ASHA's leadership and commitment to diversity and inclusion (D+I) dates back to 1969. Over time, our expertise has expanded, and we have devoted additional effort and resources to advancing D+I throughout the Association and the ASHA National Office.
By definition, diversity encompasses the variety of experiences, skills, knowledge, and attributes that shape every one of us. ASHA recognizes that every individual has a culture. We are all different in a number of ways, and ASHA members, staff, volunteers, students in Communication Sciences and Disorders (CSD) programs, and other stakeholders bring their individual differences to every professional and personal encounter. Inclusion is the act of employing systems, policies and practices that support, engage, and demonstrate value for all individuals. Diversity of thought and inclusion of new ideas and perspectives can help us increase creativity, generate new ideas, enhance problem solving, and increase flexibility, productivity, and effectiveness.
We affirm the value of diversity and the importance of inclusion, and are committed to ongoing dialogue across cultural lines as a strategy for excellence in serving our members, for addressing the needs of an increasingly diverse society, and as a mechanism for equipping current and future ASHA members to appropriately meet the needs of their clients, patients, and students. We believe that actively pursuing D+I positions us as a leader in the discipline of human communication and related disorders, in the association industry, and allows us to enhance and improve the professional lives of ASHA members and our many stakeholders. We understand that we have to continually improve our D+I efforts to sustain our integrity and achieve maximum impact, to assure that ASHA members practice and function in work environments where they are welcome and valued, and act as needed to protect our members from discrimination and harassment. We will demonstrate an explicit willingness to challenge the status quo, and encourage others with whom we do business, to do so as well.
ASHA actively promotes careers in the CSD professions to historically under-represented groups to ensure a diversity of experience and breadth of perspective among the membership. We explicitly engage members and volunteers across a range of dimensions of diversity in service to the association, who offer their time and talent in a way to assure that the association can effectively meet the needs of those with the full range of communication and related disorders and differences. ASHA provides resources and is a primary source for our members to gain cultural competence to effectively serve in their professional roles across lines of linguistic and cultural difference. We have built D+I into expectations for our members in the Association's Code of Ethics, and multicultural infusion is expected, as appropriate, in all association programs, products, and services.
ASHA is intentional about attracting talented individuals to our National Office who bring a range of skills, experiences, perspectives, knowledge, and expertise to our workplace. We work hard to assure a consistent workplace experience for staff defined by a welcoming and inclusive environment, and a workplace culture characterized by flexibility, creativity and innovation, that supports ongoing learning, recognizes team and individual contributions, and rewards staff for delivering member value. We recognize that individuals bring their whole selves with them to the workplace, and are more effective and productive when they can do so without harassment, discrimination or prejudice.