Witnessing the Global Growth of CSD Our professions are finding their footing in countries the world over. From the President
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From the President  |   December 01, 2018
Witnessing the Global Growth of CSD
Author Notes
  • Elise Davis-McFarland, PhD, CCC-SLP, is former vice president for student affairs at Trident College and developer of the interdisciplinary graduate communication sciences and disorders program at the Medical University of South Carolina. She is also past chair of ASHA’s Committee on Honors and past coordinator of ASHA Special Interest Group 14, Cultural and Linguistic Diversity, among other ASHA posts. elisedavismcfarland@gmail.com
    Elise Davis-McFarland, PhD, CCC-SLP, is former vice president for student affairs at Trident College and developer of the interdisciplinary graduate communication sciences and disorders program at the Medical University of South Carolina. She is also past chair of ASHA’s Committee on Honors and past coordinator of ASHA Special Interest Group 14, Cultural and Linguistic Diversity, among other ASHA posts. elisedavismcfarland@gmail.com×
Article Information
Professional Issues & Training / From the President
From the President   |   December 01, 2018
Witnessing the Global Growth of CSD
The ASHA Leader, December 2018, Vol. 23, 8-9. doi:10.1044/leader.FTP.23122018.8
The ASHA Leader, December 2018, Vol. 23, 8-9. doi:10.1044/leader.FTP.23122018.8
As I reflect on an incredible year as ASHA president, I am struck by the dedication of ASHA staff and its Board of Directors to the association and our members. Based on my travels on behalf of ASHA, I am also struck by how much our professions are developing globally. My attendance at association conventions in Canada, Europe, the Philippines and China opened my eyes to the perspectives of our international colleagues and their hard work helping the citizens of those countries develop their communication potential.
It has been an honor to represent our association and ASHA members in these forums. As I mentioned last month in my ASHA Convention speech, the forces of globalization are blurring our borders: Audiologists and speech-language pathologists increasingly provide services to immigrants in the U.S. and have the opportunity to provide services, teach and conduct research in other countries. To help support the development of the communication sciences and disorders (CSD) infrastructure in Latin America and the Caribbean, ASHA maintains an official working relationship with the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO). Here are some highlights of what I learned this year about CSD abroad—to give a sense of our professions’ international development.
Speech-Language & Audiology Canada (SAC)
Canadian audiologists and SLPs must be licensed in eight of the 10 Canadian provinces. SAC has more than 6,000 members and associates, with annual fees for full members of just over $300 (Canadian dollars; each professional regulatory college also establishes their own fee).
I was impressed with the country’s progress with incorporating immigrant and refugee children into society. Many Canadians are bilingual, and many Canadian SLPs work with immigrant children who are developing English or French as a second language. They view learning the languages of Canada as part of children’s identity formation and social development as Canadians. Through the country’s universal health care system, family physicians refer patients to publicly funded audiologists and SLPs. These services are paid for by the provincial governments, but accessibility can be limited.

Canadians view learning the languages of Canada as part of children’s identity formation and social development.

The Comité Permanent de Liaison des Orthophonistes/Logopedes l’Union Européenne (CPLOL) or the Standing Liaison Committee of EU Speech and Language Therapists and Logopedists
This group represents 65,000 SLPs across Europe. Each of the 30 CPLOL countries has its own speech-language pathology organization, and each organization has two representatives in CPLOL. More than 600 representatives attended this year’s CPLOL Congress. CPLOL was formed to help afford CSD professionals the opportunity to work in other European Economic Conference (EEC) member countries and, generally, to encourage collaboration and raise public awareness about the professions.
Across Europe, SLPs are not typically employed in schools—other than those for children with developmental disabilities. Most work in hospitals or private practice. The cost of private practitioners’ services puts speech treatment beyond the reach of some who need it. SLPs across Europe can practice with a bachelor’s degree, but there are master’s degree programs available in several countries.
The Philippine Association of Speech Pathologists (PASP)
ASHA partnered with PASP to plan its second national convention this year. I was invited to give a keynote speech, and ASHA members Li-Rong Lilly Cheng, Joan Arvedson, Travis Threats, Brooke Hollowell and Lemmietta McNeilly were also invited. The convention attracted more than 500 SLPs, most of them relatively recent graduates of the University of the Philippines, the University of Santo Tomas or De La Salle Health Sciences Institute.
The University of Santo Tomas is planning a master’s degree program. Graduates with bachelor’s degrees are often invited back to their alma maters to teach. CSD is a young profession in the Philippines, and SLPs there are grappling with the challenge of not having speech and language assessment measures in the Philippine languages.
Research presented at the convention by linguist Ricardo Nolasco pointed out the structural and semantic differences between English and Tagalog, which make translation of English tests to Tagalog impossible. In the Philippines, as in Europe, SLPs are employed in schools only for children with special needs—not in regular schools. Most are in private practice or community health centers. Filipino SLPs are making great strides to grow and strengthen the profession.

Audiologists and SLPs increasingly provide services to immigrants in the U.S. and have the opportunity to provide services, teach and conduct research in other countries.

Chinese Association of Rehabilitation Medicine (CARM)
Speech-language pathology is relatively new in China, having begun there about 30 years ago. The country has about 10,000 SLPs and even fewer audiologists; many more CSD professionals are needed to serve its population of 1.3 billion people. Chinese professional associations related to our professions include the Chinese International Speech and Hearing Association and CARM, which invited me to deliver an address at its fifth national congress this year.
While there, I learned that most SLPs in China work in hospitals, rehabilitation centers, schools for children with special needs, and private clinics. Although several universities offer a major in speech-language pathology, most SLPs do not have a degree in speech-language pathology. The profession of speech-language pathology is not regulated, and there is no national certification. SLPs in China are seeking to advance the profession and develop more programs to prepare future clinicians.
I should note that there are Philippine and Chinese audiology professional groups—such as the Philippine Society of Audiology and the Hong Kong Society of Audiology. Organizations that represent audiologists internationally include the International Society of Audiology (ISA), representing 17 countries, and the European Federation of Audiology Societies (EFAS), representing 34 countries. ISA held its biennial World Congress in Cape Town, South Africa, in October, and EFAS will hold its biennial Congress in Lisbon, Portugal, in May 2019.
I and other ASHA members are invited to international forums like these because ASHA is held in high esteem and looked to as a practice and research leader and model of professionalism. I have been grateful this year to serve as your representative both domestically and internationally—seeing up close and helping to advance the practice and progress of our professions across the globe.
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December 2018
Volume 23, Issue 12