About Special Interest Group 5, Craniofacial and Velopharyngeal Disorders


SIG 5 facilitates the highest level of knowledge and professional practice in the provision of care to individuals with craniofacial anomalies/cleft palate and velopharyngeal disorders.

Mission Statement

To be the voice within ASHA that promotes, interprets, and disseminates information relevant to the interdisciplinary study, research, and practice of congenital or acquired craniofacial and velopharyngeal disorders and to serve as a conduit for the exchange of information and ideas among SIG affiliates.


  • To create and maintain greater visibility and a higher profile for the area of craniofacial and velopharyngeal disorders within ASHA and allied fields.
  • To serve as liaison with other professional organizations interested in cleft palate and other craniofacial and velopharyngeal disorders, including the American Cleft Palate-Craniofacial Association (ACPA).
  • To serve as the "go to" resource within ASHA for cleft/craniofacial professional education and for guidance in collaborative care with the cleft lip and palate/craniofacial team.
  • To ensure that speech services for individuals with cleft palate, other disorders of the craniofacial complex, and velopharyngeal dysfunction are provided by qualified individuals, and to continuously update clinicians and consumers regarding new developments in craniofacial anomalies/cleft palate and velopharyngeal disorders.
  • To broaden ASHA sponsored professional education opportunities, including aligning with the Speech/Resonance Disorders topic area for the annual ASHA Convention and providing ongoing web chats and presentations at the Schools Conference and other professionally related venues and activities.
  • To disseminate timely information concerning research, clinical activities, meetings, and educational opportunities related to craniofacial and velopharyngeal disorders through the SIG 5 Online Community and Perspectives.

Study Issues

  • Craniofacial anomalies/cleft palate and related structural disorders
  • Normal speech anatomy and physiology
  • Velopharyngeal dysfunction (VPD) in cleft and noncleft disorders
  • Early speech and language development
  • Early feeding disorders
  • Compensatory articulations and other cleft-related errors
  • Cleft/VPD related resonance disorders
  • Dentofacial, orofacial, and occlusal disorders
  • Speech therapy techniques
  • Speech outcomes and quality of life
  • Bilingual populations
  • Speech and velopharyngeal consequences of acquired disorders due to facial trauma, oral/pharyngeal cancers, and neurologic origin
  • Instrumental evaluation of velopharyngeal anatomy and function

Professional Issues

  • Interdisciplinary team care
  • Practice standards/clinical guidelines for evaluation, diagnosis, treatment of the broad spectrum of structural and functional disorders of the craniofacial complex
  • Instrumentation and technology; computer applications
  • Identification of high priority clinical and research needs
  • Preparation of clinicians and researchers
  • Effective dissemination of information
  • Provision of resources

Affiliate Benefits and SIG Programs

Perspectives of the ASHA Special Interest Groups

Perspectives of the ASHA Special Interest Groups is the online peer-reviewed scholarly review journal of the SIGs. SIG 5 offers new self-study CE activities through Perspectives each year. 

Continuing Education

Earn ASHA continuing education units (CEUs) through 

  • Self-study of Perspectives and pay the lowest processing fee to take the learning assessments 
  • SIG sponsored Master Classes and one-hour sessions at the annual ASHA Convention. 


SIG 5 Affiliates have access to exclusive discounts forums/groups, which provide the opportunity to interact with other SIG Affiliates who share interest in craniofacial and velopharyngeal disorders. Use ASHA's Member Directory to search for individuals by SIG affiliation. In addition, SIG 5 Affiliates can meet in person and online at an ASHA and SIG 5 sponsored events; typically each SIG hosts an Affiliates meeting at Convention and sponsors a virtual open house.    

Representation Within ASHA

  • The SIG 5 Coordinator represents the Craniofacial and Velopharyngeal Disorders Special Interest Group within the ASHA Board of Special Interest Group Coordinators.
  • The Coordinating Committee responds to ASHA requests for input regarding policy, guidelines, committees, and other issues.
  • Affiliates have the opportunity to provide input to the SIG leadership and ASHA.

Additional Resources

American Cleft Palate Craniofacial Association (ACPA)

Coordinating Committee Members

  • 2021–2024 Coordinator: Angela J. Frazer, Riley Hospital for Children at Indiana University Health
  • 2021–2024 Associate Coordinator: Graham C. Schenck, Gillette Children's Specialty Healthcare; University of Wisconsin–River Falls
  • 2024–2026 Editor: Kazlin Mason, University of Virginia
  • 2024–2026 Professional Development Manager: Sarah L Ruth, Iowa ENT Center
  • 2024–2026 Member-at-Large: Kelly N. Cordero, Barrow Cleft and Craniofacial Center
  • 2024–2026 Member-at-Large: John Munday, UW Health, University of Wisconsin-Madison
  • Ex Officio: Ann-Mari Pierotti, Associate Director, Clinical Issues in Speech-Language Pathology, ASHA

Additional SIG Volunteers

2024–2026 Continuing Education (CE) Content Manager: Lauren N. Beckett, Seattle Children's Hospital

Editorial Board

View the Editorial Board Roster for Perspectives of the ASHA Special Interest Groups.

Professional Development Committee

  • Sarah L. Ruth, Professional Development Manager
  • Lauren N. Beckett, CE Content Manager
  • Anne P. Bedwinek
  • Lori Cochran
  • Sarah M. Muer
  • Shannon M. Theis
  • Hope Zanaboni
  • George Kostas, Student Member
  • Kazlin Mason, Editor
  • Ann-Mari Pierotti, Ex Officio

Liaisons to the ASHA Board of Directors

  • Janice R. Trent, 2022–2024 Vice President for Audiology Practice
  • Ryan M. Lee James, 2024–2026 Vice President for Speech-Language Pathology Practice

ASHA Corporate Partners