Speech-language pathologists as determiners of the human right to diversity in communication for school children in the U.S.

Document Type


Publication Date



Special Education and Communication Sciences and Disorders

Publication Title

International Journal of Speech-Language Pathology


Article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights states that everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression–the right to communication. Communication is at the core of the speech-language pathology (SLP) profession. Yet, while we celebrate the 70th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights some of our most vulnerable youth are being placed in special education at disproportional rates. School-based SLPs in the United States may be unwittingly contributing to this phenomenon, obstructing the human right to communication because of biased assessment procedures. However, increasing cultural competence, diversifying the profession, and utilising additional assessment measures are actions that can be taken to promote equity in assessment for all children.

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