How to Be an Anti-ableist SLP

How to Be an Anti-ableist SLP

This episode discusses how to be an anti-ableist SLP. In the episode, I talk about the importance of recognizing ableism’s influence, and then actively pushing back against it by using inclusive language, being thoughtful about our goal choices, supporting accessibility for disabled SLPs, and addressing ableist microaggressions.

This podcast episode explores how to be an anti-ableist SLP by actively fighting back against the influence of ableism in the field of speech-language pathology.

In today’s episode, we’ll continue to discuss ideas from a tutorial called “Interrupting Ableism in Stuttering Therapy and Research: Practical Suggestions.” It was co-authored by Dr. Christopher Constantino, who is an SLP, a stutterer, an advocate, an author, and a professor and researcher at Florida State University. His work was also featured in our two most recent previous episodes, which were about new perspectives on stuttering.

Dr. Constantino (Gerlach-Houck & Constantino, 2021) defines ableism as “the assumption that people are better off as able-bodied, without physical, mental, communication, or sensory impairments. In an ableist society, any deviation from this able-bodied ideal constitutes a loss.”

He is clear that the field of speech-language pathology has been shaped by ableism, but he writes about this truth in a hopeful and inviting way that inspires positive action and personal growth, instead of defensiveness or shame.

This episode will dive into several specific strategies for how to be an anti-ableist SLP, including:

  • Recognizing the reality of ableism
  • Using inclusive language
  • Focusing on joy and ease for our students and clients
  • Supporting accessibility for disabled SLPs
  • Addressing ableist microaggressions

It’s a challenging and important conversation, and I’m so glad you’re here!

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