Focus on Professional Practice In the last year, The ASHA Leader has featured several letters from ASHA members who felt the need to air publicly their distaste regarding the increased visibility and acceptance of fellow speech-language pathologists who self-identify as part of the GLBT community. In the most recent letter written by Mary Estlack ... Inbox
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Inbox  |   March 01, 2010
Focus on Professional Practice
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  • Brian E. Petty, Madison, Wis.
    Brian E. Petty, Madison, Wis.×
Article Information
Professional Issues & Training / Inbox
Inbox   |   March 01, 2010
Focus on Professional Practice
The ASHA Leader, March 2010, Vol. 15, 2-38. doi:10.1044/leader.IN3.15032010.2
The ASHA Leader, March 2010, Vol. 15, 2-38. doi:10.1044/leader.IN3.15032010.2
In the last year, The ASHA Leader has featured several letters from ASHA members who felt the need to air publicly their distaste regarding the increased visibility and acceptance of fellow speech-language pathologists who self-identify as part of the GLBT community. In the most recent letter written by Mary Estlack (Jan. 19, 2010), she claimed that “science and integrity have become subordinate” to political correctness, and that the professionally and morally obligated treatment of GLBT patients is not commensurate with support of “their immoral lifestyles.”
Letters like these reveal nothing more than an individual opinion on a social matter, offer no meaningful insight into professional practice, and are inappropriate for a publication such as The Leader. Although ASHA does not provide financial support for multicultural constituency groups, ASHA policy regarding support for diversity is clear. And frankly, the only personwhose opinion matters is the patient. If a patient of Ms. Estlack who is gay or lesbian receiving treatment from reports an excellent therapeutic experience that involved treatment goals and tasks that were relevant to his or her life, then Ms. Estlack’s personal opinions about the patient are irrelevant.
Furthermore, young SLPs who are new to ASHA should know that the opinions expressed in these homophobic letters are not the norm in my experience. With few exceptions, I have always felt warmly welcomed and valued by my colleagues and by ASHA.
It is my hope that future letters published in The ASHA Leader will focus on legitimate professional practice issues.
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March 2010
Volume 15, Issue 3