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Now, more than ever, we need to take action to meet the needs of the students and patients we work with. Black Lives Matter only emphasised how little progress has been made in this area to date. The authors of this article address how speech and language therapists can do this when writing individual education plans for children. They flag that there are more than 400 different languages spoken within the United States; 14.3% of children enrolled in US public schools have an identified disability and have English as a second language. Of these, 21% are classified as having a speech-language impairment. Additionally, 86% of students served under the Individuals with Disability Educations Act are not white, yet the authors highlight that roughly 85% of all speech and language therapists in the United States are white females. The authors emphasise that it is incumbent on the speech and language therapist, as the professional, to collaborate in order to increase their knowledge and understanding of each student’s individual needs. They propose a framework for incorporating culturally and linguistically responsive (CLR) teaching pedagogy into their interventions and writing individual education plans. They define CLR as consideration and demonstration of respect for students’ cultural characteristics, experiences, and language. In discussing cultural diversity, they refer to ethnicity, identity, values and behaviours. The authors highlight that there is limited research or resources in this area and summarise that previous research has been focused on topics such as accommodations, parental involvement, and CLR therapy. The authors consequently make recommendations for how to embed CLR pedagogy into individual education plans, including how to write a statement, how to write goals, accommodations and modifications, assistive technology, transition and special factors and translations. We could benefit from considering a framework such as this here in the UK, where our children reflect a hugely diverse community.

Enhancing Culturally and Linguistically Responsive Features of Individualized Education Programs (IEPs) for Speech- Language Pathologists (SLPs).
Tran LM, Lober J, Patton JR.
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Anna Volkmer

UCL, London, UK.

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