ACSLPA recognizes the existence of systemic discrimination, unconscious bias, and racism which has been highlighted by a groundswell of action in Alberta, across Canada, and around the world. To be part of the solution, rather than committing to being non-racist which may imply neutrality, we must make a choice to be actively anti-discrimination and anti-racist. This is a time for us as individuals to look at our own actions and biases (conscious and unconscious), as well as a time for the College to reflect, learn and improve.
Under our mandate, ACSLPA serves and protects the public interest by regulating audiologists and speech-language pathologists in their practice. We do this, in part, through setting and enforcing admission and continuing competence standards for the professions, establishing standards of practice and a code of ethics, publishing guidance on professional practice, and investigating complaints of unprofessional conduct.
Diversity, inclusivity, tolerance, and equality must be embraced by all of us. These shared values are reflected in ACSLPA’s Code of Ethics and Standards of Practice and it is expected that ACSLPA’s regulated members, staff, and volunteers should live up to these ideals.
ACSLPA Project to Address Systemic Racism and Discrimination
ACSLPA is committed to taking action against systemic racism and discrimination, both within the college and as it relates to the practice of regulated audiologists and speech-language pathologists. To this end, the College has formed a taskforce to address
The Anti-Racism and Anti-Discrimination Advisory Committee (ARADAC) is made up of regulated members who have lived experiences as racialized persons dealing with racism and discrimination, and also those who have experience or training specific to addressing racism and discrimination, and also those who are passionate about their profession and about addressing systemic discrimination and racism within the professions of audiology and SLP.
The taskforce acts in an advisory capacity to the project by:
- conducting a series of targeted reviews of ACSLPA systems, policies, and requirements (including the Code of Ethics, Standards of Practice, guidelines, and advisory statements) to assess the current situation,
- outlining current issues and opportunities,
- evaluating which issues and opportunities merit fixing and which ones are actually fixable,
- assisting in formulating and prioritizing a set of possible solutions to the current issues and opportunities, and
- reviewing and providing feedback on work completed to address priority issues identified in 4, above.
Since beginning its work in September 2020, ARADAC has completed several key anti-racism initiatives. These include:
- A review of the ACSLPA Standards of Practice and Code of Ethics from an anti-racism and anti-discrimination lens. These key College documents have been updated to:
- Make the documents more inclusive to equity-seeking communities and individuals,
- Acknowledge cross-cultural differences in access to services and experiences when accessing services,
- Acknowledge cross-cultural differences in processes that impact service delivery (e.g., health seeking behaviors, communication norms),
- Acknowledge considerations required for speech-language pathologists and audiologists when working with clients whose cultural and linguistic background differ from their own,
- Acknowledge the wider social, economic, and political contexts of racialized groups in the context of service provision by ACSLPA regulated members, and
- Make the documents more in-line with current anti-racism service provision best practice approaches.
These documents have undergone vetting by ACSLPA membership and are currently undergoing an external stakeholder consultation through Alberta Health. ACSLPA has made the revised versions available for information at this time, pending final Council approvals, post-external stakeholder consultation. The revised documents can be found here:
Click here to view the revised version of the Standards of Practice.
Click here to view the revised version of the Code of Ethics.
2. A membership diversity survey, which examined the racial and linguistic diversity of the College’s membership. This ARADAC recommendation to collect race-based data on the College membership was consistent with the literature from provincial and federal public health agencies, which shows that the collection of race-based data is an integral step to addressing systemic racism and discrimination. The report on the results of the survey can be found here.
3. An anti-racism membership education initiative, which includes a webinar series and the development of anti-racist service provision guidelines. The first educational webinar and presentation, which explained key anti-racism concepts, can be found here.
Two additional webinars are planned for 2022.
The College’s Anti-Racism Service Provision guideline is currently under development and will be published in the Spring/Summer of 2022.
ACSLPA strives for fairness, objectivity, and respect for all people, but this does not preclude unintended and/or unconscious discrimination from finding its way into our systems. We will take action to listen, to learn, and to improve upon our systems, policies, and processes. If you have a constructive perspective to share on this process, please submit it to ACSLPA via the Contact Form.
Support for the Public
If you have been the victim of discrimination or racism committed by an ACSLPA member, please reach out to ACSLPA with confidence knowing that we are here to receive complaints and address unprofessional conduct by any of our members. You can learn more about our complaints process at https://www.acslpa.ca/concerns-complaints/concerns-complaints-overview/ or contact our Complaints Director via the Contact Form.
Support for Members
If you are an ACSLPA member and are the victim of discrimination or racism in your workplace, you have rights under Alberta OH&S and the Alberta Human Rights Commission.
If you have been the victim of discrimination or racism committed by another ACSLPA member, please reach out to ACSLPA with confidence knowing that we are here to receive complaints and address unprofessional conduct by any of our members. You can learn more about our complaints process at https://www.acslpa.ca/concerns-complaints/concerns-complaints-overview or contact our Complaints Director via the Contact Form.
If you are looking for ways to address your own unconscious bias, discrimination, or racism, there are resources you can turn to. Here are a few to start your journey:
- Centre for Race and Culture
A range of articles, factsheets, and other publications exploring issues of race and racism in the Alberta context.
- Calgary Anti-Racism Education
A wide-ranging resource provided by the Alberta Civil Liberties Research Center, which is a non-governmental, non-profit organization affiliated with the University of Calgary which undertakes research on contemporary civil liberties and human rights issues that are of concern to Albertans.
- Racism 101 – Definitions
A glossary of terms that are commonly used in equity discourse as well as in conversations surrounding race and discrimination.