The University of Wisconsin–Madison Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders is committed to eliminating bias, discrimination, and systemic racism. We commit to this work in our department, on campus, and in our field to effect sustained change. We affirm our dedication to learn about racial inequities and to ensure that immediate and long-term change is embedded in every aspect of our profession—in our hiring practices, student and faculty recruitment and retention, teaching practices, and clinical training. We pledge to do our part to eliminate hatred, racism, bigotry and discrimination collectively and in community with our colleagues, nation- and world-wide. We pledge to ensure that all students, faculty, staff, visitors and clients feel welcome and valued and supported.
We believe that systemic racism must end. We acknowledge that systemic racism can and has already resulted in the unfair treatment of individuals, with outcomes that include trauma and suffering of racialized and minoritized people, including Black people, Indigenous people, and other people of color.
The mission of our department is to provide exemplary educational programs that prepare the next generation of scholars, clinicians, educators, and leaders in the fields of communication sciences and disorders; to conduct state-of-the-art basic, translational, and clinical research in the areas of speech, language, hearing, swallowing, and balance; to offer accessible, culturally competent, evidence-based clinical care for all people with disorders in communication, balance, and swallowing; to engage in outreach activities that directly benefit professional colleagues, students, and individuals and their families in the community; and to promote a welcoming and open environment where all can learn and engage.
We commit to educating and mentoring our students to become audiologists, speech-language pathologists, and researchers who serve and treat all people equally. We define diversity as the range of identities that impact and influence how people are perceived and treated and how they behave. These include but are not limited to ethnicity, race, age, gender, religion, color, physical and mental abilities, gender identity, sexual orientation, education, and values. A clear challenge in our field is the lack of diversity of our profession, where >90% of people are white and female. We further recognize that the mere presence of diversity does not mean that differences are being leveraged or seen as assets. We believe that an inclusive and engaged environment must be created to allow us to fully benefit from the strengths and talents of all staff, students and faculty. We commit to creating a climate where individuals feel a sense of belonging and being valued for who they are. We commit to an inclusive environment in which barriers to contribution and negative biases are eliminated, and people are respected and able to give their personal best. We commit to ensuring that our students, staff and faculty gain cultural competence, that is, knowledge and attitudes that result in behaviors that help individuals to interact and work effectively in cross-cultural settings and to reduce healthcare disparities.
Learn more about diversity, equity and inclusion initiatives at UW-Madison.
The CSD Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Fund focuses on supporting the Department’s mission of engaged citizenship. The Fund will provide resources to nurture, honor, and celebrate the contributions of a rich diversity of students, faculty, and staff who, through research, teaching, and service improve our collective humanity. Funds may be used to support efforts by the Department to enhance diversity and promote equity among faculty, staff, and students.
Our student-faculty DEI Committee works to shape departmental diversity initiatives and to increase transparency and accountability by documenting our efforts and plans. View the committee’s meeting minutes and updates.
- The Peer Mentoring task force develops and implements large group, small group, and one-on-one peer mentoring opportunities surrounding issues related to diversity, equity, and inclusion for students interested in or pursuing a degree/career in Communication Sciences and Disorders. We survey students to better understand their needs related to peer mentoring and utilize evaluations to measure the effectiveness of peer mentoring activities.
- The DEI Resource Database task force coordinates resources for open discussions, readings, and other materials for the CSD Department in order to support independent exploration of relevant diversity, equity, and inclusion topics.
- The Canvas Course (Racial Equity and Justice in Speech-Language Pathology) task force creates a didactic course to educate CSD students on issues related to diversity, equity and inclusion to create more culturally responsive clinicians and community members.
- The DEI Initiatives in Clinical Education task force focuses on diversity, equity, and inclusion in clinical education and clinical services within the UW Speech and Hearing Clinic and the Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders. The task force evaluates the need for DEI initiatives, implements initiatives, and then evaluates the effects of these initiatives on the clinical education experience.
- The ASHA Big 9 Resources task force creates and maintains a database of DEI resources as they relate to Big 9 topics (such as fluency, voice, swallowing, etc.) for clinical and academic faculty as well as others to use to improve services to clients in each Big 9 topic.
- The Students of Color Affinity Space offers a safe and supportive community for students. We will host monthly informal meetings to share experiences, resources, and mentorship. The task force aims to advocate for and educate underrepresented groups in the community about opportunities in our fields.
Diversity, Equity and Inclusion News and Events
Congratulations to Sanjana Kumar and Julia Zacher, CSD undergraduates, who have been awarded a Wisconsin Idea Fellowship for the 2021-22 academic year. This spring Sanjana and Julia (along with members of the undergraduate National Student …April 6, 2021
March 20, 2021 Dear CSD community, I was dismayed this week by the news of the recent violent attack in Atlanta that took the lives of women of Asian descent. This events and others in our …March 20, 2021
Dear CSD community, The death of George Floyd in Minneapolis, MN is a horrific display of racism in our country, only the latest part of a long history of racial oppression and ruthless display by …June 4, 2020
- More DEI posts
Resources Related to CSD
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NSSLHA’s Stop the Silence Resources
Activity ideas, blog posts, and resources from from the National Student Speech Language Hearing Association (NSSLHA): https://www.nsslha.org/about/stop-the-silence/resources/
ASHA Multicultural Affairs and Resources
Volunteer opportunities and cultural competence resources from the Office of Multicultural Affairs at the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association: https://www.asha.org/practice/multicultural/
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Diversity Inventory, a centralized online database of diversity initiatives: https://diversityinventory.wisc.edu/
Campus Multicultural Student Center
The primary mission of the multicultural student center is to collaboratively strengthen and sustain an inclusive campus where all students, particularly students of color and other historically underserved students, are engaged and can realize an authentic Wisconsin experience.
Native American Center for Health Professions
Among its missions, NACHP is focused on enhancing the recruitment of Native students to UW-Madison health professional schools and programs and improving the Native health professional student experience.
STEM Diversity Network
While several programs on campus offer support to students, faculty and staff from diverse backgrounds, the STEM Diversity Network is a place designed to help all interested in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) careers specifically. This network exists to aid the academic and social advancement of students (undergrad, grad, postdocs) in STEM by providing students with connections to other students, faculty, and resources available to help them succeed.
Multicultural Graduate Network
Sign up for the MGN email list by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
Housed within the Graduate School, the MGN is a social and networking group devoted to learning and professional development. This organization was originally created to serve the needs of graduate students of color and has recently grown to be an inclusive network for all graduate students on the UW-Madison campus.
SACNAS Student Chapter
SACNAS is a national society dedicated to advancing Hispanics/Chicanos and Native Americans in science and to promoting cultural diversity in the U.S. academic environment. All UW-Madison undergraduate and graduate students who are interested in STEM fields may join SACNAS.
Contact: Ahna Skop, faculty advisor, email@example.com
Women in Science and Engineering Leadership Institute
WISELI is an on-campus institute dedicated to promoting women scientists. The WISELI website hosts a useful collection of general and sexual-harassment-related information.
Graduate Women in Science
GWIS is a national organization that advances the participation and recognition of women in science and devoted to fostering research through grants, awards, and fellowships. The UW-Madison chapter provides a network for connecting female scientists across campus.
Learn about the GWIS graduate student representatives at http://www.gwisbeta.org/about-gwis/officers/.
LGBT Campus Center
This center offers several programs to support LGBT students on campus and provides training to help make classrooms and departments more inclusive. The LGBTCC staff members also organize a number of special interest groups, including one for graduate students.