ASHA’s Strategic Pathway and You: Focus on Objective 7 Did you know ASHA has a roadmap for achieving the association’s vision and mission? The association’s “Strategic Pathway to Excellence” identifies eight strategic objectives to do just that through the year 2025, when ASHA will be 100 years old. The Envisioned Future document describes this centennial vision. Members are integral ... ASHA News
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ASHA News  |   May 01, 2016
ASHA’s Strategic Pathway and You: Focus on Objective 7
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Professional Issues & Training / ASHA News & Member Stories / ASHA News
ASHA News   |   May 01, 2016
ASHA’s Strategic Pathway and You: Focus on Objective 7
The ASHA Leader, May 2016, Vol. 21, 58-59. doi:10.1044/leader.AN1.21052016.58
The ASHA Leader, May 2016, Vol. 21, 58-59. doi:10.1044/leader.AN1.21052016.58
Did you know ASHA has a roadmap for achieving the association’s vision and mission? The association’s “Strategic Pathway to Excellence” identifies eight strategic objectives to do just that through the year 2025, when ASHA will be 100 years old. The Envisioned Future document describes this centennial vision.
Members are integral to working toward the strategic objectives and realizing the Envisioned Future: 2025 outcomes. Each month, the Leader examines one of the objectives and how a member is addressing it.
Strategic Objective 7: Enhance International Engagement
Lily Waterston, ASHA director of international programs and staff “owner” of the effort, describes the objective:
“This objective aims to increase ASHA’s engagement internationally with service providers, educators, scientists and other groups to grow research and improve professional preparation and service delivery. ASHA believes that expanding participation of colleagues outside the U.S. will help us develop new insights into the varied and unique challenges that professionals in speech, language and hearing face around the world. Therefore, ASHA is increasing partnerships and developing systems to enhance the global interchange of professional knowledge, research and education, promoting the professions worldwide, and serving as a resource for establishing sustainable models for professional preparation and service delivery in other countries.”
Highlights of these initiatives include the ASHA International Affiliates Program, through which ASHA is increasing outreach to international colleagues through lowered fees and greater access to ASHA and its benefits. Another initiative is the International Communication Project, through which ASHA (as a founding member) is contributing to the understanding of communication disorders worldwide.
ASHA has also forged successful partnerships with the World Health Organization (WHO) and the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO), WHO’s regional office for the Americas. In 2013, ASHA and PAHO launched a collaboration through which ASHA volunteer members provide technical assistance—developing university programs, for example, and training service delivery personnel—in three of PAHO’s priority countries: Honduras, El Salvador and Guyana. This year, the collaboration adds three new countries: Cuba, Ecuador and Paraguay.
In addition to international dissemination of resources and tools and mobilization of ASHA members to volunteer abroad, expansion of ASHA’s participation in international conferences is another initial area of focus. Expanding the dissemination of research by researchers outside the United States and other initiatives related to ASHA’s journals and publications are being studied for appropriate implementation in the near future.
Gloria Weddington is among those contributing to the achievement of Strategic Objective 7.
Gloria Weddington, chair, ASHA Ad Hoc Committee on Technical Assistance to Guyana under the ASHA-PAHO Collaboration; professor emerita, Department of Communicative Disorders and Sciences, San Jose State University
Sustainability must be the ultimate goal of any project that offers technical assistance to a community that needs to expand services for people with disabilities. We could send audiologists and speech-language pathologists to Guyana to assist the one audiologist and one SLP in the country with caseload and professional development, but the real solution to sustainability is for the partner countries to educate their own professionals.
Accomplishing this goal requires locally educated professionals with the cultural competence and linguistic knowledge to deliver appropriate services to people in the country who have disabilities/communication disorders. The ASHA-PAHO collaboration in Guyana started when ad hoc committee members received a request for technical assistance from representatives of the Guyana Ministry of Health (MoH) and the University of Guyana (UG).
This request led the ASHA ad hoc committee to develop a proposal for an undergraduate program in audiology and speech-language pathology. In a couple of months, the university approved the program and students were admitted in September 2015. UG recruited a Peace Corps Response volunteer to manage the program and teach classes.
Six students are participating in an accelerated program, in which courses taught by volunteer instructors are offered for three weeks to accommodate second- and third-year students. A call for volunteers to teach and provide therapy in Guyana was posted in the ASHA Community on Special Interest Group sites. We were inundated by offers to teach courses, but received few offers from clinicians to work with MoH. We will post another request for volunteers for short-term appointments with MoH on the Community site of SIG 17, Global Issues in Communication Sciences and Disorders.
Additional positive outcomes have resulted from the ASHA-PAHO-Guyana collaboration:
  • Howard University was recommended for a possible partnership with UG for continued assistance beyond the ad hoc committee involvement, which is scheduled to end in January 2017. Howard and UG are considering a possible exchange program during the summer.

  • Super Duper and Academic Therapy have donated clinical materials.

  • Members of the ad hoc committee are planning to visit Guyana in the second quarter of 2016 to carry out a comprehensive agenda of technical assistance.

ASHA volunteers continue to make this project a success. Members of the Guyana ad hoc committee extend our sincere gratitude to all the volunteers who have already shared their expertise and those who will participate in the future.
2 Comments
September 30, 2016
Liliana Stagakes
Interested in participating in helping to develop services in Cuba
Hello, I am a bilingual (Spanish-English) with multicultural background and 16 years of SLP of experience in a variety of settings. I am interested in helping develop services in Cuba. who do I contact? Thank you.
September 30, 2016
Carol Polovoy
Contact
Lily Waterston, ASHA's director of international programs, may be able to help you. lwaterston@asha.org
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May 2016
Volume 21, Issue 5