South Asian Stories: Firsthand Client Perspectives on Barriers to Accessing Speech-Language Pathology Services This article details the experience of two South Asian individuals with family members who had communication disorders. I provide information on intrinsic and extrinsic barriers reported by these clients in responses to a survey and during individual ethnographic interviews. These data are part of a larger study and provide empirical ... Article
Article  |   March 01, 2012
South Asian Stories: Firsthand Client Perspectives on Barriers to Accessing Speech-Language Pathology Services
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Nidhi Mahendra
    California State University East Bay, Hayward, CA
  • Nidhi Mahendra is an associate professor in the Department of Communicative Sciences and Disorders at California State University East Bay. She is a certified bilingual speech-language pathologist with expertise in adult neurogenic language disorders and diversity issues that affect service delivery in speech-language pathology. She is past Chair of ASHA's Multicultural Issues Board and the Diversity Issue Committee of the California Speech-Language-Hearing Association (CSHA).
    Nidhi Mahendra is an associate professor in the Department of Communicative Sciences and Disorders at California State University East Bay. She is a certified bilingual speech-language pathologist with expertise in adult neurogenic language disorders and diversity issues that affect service delivery in speech-language pathology. She is past Chair of ASHA's Multicultural Issues Board and the Diversity Issue Committee of the California Speech-Language-Hearing Association (CSHA).×
Article Information
Speech, Voice & Prosodic Disorders / Cultural & Linguistic Diversity / Articles
Article   |   March 01, 2012
South Asian Stories: Firsthand Client Perspectives on Barriers to Accessing Speech-Language Pathology Services
SIG 14 Perspectives on Communication Disorders and Sciences in Culturally and Linguistically Diverse (CLD) Populations, March 2012, Vol. 19, 29-36. doi:10.1044/cds19.1.29
SIG 14 Perspectives on Communication Disorders and Sciences in Culturally and Linguistically Diverse (CLD) Populations, March 2012, Vol. 19, 29-36. doi:10.1044/cds19.1.29

This article details the experience of two South Asian individuals with family members who had communication disorders. I provide information on intrinsic and extrinsic barriers reported by these clients in responses to a survey and during individual ethnographic interviews. These data are part of a larger study and provide empirical support of cultural and linguistic barriers that may impede timely access to and utilization of speech-language pathology (SLP) services.

The purpose of this article is to shed light on barriers and facilitators that influence South Asian clients' access to SLP services. I provide and briefly analyze two case vignettes to provide readers a phenomenological perspective on client experiences. Data about barriers limiting access to SLP services were obtained via client surveys and individual interviews. These two clients' data were extracted from a larger study (Mahendra, Scullion, Hamerschlag, Cooper, & La, 2011) in which 52 racially/ethnically diverse clients participated. Survey items and interview questions were designed to elicit information about client experiences when accessing SLP services. Results reveal specific intrinsic and extrinsic barriers that affected two South Asian clients' access to SLP services and have important implications for all providers.

Acknowledgments
Preparation of this article was supported by an American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA) Multicultural Grant and a grant from the California State University Chancellor's Office. The author acknowledges the invaluable contributions of Dr. Jan Avent at CSUEB and Dr. Stanley Wanat at Stanford University.
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