May is Asian Pacific Islander Heritage Month May is a month of many celebrations. In addition to being Better Hearing and Speech Month, May is also nationally designated as Asian Pacific Islander (API) Heritage Month, which commemorates and recognizes the inherent diversity of API languages and cultures. It is a celebration of the achievements and contributions of ... ASHA News
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ASHA News  |   May 01, 2008
May is Asian Pacific Islander Heritage Month
Author Notes
  • Greta T Tan, is an SLP at Cupertino Union School District in Cupertino, California. She is a member of ASHA’s Multicultural Issues Board and a project coordinator of ASHA’s Asian Pacific Islander Caucus.
    Greta T Tan, is an SLP at Cupertino Union School District in Cupertino, California. She is a member of ASHA’s Multicultural Issues Board and a project coordinator of ASHA’s Asian Pacific Islander Caucus.×
Article Information
Cultural & Linguistic Diversity / ASHA News
ASHA News   |   May 01, 2008
May is Asian Pacific Islander Heritage Month
The ASHA Leader, May 2008, Vol. 13, 23. doi:10.1044/leader.AN2.13072008.23
The ASHA Leader, May 2008, Vol. 13, 23. doi:10.1044/leader.AN2.13072008.23
May is a month of many celebrations. In addition to being Better Hearing and Speech Month, May is also nationally designated as Asian Pacific Islander (API) Heritage Month, which commemorates and recognizes the inherent diversity of API languages and cultures. It is a celebration of the achievements and contributions of API communities in America.
ASHA promotes issues related to API communities through organizations such as the Office of Multicultural Affairs, Multicultural Issues Board, and Multicultural Constituency Groups. The API Caucus is one of the six ASHA Multicultural Constituency Groups and comprises speech, language, and hearing professionals and students who are from an API background or have shown an interest in the API communities.
The API Caucus began in 1985 as a small group of speech-language and hearing professionals who held their first meeting at the ASHA National Office. Lilly Li-Rong Cheng recognized this forum as the beginning of an organization that could foster culturally and linguistically appropriate services and education for the API population. Through this forum, API professionals made presentations and began an ongoing dialogue about the API populations at ASHA, and slowly and steadily gained a presence for the API community. These events eventually led to the formal establishment of the API Caucus.
Challenges
Challenges facing the caucus include a shortage of bilingual professionals prepared to serve the diverse Asian/Pacific populations, a lack of instruments to assess communication disorders, and a paucity of intervention materials.
In response, API Caucus members are working to:
  • Increase the number of API bilingual culturally/linguistically diverse speech-language pathologists and audiologists

  • Advance the awareness of, sensitivity of, and competence with API issues among speech and hearing professionals

  • Continue research efforts to provide data relating to clinical management of API populations

The API Caucus has also focused on outreach to ASHA and National Student Speech Language Hearing Association members by launching the API Caucus Web site in 2007, participating in the Multicultural Constituency Group booth at the ASHA Convention, and coordinating presentations on API topics relevant to communication sciences and disorders.
To celebrate this year’s API Heritage Month, the API Caucus will profile two distinguished professionals who are dedicated to advancing API issues within communication sciences and disorders. The profiles can be found on The ASHA Leader Online by searching on the title of this article. For more information on the API Caucus, visit their Web site.
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May 2008
Volume 13, Issue 7