ASHA CEO Joins With Counterparts Pledging Workplace Diversity and Inclusion

Pledge Is Latest Development in Long History and Multiple Efforts Aimed at Fostering Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Among ASHA Staff and Audiology and Speech-Language Pathology Professions

March 7, 2022

(Rockville, MD) The American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA) announced today that ASHA CEO Vicki R. Deal-Williams, MA, CCC-SLP, FASAE, CAE, has joined with nearly 2,000 other CEOs and presidents in signing the CEO Pledge for Diversity & Inclusion.

The pledge, a creation of CEO Action for Diversity & Inclusion™, the largest CEO-driven business commitment to advance diversity and inclusion in the workplace,, calls for signatories to act on supporting more inclusive workplaces by

  • continuing to make workplaces trusting places to have complex, and sometimes difficult, conversations about diversity and inclusion;
  • implementing and expanding unconscious bias education;
  • sharing best practices—as well as unsuccessful ones—with counterparts; and
  • creating and sharing strategic inclusion and diversity plans with their respective boards.

Taking the pledge fits well with ASHA’s ongoing commitment to achieving diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI), and it also facilitates further growth in pursuing that goal, Deal-Williams said.

“It is critical that our efforts be bold and clearly focused,” she noted. “The commitment that comes with the pledge includes information and resource sharing. That will make it possible for us to learn from each other and our respective experiences.”

For decades, ASHA has been a leader championing diversity. In 1969, it established the office that operates today as the Office of Multicultural Affairs at the National Office. The organization’s staff of 300 are provided with DEI educational resources and have opportunities to participate in conversations like those mentioned in the CEO Action pledge. Such steps are just one aspect of a broader and continuing effort to foster DEI among ASHA’s staff and among the audiology and speech-language pathology professions that it represents.

“We have made strides with respect to DEI,” Deal-Williams said, “but, like many other organizations and companies, we are keenly aware of the need for much more progress. We must remain strongly committed to achieving that, and press forward, intentionally and actively.”

About the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA)
The American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA) is the national professional, scientific, and credentialing association for 223,000 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. 

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