American Speech-Language-Hearing Association’s Failed Mission

We have documented over 100 years since the profession of speech-language pathology developed in American schools. The essential philosophy of its development has been making money for the service of delivering a product, a trained professional practitioner for employment.  A token mission statement has given significance to practical goals rather than philosophy of purpose and vision.  The energy of the Associated has been sapped by relentless action to control who can practice in the U. S.  Accreditation has been jealously guarded by a small coterie of insiders whose roots should be traced to the ASHA “founders” of the 1920s.  The result has been retardation of the evolution of mission ensuring a platform of vision, science and international association.  Members have come and gone without insight into just how myopic leaders have been while seeking high control over “governance” and profits.

Dr. John Muma adds a scientific perspective to the problem (ASHA Leader, June 5 2012). Whereas academic programs have settled on “communication disorders” to refer to the specialty, ASHA continues to cling to an “arcane” modalities approach. Language theory makes this approach obsolete. “Just as professionals are charged by the ASHA Code of Ethics to be up to date with developments in the field, the professional association (ASHA) should also reflect an up-to-date perspective.”

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