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AJSLP-20-00286unger_SuppS1.pdf (270.8 kB)

Social justice perceptions among U.S. SLPs (Unger et al., 2021)

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journal contribution
posted on 2021-09-13, 17:15 authored by Julia P. Unger, David A. DeBonis, Anthony R. Amitrano
Purpose: The purpose of this survey research is to provide preliminary data regarding speech-language pathologists’ (SLPs’) perceptions of the role that social justice (SJ) plays in their work. As our professional organizations call us to advocate and communicate with regulatory agencies and legislative bodies to promote quality care for all individuals, this topic has become particularly important at this time. At present, there is a lack of data in peer-reviewed publications within the discipline of communication disorders on SJ and even less regarding the perceptions of SLPs on SJ.
Method: The survey was sent to American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA)-certified SLPs, identified by the ASHA ProFind database, across six U.S. geographic regions, including both urban and rural communities. Four themes were explored through the survey: (a) importance of SJ, (b) awareness of SJ, (c) current practices related to SJ, and (d) barriers to SJ implementation.
Results: The majority of respondents view SJ as important to the profession (91.2%) and value the work of creating equality among groups (96.0%). Many SLPs are actively involved in implementing SJ principles in their own practice by accepting Medicaid (40.7%), engaging in political outreach (55.0%), and providing transdisciplinary educational outreach (77.9%). Identified barriers to incorporating SJ include time (62.7%), resources (65.6%), and finances (70.0%).
Conclusions: Working for SJ is important to a majority of the respondents, and various efforts are implemented to create equal opportunities for service to clients. Barriers continue to exist that limit the degree to which SLPs can work toward SJ. A list of actions to be considered in order to promote SJ in the field is provided.

Supplemental Material S1. Survey administered to study participants.

Unger, J. P., DeBonis, D. A., & Amitrano, A. R. (2021). A preliminary investigation of social justice perceptions among U.S. speech-language pathologists: Clinical implications. American Journal of Speech-Language Pathology. Advance online publication.

Publisher Note: This article is part of the Forum: Increasing Diversity in the Communication Sciences and Disorders Workforce, Part 1.