Putting the Spotlight on Racial Disparity in Speech Therapy

Updated: Nov 25, 2020

Speech-Language Pathologists (SLPs) are all driven by one common goal: to help others communicate effectively. However, for as long as the profession has been around, there have been disparities between how children who are minorities – mainly Black or Hispanic – receive support compared to white children. Other minorities are likely also being negatively impacted, however, most studies to-date have focused on these two minority groups in the USA. It’s important for families, as well as SLPs, to recognize the barriers preventing minorities from getting the help they deserve so that we can find ways to make therapy accessible to everyone.

Minority Students’ Needs Not Being Identified

Despite the commonly held belief that minorities are over-represented in special education, Black and Hispanic children often go without the intervention they need; Morgan et al. (2017) conducted a study comparing groups of kindergarten students. They found that children