The purpose of this note is to update regulated members regarding ACSLPA’s response to the worldwide diversity, equity, and inclusion social justice movements.

Background

ACSLPA’s Anti Racism and Anti Discrimination Advisory Committee (ARADAC) was created in September 2020 in response to the June 2020 Black Lives Matter protests in Alberta and around the world; as a step towards taking action to address any systemic racism or discrimination in the College context. This committee is composed of 6 ACSLPA registrants, along with members of ACSLPA staff, and rotating members of the University of Alberta’s Communication Sciences and Disorders faculty.

Rationale/Urgency

Research has shown that culturally and linguistically diverse clients experience increased barriers to access to both speech-language pathology and audiology services; have significantly fewer opportunities for culturally and linguistically appropriate assessment, diagnosis, and intervention; and experience disparities in service delivery outcomes, as compared to clients who identify with the dominant culture in society.

Communication is a human right, and speech-language pathologists and audiologists are uniquely placed as service providers, since communication is at the core of our professions. It is  critical that any issues around service delivery inequities in both professions be explored, acknowledged, and addressed.

Current Situation

ARADAC is currently progressing with the following two priority objectives:

  1. A comprehensive review of ACSLPA’s Standards of Practice to identify any real or perceived instances of systemic discrimination or racism either caused by, perpetuated by, or left unaddressed by ACSLPA.
  2. The development of a membership diversity survey of audiologists and speech-language pathologists in Alberta. This voluntary survey is anticipated to be part of the 2022 registration renewal process. The results of this survey will be used to gather baseline information regarding the cultural and linguistic diversity of our members, as well as initial cultural and linguistic demographic data of the clients whom we serve.

Next Steps 

  1. ARADAC’s review of the Standards of Practice will be completed and its recommendations will be forwarded to the Council in Winter/Spring 2021.
  2. ARADAC has identified two major concepts related to service delivery to culturally and linguistically diverse clients that are currently not addressed in the Standards of Practice, these being cultural humility and cultural safety. ARADAC supports educating members on these concepts and will be providing information on these and other related topics on an ongoing basis.

Stay tuned for regular email and social media updates regarding the important work of this advisory committee. Feel free to contact deputyregistrar@acslpa.ca with any questions.