Legislation Introduced to Promote Workforce Diversity in the Professions

July 10, 2019

On July 9, the Allied Health Workforce Diversity Act (H.R. 3637) was introduced in the House of Representatives and would provide grants to increase opportunities for students who are from underrepresented backgrounds in the professions of audiology, speech-language pathology, occupational therapy, and physical therapy. 

U.S. Representatives Bobby L. Rush (D-IL) and Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA) introduced the legislation, which is expected to be offered as an amendment to a bill reauthorizing Title VII of the Public Health Service Act later this week.

Background

This legislation supports ASHA’s efforts towards expanding the professions to be more reflective of the clients, patients, and students we serve. Just over 8% of ASHA members identify themselves as members of an underrepresented racial group, along with 5.3% who identify their ethnicity as Hispanic or Latino. Additionally, only 6% of ASHA’s audiologists, speech-language pathologists, and support personnel indicate that they meet the ASHA definition of a bilingual service provider. 

Questions?

Contact Eric Masten, ASHA’s director of federal affairs, education, at emasten@asha.org.


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