An Update on ASHA’s Diversity Efforts

Earlier this year, ASHA recommitted to enhancing the diversity of its membership.

In 2019, ASHA began a process of conducting an internal assessment of the extent to which ASHA offers culturally appropriate services to the membership. In March, the ASHA Board President announced to the membership and partners the Association’s intention to adopt more inclusive practices to ensure that the membership and leadership represented the field of school health and those that we serve.  This includes racial/ethnic, gender, geographic, role/setting, and other characteristics.  This was followed by an online Town Hall that solicited input from members on concerns around diversity and suggestions for improvement.

Outcomes thus far:

  • Performed a self-assessment to identify areas of enhancement and put strategies into place
  • Held an online member forum to discuss how ASHA can be a more representative association
  • Sought out presenters, such as Dr. Bahby Banks and Dr. Nekeshia Hammond to share their perspectives on the value of diversity
  • Attending to the diversity of awardees, BOD nominees, etc.
  • Incorporating topics of diversity and inclusivity into the Board orientation
  • Planning for efforts to undertake in 2020.

As ASHA continues to engage in thoughtful and strategic actions that enhance the diversity of the membership and services that we offer, in 2020 ASHA plans for:

  • Additional focus on strategies and topics that are relevant to underserved populations (e.g., trauma-informed care, programming for tribal groups)
  • Solicit survey feedback from ASHA membership regarding their thoughts on potential barriers to membership or participation specific to culturally diverse or linguistically diverse groups, or other populations.
  • Explore options for low-cost solutions to assist visually or hearing-impaired members and learners.  In addition, establish relationships with translation service providers on which to call upon when needed.

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