Multicultural Constituency Groups
Multicultural constituency groups (MCCGs) are allied/related professional organizations that are independent of the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association. Each MCCG focuses on an identified population and addresses the client/patient/professional/student perspective of that population. Through both individual and collective efforts, the MCCGs recruit professionals; promote cultural competence and improvement in the quality of speech, language, and hearing services; promote research and knowledge related to identification, diagnosis, and treatment; support students; advocate at the local, state, and national levels for consumers; encourage leadership and engagement in professional and related issues, provide professional support and networking opportunities; and disseminate information and resources. ASHA provides information on these organizations here as a resource for members and/or the public. ASHA provides no financial support to these organizations.
Native American Caucus
Native American Caucus was formed in 1986. Speech-language pathologists and audiologists who had a common interest in the unique attributes of the Native American culture met at the ASHA Convention for the first time and since then have gathered yearly in November at the Annual Convention. Membership has included both Native American professionals as well as those professionals who work with predominately Native American populations. Native American NSSLHA members have also been part of the group.
The group has served as a forum for discussion of the issues that influence the provision of quality services to Native American populations including recruitment of Native American students to the field of speech-language pathology and audiology. Enhancement of service to Native Americans and encouragement of Native American leadership in the professions of speech-language pathology and audiology have been primary topics for the group. Other areas of interest have been supporting research efforts, serving as a resource for information, and promoting public awareness and understanding of the uniqueness of Native American culture. Contact
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National Black Association for Speech-Language and Hearing (NBASLH)
NBASLH was founded on the campus of Howard University in Washington, DC in 1978 by a small group of African-American speech-language pathologists and audiologists. Their purpose is to address the specific needs, concerns, and interests of African-American students studying in the professions, African-American professionals working in the professions, and African-American consumers with communication disorders and differences. NBASLH pursues research and study problems associated with the linguistic and learning styles of African Americans that are specific to their linguistic and cultural connection. The Association fosters mentoring relationships for undergraduate and graduate students in the discipline; provides information and resources for clients and parents; funds scholarships for students; and is an ASHA Approved CE Provider and offers professional development for members. Their peer-reviewed research journal, Journal of the National Black Association for Speech-Language and Hearing, is published twice yearly and RESOUND, their newsletter, comes out quarterly. The Association's annual convention begins the third Thursday in April. The national headquarters is located in Princeton Junction, New Jersey, and can be contacted at 609-799-4900 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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The Hispanic Caucus serves as a forum and voice for meeting the immediate needs of Hispanic professionals, students, and consumers. The group originated in March of 1992, when Luis F. Riquelme and Alexandra Heinsen-Combs sent letters to as many Hispanic and non-Hispanic clinicians they could identify, who were working with the Latino community nationwide. Initial response was enthusiastic, and by November 1992 the Hispanic caucus held its first membership forum at the San Antonio, Texas Convention. Diversity is at the forefront of the Hispanic caucus as they represent members of several ethnic groups originating from Puerto Rico, Dominican Republic, Cuba, Central and South America, and Mexico. They are a heterogeneous group with some similar traits, characteristics, and traditions. They are united by their culture and their common desire to meet the needs of the Hispanic population with communication disorders.
Asian Indian Caucus
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Asian Indian Caucus.
Asian Indian Caucus (AIC) was formed in 1994 at the Annual Convention of ASHA in New Orleans. AIC was established to address the professional, clinical, and educational needs of persons of Asian Indian origin residing in the United States in the area of communication sciences and disorders. Asian Indians, otherwise known as South Asians, refer to persons who trace their origin to the Indian subcontinent including Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka.
AIC's goals are:
- to motivate and provide opportunities for greater participation of Asian Indians in professional service to speech pathology and audiology
- to serve as a resource to meet the needs of clients of Asian Indian origin and/or professionals working with clients of Asian Indian origin
- to promote exchange of information and networking among members to enhance professional development and/or quality of service delivery to Asian Indian clients with communication disorders
- to compile information about evidence based practices relating to service delivery for Asian Indian clients
To target these objectives, AIC conducts an annual meeting at the ASHA Convention, publishes annual e-newsletter showcasing member contributions, and maintains an active
e-listserv to promote exchanges between students, clinicians and researchers interested in professional and service delivery issues related to individuals of Asian Indian origin.
Asian Pacific Islander Caucus
Asian Pacific Islander (API) Caucus is a group comprised of speech-language and hearing professionals who have an interest in promoting speech, language, and hearing health in Asian, Asian American, and Pacific Islander communities. Some of the challenges facing these communities are extreme shortages of personnel with the linguistic and the cultural knowledge to serve a diverse population, an urgent need for more assessment and intervention resources that are culturally and linguistically appropriate, a need for more research on issues affecting these communities, and a critical need for increased recruitment and retention of Asian/Pacific Islander students and professionals.
The goals of the API Caucus are (1) to increase the number of Asian/Pacific Islander, bilingual/multilingual, culturally and linguistically diverse speech-language pathologists and audiologists who have the competence to provide quality services; (2) to increase the cultural and linguistic appropriateness of education, medical, and health programs and support services for individuals with communication disabilities in API communities and their families; (3) to advance the awareness, sensitivity, and competence of API issues among speech and hearing professionals and other educational, clinical, and medical personnel; and (4) to continue research efforts in providing data relating to clinical management of API populations with communicative disabilities.
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L'GASP-GLBTQ Caucus includes lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer or questioning professionals and their friends and allies. Members met informally as "GASP" at the 1982 ASHA Convention in Toronto. At the Boston Convention in 1988 members decided to explore the idea of forming a professional organization. In 1991 the first formal meeting was held at the ASHA Convention in Atlanta and GASP was changed to L'GASP to reflect the inclusion of lesbian members. ASHA recognized L'GASP as an Allied Related Professional Organization (ARPO) in spring, 1992. L'GASP became L'GASP–GLBT Caucus in 2005 when members voted to retain the historically traditional acronym "L'GASP" but use the more recognized moniker "GLBT". In 2010, the letter "Q" was added to the official title to recognize new and potential members who identify as "queer" or "questioning".
The Caucus provides a forum for networking along with education and research on matters relevant to the professions and professional practice. The group's objectives are:
- To actively encourage and support all lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender audiologists, speech-language pathologists, students of the professions and/or related professionals in their endeavors to work and study professionally, openly, and without fear of discrimination.
- To increase sensitivity to and support of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender issues within audiology, speech-language pathology, and related professions, including work environments and relationships.
- To promote the professional role of audiologists, speech-language pathologists and related professionals in working with people with positive HIV status and patients with AIDS.
- To provide a professional, political, and/or social platform for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender issues within the professions and within training programs.
- To work with other organizations and agencies to achieve the above objectives.
The official business meeting is held each year at the ASHA Conventions, along with special programs and social events. Information and resources are provided on topics such as communication disorders and HIV/AIDS, LGBTQ who stutter, the transsexual voice and communication, graduate school experiences, diversity and sexual orientation, and the policies of accredited programs as they relate to sexual orientation.