Attending the American Speech- Language-Hearing Association (ASHA) Convention was a meaningful and extremely worthwhile experience as an aspiring Speech-Language Pathologist (SLP). An estimated 20,000 people of all different professions united with two interests alike, speech and hearing. Dr. Gregory and I presented our poster “Cultural Humility: Examining Microaggressions to Improve Clinical Encounters” on the first day of the three-day convention. Our poster was displayed amongst hundreds of researchers work on various topics including telepractice, cognitive disorders, health literacy, language in infants, and others focusing on different aspects within our career path. During our presentation time, professions from different regions of the world shared their perspective on microaggressions in the workplace and everyday life.
We were apart of relevant and sincere conversations that taught us new things regarding personal bias’ while being able to provide research that benefits all individuals within a community. A key take away from our presentation was the amount of people who identified with “self- evaluation” posing a huge barrier to achieving cultural humility. Self- evaluation is the ability to reevaluate and alter personal biases with the willingness to explore and appreciate a culture for what it is. Many people we spoke with addressed microaggressions as a “sensitive topic,” which placed even more emphasis on the importance of talking about how they impact our clients.
As we take all considerations and critiques away from our experience at ASHA, the next step is to implement our poster and checklist into local university clinics. Additionally, we would like this checklist to be feasible for practicing clinicians and professors to introduce in their coursework. As we try to spread awareness on the impact of microaggressive attitudes on a national level, it is equally important to ensure that we enforce the same beliefs here in our community. While continuing to focus on cultural humility, the survey and qualitative interviews on cultural competence and humility are underway as we work toward building questions that will give us reliable and significant results. The aim of this study is to identify undergraduate and graduate student experiences with microaggressions during clinical experiences.