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Celebrating Black History Month as Speech Language Pathologists

February is Black History Month. Not only is it a month of furthering our knowledge about important people and events related to African American History, but also a month to uplift and support Black voices and businesses. As Speech Language Pathologists, we play an integral role in ensuring all of our client’s voices are empowered and celebrated. This includes personalizing our sessions to their identity and making an effort to learn about their ancestral history. It is our responsibility to do the work and research how our sessions should be tailored to account for race in order to provide best-practice individualized therapy.

The best way one can learn about the ‘Black Experience’ is by following and keeping up with our Black SLP colleagues via social media. Not only have many Black SLPs done the work of summarizing ways SLPs can tailor sessions to accommodate for Black clients, they also share their real experiences regarding the stigma they face as Black clinicians in a White-dominated Healthcare field.

unlearnwithme Instagram Black SLP screenshot

Resources on Instagram

@unlearnwithme.theslp

@theblackspeechie

@thelisteningslp

@jrc_theslp

@speechandhealth

@speechsleeprepeat

@speakingofsamantics

@thebuckeyeslp

@speak.fromtheheart

@theslpway

@slpsofcolors

@Beyondbabbles

@Missatheslp

@Metaylorspeech

@teachspeechservices

@Ianessahumbert

Resources on Tiktok

@slpcamille

@jrc_theslp

@singingslp

@speakingofsamantics

Podcasts:

1. Brain Friends Podcast

2. Being Black & SLP


Youtube:


Facebook group:


Another way to celebrate Black History Month is by ensuring the resources used in our sessions are diverse. We want our clients to interact with books and activities that showcase characters that look like them.

Books to use in speech therapy to consider Black History Month

Books:

  1. Please, Baby, Please by Tonya Lewis Lee

  2. Whose Toes are Those? by Jabari Asim

  3. Dream Big, Little One by Vashti Harrison

  4. Parker Looks Up: An Extraordinary Moment by Jessica Curry, Parker Curry

  5. The King of Kindergarten by Derrick Barnes

  6. Cool Cuts by Mechal Renee Roe

  7. Big Hair, Don't Care by Crystal Swain-Bates

  8. Layla's Happiness by Mariahadessa Ekere Tallie

  9. Please, puppy, please by Tonya Lewis Lee

  10. Liam's First Cut by Taye Jones

  11. Shady Baby by Gabrielle Union

  12. Noelle Finds Her Voice by Sabine Barlatt

  13. The Day You Begin by Jacqueline Woodson

  14. KINDergarten: Where Kindness Matters Every Day by Vera Ahiyya

  15. You Have a Voice by Vera Ahiyya


Blog posts:


speech therapy activities for Black History Month

Activities you can use during your sessions:

Moreover, as clinicians we have to ensure cultural competence during all stages of interactions with our clients. This starts during assessment and carried throughout treatment. This includes, accounting for African American English (AAE) Vernacular and understanding that speech and language variations based on race and/or culture are not disordered. We must ensure influence of culture and race during treatment.

Related Research Articles


Finally, we have to use our roles where it counts. We must support and stand up when we see racism and discrimination occurring in our field and our world. This means acknowledging that “Black Lives Matter” is not political and does have a place in the field of Speech Language Pathology. Remember, that not taking a stance during instances of discrimination is in fact siding with racism.

Speech Therapy should incorporate Black Lives Matter

It is important today and everyday we acknowledge our biases, privileges, and the way we move through the world. Although we can begin this learning during celebrated months, such as Black History Month, it is important that the work also occurs everyday of the year. It is our duty to celebrate all of our clients and ensure that everyone is receiving culturally competent care.


Andalusia Speech Therapy is committed to unlearning and creating safe spaces for our Black staff and clients/families.


This blog post was created with the combined efforts of our Speech Language Pathologists Batoul El Sayah and Raeesa Bhanji.

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