June 24, 2021
(Rockville, MD) The American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA) has renewed its status as a Non-State Actor (NSA) in Official Relations with the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO), the Regional Office for the Americas of the World Health Organization (WHO).
The granting of this special status is the result of an exhaustive analysis undertaken within the Framework of Engagement with Non-State Actors. The status, which applies for 3 years, will allow ASHA to continue its work with PAHO, strengthening the knowledge and building the capacity of Latin American and Caribbean professionals and institutions addressing communication disorders in the areas of speech, language, swallowing, and hearing.
PAHO first conferred this status on ASHA 7 years ago, although the term then was "Non-Governmental Organization (NGO)." Subsequently, PAHO replaced "NGO" with "Non-State Actor (NSA)," a change only in terminology. It did not impact the nature of ASHA–PAHO’s collaborative work, and ASHA continued to have the opportunity to participate in high-level PAHO and WHO meetings.
“We are excited by the prospect of continuing our joint work with PAHO and honored to have worked with the countries we have, helping to provide them with solid foundations for delivering comprehensive services for treating communication disorders,” said ASHA President A. Lynn Williams, PhD, CCC-SLP.
As of today, the ASHA–PAHO collaboration has conducted support in six countries: Honduras, El Salvador, Guyana, Paraguay, Belize, and Ecuador. In each collaboration, the ASHA members of an ASHA–PAHO ad hoc committee have collaborated with key stakeholders to develop a sustainable project that supports individuals who have communication disorders.
Over the years, the collaboration has yielded impressive results:
Looking ahead through the end of 2023, the overall objective of the ASHA–PAHO collaboration will be to carry out its original mission with these specific objectives:
“We foresee expanding, doing ASHA–PAHO collaborative work in more countries and contributing to data collection on communication disorders in the PAHO region,” ASHA President Williams said.
Visit this link for further information about the ASHA–PAHO collaboration: www.asha.org/members/international/paho/.
About the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA)
ASHA is the national professional, scientific, and credentialing association for 218,000 members and affiliates who are audiologists; speech-language pathologists; speech, language, and hearing scientists; audiology and speech-language pathology support personnel; and students. Audiologists specialize in preventing and assessing hearing and balance disorders as well as providing audiologic treatment, including hearing aids. Speech-language pathologists (SLPs) identify, assess, and treat speech, language, and swallowing disorders.