Audiology Connections - 2022 - 17

DIVERSITY EQUITY INCLUSION (DEI)
Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion: We're All " It "
Tag is a popular children's game that
involves having one player chase other
players with the goal of " tagging "
someone-thus, making that player " It. "
There are different ways of determining
who will serve as the first " It " to get the
game started. The rules of the game
may vary, but all agree that the goal of
the game is to avoid being " It. "
Efforts related to diversity, equity, and
inclusion (DEI) may seem like a game
of tag. Some people feel as though
they-and only they-are " It. " They take
on or are given the full responsibility
for DEI efforts including, for example,
recruiting staff members who represent
diverse backgrounds, developing
retention programs, mentoring all
the students who look like them,
providing the different perspective on
the admissions team during the review
of student applications, serving as
the spokesperson for diversity, being
presented as the diversity symbol,
advocating for the review and revision
of policies, aligning cultural differences
with practices and procedures,
securing reasonable accommodations,
leading the Diversity Team . . . and the
list goes on. Conversely, some people
feverishly avoid being tagged while
explaining why they are not or should
not be " It. "
When it comes to DEI, who should
be " It " ? The short answer is: Everyone.
With an emphasis on DEI, the ASHA
Board of Directors made the following
changes to ASHA's Envisioned Future:
2025 and ASHA's Strategic Plan:
Strategic Pathway to Excellence.
Strategic Objective 6: Increase
Diversity/Equity/Inclusion within
the Association and the discipline.
This objective has been expanded,
and its outcome is that " ASHA has
implemented equitable practices, and
CSD is a more diverse and inclusive
discipline. " This includes initiatives
meant to (a) identify and address
systems and practices limiting access
to the professions and (b) prepare
professionals to appropriately serve
diverse clients/patients/students.
Additionally, initiatives will be
implemented to create an inclusive
culture within the Association and the
discipline and to foster civil, respectful,
anti-racist, and nondiscriminatory
practices in professional interactions.
Strategic Objective 8: Increase
members' cultural competence.
The outcome of this objective is that
" ASHA members competently address
cultural/linguistic influences on
service delivery outcomes. " Initiatives
include (a) developing faculty to
teach cultural and linguistic content
in coursework and clinical education,
(b) increasing accountability for
meeting the Council on Academic
Accreditation in Audiology and
Speech-Language Pathology (CAA)
Standards for Accreditation related to
cultural and linguistic diversity (CLD),
(c) defining language proficiency for
clinical practice, (d) enhancing service
delivery to multilingual populations,
(e) infusing CLD content throughout the
ASHA Practice Portal, and (f) engaging
clinicians in improving knowledge and
skills.
In addition, ASHA's other
seven Strategic Objectives have
identified initiatives related to DEI,
as appropriate. This includes the
newest objective, Strategic Objective
9: Transform learning across the
discipline, which has the following
outcome: " ASHA has created and
advanced a learning ecosystem
that supports members' ability to
proactively navigate change and
thrive professionally through life-long
learning. "
There are many areas of need and
multiple opportunities related to DEI
across our discipline that do not rest
with any one person or entity. We all
have roles and responsibilities in this
effort. It may seem odd, unfamiliar,
and/or uncomfortable to change how
things are done. But like the familiar
tag game, we should collectively
recognize, agree upon, and make the
needed changes. Ideally, the goal,
rather than being " Not It, " is striving to
become a contributing, effective " It. "
Karen L. Beverly-Ducker, MA,
CCC-A, CAE, Senior Director,
Multicultural Practices, ASHA
https://www.asha.org/about/ashas-envisioned-future/ https://www.asha.org/about/strategic-pathway/ https://www.asha.org/about/ashas-envisioned-future/ https://www.asha.org/about/strategic-pathway/

Audiology Connections - 2022

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