ASHA Expresses Support For Pan American Health Organization’s Plan of Action on Disabilities and Rehabilitation

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In its first official act after being recognized as a non-governmental organization (NGO) by the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO), Regional Office for the Americas of the World Health Organization (WHO), the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA) submitted comments for the record about PAHO’s Plan of Action on Disabilities and Rehabilitation.

We look forward to our continued partnership with PAHO and other global health organizations to help address communication issues at the international level.

October 2, 2014 (PRWEB) October 02, 2014 -- In its first official act after being recognized as a non-governmental organization (NGO) by the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO), Regional Office for the Americas of the World Health Organization (WHO), the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA) submitted comments for the record about PAHO’s Plan of Action on Disabilities and Rehabilitation.

The occasion was the 53rd Directing Council of the Pan American Health Organization, 66th Session of the Regional Committee of the World Health Organization for the Americas which is being held this week in Washington, DC.

PAHO’s plan features a “multi-sectoral approach” that is inclusive of health ministers, academic institutions, non-governmental organizations, and other related entities or services. It allows key players in the international health community to join forces to tackle issues of disability and rehabilitation. As a result, ASHA is able to contribute its technical expertise in the field of communication health and create strategic partnerships with PAHO and local institutions in the countries to improve the speech, language, and hearing outcomes in the Americas.

ASHA CEO Arlene Pietranton, PhD, CAE, attended the PAHO Director Council meeting and submitted ASHA’s comments. They expressed ASHA’s appreciation for having the opportunity to comment and its strong interest in further collaboration.

“We look forward to continuing to work with PAHO’s Disability and Rehabilitation unit and improving the quality of life and health outcomes and, specifically, speech-language-hearing related health outcomes that are among the most basic and essential of human functions for people with disabilities in the Americas Region.”

PAHO conferred official NGO status on ASHA in June; the designation allows the Association to participate in PAHO meetings and contribute to discussions involving communication health. ASHA’s work with PAHO developing sustainable and culturally relevant educational programs for speech-language pathology and audiology in three Latin American countries—El Salvador, Guyana, and Honduras—helped qualify it for NGO status.

“We extend our sincere gratitude to PAHO for recognizing the strength of our commitment to improving communication health in other countries, now and in the future,” said ASHA President Elizabeth McCrea, PhD, CCC-SLP. “We look forward to our continued partnership with PAHO and other global health organizations to help address communication issues at the international level.”

About the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association
ASHA is the national professional, scientific, and credentialing association for more than 173,000 audiologists; speech-language pathologists; speech, language, and hearing scientists; audiology and speech-language pathology support personnel; and students. Audiologists specialize in preventing and assessing hearing and balance disorders as well as providing audiologic treatment, including hearing aids. Speech-language pathologists identify, assess, and treat speech and language problems, including swallowing disorders. http://www.asha.org/.

View all ASHA press releases at http://www.asha.org/about/news.

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