Ask your Representative and Senators to cosponsor the Allied Health Workforce Diversity Act of 2021 (H.R. 3320/S. 1679), which would help to ensure the makeup of the health care workforce in the United States evolves to mirror that of the population. In 2019, the House passed legislation including a version of the Allied Health Workforce Diversity Act by a voice vote, but the Senate did not act on this version before the end of the last session. Congress should pass legislation that would create a workforce diversity program. Having a more diverse workforce helps close the gap on provider shortages and effectively addresses the health care needs of all Americans.
Professionals: Email your members of Congress today!
Students: Email your members of Congress today!
Download the Issue Brief [PDF] to learn more.
Supporting individuals from underrepresented backgrounds, including racial and ethnic minorities and those from disadvantaged backgrounds, with entering and completing educational programs will expand the growth of a diverse workforce in the professions of audiology and speech-language pathology.
- The current workforce is not reflective of the U.S. population.
- Overall, 8.5% of ASHA members, nonmember certificate holders, international affiliates, and associates are members of a racial minority (compared with 28% of the U.S. population, according to the 2010 Census). In addition, 6.1% identified their ethnicity as Hispanic or Latino, compared with 18.4% of the U.S. population.
- Of the individuals represented by ASHA, 8% have indicated that they have the described linguistic proficiency of a bilingual service provider.
- According to a U.S. Government Accountability Office study a more diverse health care workforce—including a more diverse group of providers in training—is important because:
- racial and ethnic minority groups disproportionately live in areas with provider shortages;
- patients who receive care from members of their own racial and ethnic background tend to have better outcomes; and
- members of racial and ethnic minority groups are more likely to practice in shortage areas.