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Assessing Education on Transgender Voice (Jakomin et al., 2020)

journal contribution
posted on 07.08.2020 by Jordan R. Jakomin, Aaron Ziegler, Cassie Rio, Rachel Suddarth
Purpose: Clear guidelines are needed for the inclusion of transgender voice and communication services in speech language pathology (SLP) graduate curriculum. Standardized training on how to support gender diverse individuals’ communication appears to be lacking in graduate curriculum. To better understand current trends in transgender voice and communication training in SLP graduate programs across the United States, this cross sequential e-survey study assessed experience with, attitudes towards, and student learning opportunities in transgender voice and communication services among voice instructors and clinic directors.
Method: An open online survey distributed in 2015 was completed by 24 voice instructors and 13 clinic directors. The same survey was completed by 15 voice instructors in 2018.
Results: Based on 2015 findings, a majority of voice instructors and clinic directors in SLP graduate programs reported that services for transgender voice and communication were not addressed in their graduate education curriculum. Findings from 2018 were similar to results in 2015. Almost all voice instructors included transgender voice and communication therapy in their graduate voice course. There is unanimous agreement that transgender voice and communication services should be part of SLPs’ scope of practice.
Conclusions: Findings from 2015 to 2018 suggested an improvement in instruction time spent on transgender voice and communication. Yet, some voice instructors continued to report that the topic was not covered in their coursework. A need exists to adjust guidelines on voice and communication services for gender diverse individuals and offer learning opportunities for this area in graduate SLP curriculum.

Jakomin, J. R., Ziegler, A., Rio, C., & Suddarth, R. (2020). Opportunities to learn transgender voice and communication therapy in graduate speech-language pathology education: Preliminary e-survey findings. Perspectives of the ASHA Special Interest Groups. Advance online publication. https://doi.org/10.1044/2020_PERSP-20-00047

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