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I Don’t See Color: How Your Own Cultural Identity Shapes Your Clinical Practice

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Disclosure Statement:

Financial: Laura DeThorne and Megan-Brette Hamilton receive compensation from MedBridge for this course. There is no financial interest beyond the production of this course Non-Financial: : Laura DeThorne and Megan-Brette Hamilton have no competing non-financial interests or relationships with regard to the content presented in this course.

Satisfactory completion requirements: All disciplines must complete learning assessments to be awarded credit, no minimum score required unless otherwise specified within the course.

MedBridge is committed to accessibility for all of our subscribers. If you are in need of a disability-related accommodation, please contact [email protected]. We will process requests for reasonable accommodation and will provide reasonable accommodations where appropriate, in a prompt and efficient manner.

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Video Runtime: 81 Minutes; Learning Assessments: 20 Minutes

Do you see race and cultural identity when you look at your clients? Chances are you do, and we suggest that you should. Race and cultural identity have a substantial influence on communicative practices, and to ignore such key aspects of identity is to render us less effective, and potentially harmful, clinicians. The vast majority of speech-language pathologists are White middle-class females, and the majority of our clients are not. Consequently, we will provide you with a framework for reflecting on cultural identity—yours and others'. We will also highlight examples for how “seeing color” will help make you a more culturally-competent therapist.

Chapters & Learning Objectives

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1. Exploring Your Own Cultural Identity

This chapter will explore the concept of cultural identity from the perspective of individual experience. Consistent with many professional guidelines, cultural competence requires an understanding of the unique combination of cultural variables (e.g., age, gender, linguistic background, race/ethnicity) that the client and professional bring to their interactions.

2. Your Norm Isn't My Norm: Learning to See Color

This chapter is designed to encourage viewers to identify and appreciate cultural-linguistic differences in their clients. We provide specific examples of key learning experiences from our own practice.

3. Who Are You Calling Privileged?

This chapter introduces the concept of privilege, specifically White privilege, and highlights how school settings tend to privilege American White middle-class culture. We provide explicit examples in terms of background knowledge, learning style, language use, and discipline.

4. The Shift from Color-Blind to Color Competent

This chapter presents five general strategies for becoming a culturally competent SLP: talking explicitly about language variation, finding cultural brokers, building partnerships around shared values, working with children’s strengths/interests, and finding culturally relevant materials. We exemplify each strategy by applying it to two distinct cases from our clinical practices.

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