curriculum in terms of reflecting the diversity of society, but affording opportunities for program faculty and staff, as well as students, to assess their own cultural biases, as well as recognize the impact and interaction of cultural and linguistic variables along with social determinants of health. After undergoing extensive peer review, these standards' revisions went into effect January 1, 2023.
    • ASHAWire developed a Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion Special Collection, which is a curated selection of more than 40 articles and podcasts.
    • Successful integration of accessibility production services for journals is now well-established. New articles have been published in a fully Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) standards-compliant manner.
    • The ASHA Leader has curated a Leader DEI topic collection that includes coverage of DEI topics in communication sciences and disorders. Topics range from FAQs about multilingual assessment, to legislation for gender-affirming voice treatment, to inclusive language and implicit bias related to dialect.
    • The Hearing and Speech Career microsite has been re-launched. The site promotes the professions to individuals from under-represented racial/ethnic populations, males, and bi/multilingual service providers and provides information about careers in CSD while focusing on diverse representation in the discipline.
    • Project continues towards development of an equity action and accountability platform where users can report efforts and share ideas for systemic changes that promote DEI in their organizations/facilities.
    • The Ad Hoc Committee on Bilingual Service Delivery submitted a final report, Competencies, Expectations, and Recommendations for Multilingual Service Delivery. The Board supported recommendations related to ensuring all clinicians have the support, tools, and resources needed to appropriately serve their clients, patients, and students when multiple languages are involved.
    • ASHA has modified and expanded the options for demographic categories so that members can accurately self-identify. These categories went into effect April 2023 and will be reflected on upcoming 2023 dues renewal messaging.
    • ASHA continues to collaborate with AAA, APTA, and AOTA to champion the Allied Health Workforce Diversity Act. The legislation would provide grants to increase opportunities for individuals who are from underrepresented backgrounds, including students who are from racial/ethnic minority groups, in the professions of audiology, occupational therapy, physical therapy, respiratory therapy, and speech-language pathology.

    Strategic Objective #7: Enhance international engagement

    Objective Owner
    Lily Waterston, MA, Director, International Programs (lwaterston@asha.org)
    Outcome
    ASHA is engaged internationally with service providers, educators, scientists and other groups to proliferate research, and improve professional preparation and service delivery
    Highlights
    • Partnering with the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO), Regional Office for the Americas of the World Health Organization (WHO) to strengthen knowledge and build capacity of professionals and organizations that address communication disorders in selected countries. These are: Honduras, El Salvador, Guyana, Paraguay, Belize, and Ecuador. Last June in Honduras, 24 students graduated as phonoaudiologists from the National University of Honduras for the first time ever in this country. 47 additional students will graduate by 2025. ASHA submitted an application to renew its official status as Non-State Actor (NSA) of PAHO for another three years (2024–2026). The International Issues Board established the ASHA–PAHO Collaboration Advisory Subcommittee for one year. The Subcommittee will end in December and will provide a set of recommendations to the IIB.
    • Increasing the outreach and numbers of the International Affiliates (IAs): 610 IAs in 63 countries as of 12/31/22. Developing resources and regional strategies to better serve this audience, improve exchanges, and increase affiliation.
    • Collaborating with WHO and the International Communication Project (ICP) for public awareness campaigns. In partnership with the Hearing Loss Association of America, ASHA conducted a digital campaign to promote World Hearing Day (March 3). ASHA continued to contribute to ICP’s strategic meetings, publication of its newsletter, and to manage its website.
    • Partnering with international organizations for joint conferences in different regions of the world: In 2023, ASHA partnered with the International Association of Communication Sciences and Disorders (IALP) for its Congress scheduled for August 24–26, 2023 in New Zealand.
    • Participating in WHO and PAHO high-level meetings: In 2023, ASHA participated in the WHO Rehabilitation 2030 and World Rehabilitation Alliance meetings, PAHO Executive Committee meeting, PAHO Directing Council meeting (hybrid), WHO World Hearing Forum meeting.
    • Increasing publications from authors outside the U.S.: As of 12/31/22, there are 874 international authors in ASHA journals (including Perspectives). The ASHA Journals Academy includes information on translation services and resources for non-English speakers. Launched “Paperpal Preflight”, a service to provide authors automated editorial review of their manuscripts prior to submission. This is especially valuable for the success of international authors.

    Strategic Objective #8: Increase members' cultural competence

    Objective Owner
    Karen Beverly-Ducker, MA, CCC-A, CAE, Senior Director of Multicultural Practices (KBeverlyDucker@asha.org)
    Outcome
    ASHA members competently address cultural/linguistic influences on service delivery outcomes
    Highlights
    • Revisions continue to be made to multiple ASHA Practice Portal pages e.g. Documentation of Audiology Services and Childhood Hearing Screening using a culturally responsive lens. Reviews have been completed on several pages e.g. Executive Function Language and Communication of Deaf and Hard of Hearing Children (asha.org). Work continues on the development of new pages e.g. NICU Services and Gender-Affirming Services.
    • The 2024 Grant Program for Projects on Multicultural Activities will provide funding for 4 projects: "Birds of a Feather Flock Together: Implications of and Solutions for Homophily in Communication Sciences and Disorders" – Erin Meier (Northeastern University) and Shannon Sheppard (University of Washington, Seattle); "Measuring Total Vocabulary in Mandarin-English Bilingual Toddlers Using Parent Checklists: Initial Reference Data and Psychometric Properties" – Ling-Yu Guo (University at Buffalo, SUNY); "Preschool Autism Communication Education (PACE): Pragmatic Language for Autistic Children in Culturally and Linguistically Diverse Educational Settings" – D’Jaris Coles-White (Western Michigan University); "Undergraduate CSD Recruitment: Identifying the Most Effective Strategy to Recruit Minority Students" – Brooke Holt, Sena Crutchley, Joya Robertson, and Emily Hamuka (UNC Greensboro).
    • The That's Unheard Of: Learn About Cultural Competency communication campaign with Webmechanix will end in November. There has been a 70% average increase in site visits across our 3 audiences with top assets being Multilingual Service Delivery (Micro Courses on Dynamic Assessment, Bilingual Service Delivery Resource, and Considering Bias ASHA Stream video.
    • 2019 and 2021 ASHA Faculty Development Institute (AFDI) cohort members have submitted their implementation plans for curricular enhancements in their identified focus areas. Cultural competence/responsiveness is one of the four potential opportunities for focus. Cultural competence/responsiveness reports are being reviewed and plans for dissemination are being developed.
    • OMA is working with UNIDOS in the development and dissemination of consumer information resources from the results of a survey conducted by UNIDOS.
    • MIB collaborated with L’GASP and ASHA’s State Affairs Team to record a presentation focusing on legislation, advocacy, and service delivery with transgender populations for distribution at the 2023 CSAP Conference.
    • MIB 2023 convention presentations include “Antidiscrimination and Allyship for the Transgender and Gender-Nonconforming Community: Scenarios and Strategies for CSD Professionals” and “Mapping DEI Resources.”
    • The MIB has submitted the manuscript “Professionalism in CSD: Consideration of Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Access” to Perspectives of the ASHA Special Interest Groups.
    • ASHA staff and BOD members participated in the Dialogues Group, an inter-agency group of representatives from across the fields of hearing science and hearing healthcare that aims to improve DEI within its professions. Specific focus is on increasing the diversity of professionals, addressing health disparities and healthcare access disparities, and addressing the lack of diversity and inclusion in research studies.
    • The 2023 New Practitioners Cultural Responsiveness Education Survey will be fielded in November. The survey will be sent to 1,642 CCC-A holders and 25,432 CCC-SLP holders who graduated between September 25, 2019, and September 25, 2022, and have 5 or fewer years of ASHA membership.

    Strategic Objective #9: Transform learning across the discipline

    Objective Owner
    Donna Fisher Smiley, PhD, CCC-A, Chief Staff Officer for Audiology (DSmiley@asha.org)
    Outcome
    ASHA has created and advanced a learning ecosystem that supports members’ ability to proactively navigate change and thrive professionally through life-long learning
    Highlights
    • Current work on SO#9 is focused on Transformational Initiative #1: Develop and implement a competency framework for the professions
    • Work continues in the following areas:
      • Identification of external audiences to gauge their understanding related to the need for a competency-based approach/framework in our professions
      • Education of and promotion to members and other stakeholder groups regarding a competency-based approach (presentations at conferences and to various committees, boards and councils)
      • Gathering and reviewing information around the meaning of competency
      • Assessment of other competency-based models and approaches used in healthcare organizations
      • Contracted with consultant to develop two competency frameworks – one for each profession
      • Refinement of entry-level competencies via the Curriculum and Practice Analysis (CAPA) for both professions
        • Audiology CAPA
          • Report was delivered to ASHA in October 2023
        • Speech-Language Pathology CAPA
          • Kick off meeting was held in November 2022
          • SME full panel meeting was held April 28–29, 2023
          • Survey was fielded in October–November 2023
          • Anticipate report to be completed by the first quarter of 2024

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