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Cultural Humility With Transgender and Nonbinary People

presented by Leah B. Helou, PhD, CCC-SLP and Wendy Vastine, MA, CCC-SLP

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Disclosure Statement:

Financial: Leah Helou is an Assistant Professor at the University of Pittsburgh, for which she receives a salary. Leah Helou receives compensation from MedBridge for this course. There is no financial interest beyond the production of this course.
Wendy Vastine is the director of Passaggio, the gender affirmative voice program at San Francisco Voice and Swallowing, and the owner of Transformative Voice, a private practice that in part serves trans and nonbinary singers. Wendy Vastine receives compensation from MedBridge for this course. There is no financial interest beyond the production of this course.

Nonfinancial: Leah Helou receives honoraria for invited presentations, and a portion of registration fees for training events, on the topic of transgender voice and communication. Leah Helou has no competing nonfinancial interests or relationships with regard to the content presented in this course. Wendy Vastine receives honoraria for invited presentations, and a portion of registration fees for training events, on the topic of transgender voice and communication. Wendy Vastine has no competing nonfinancial 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 Assessment Time: 34 Minutes

Standard clinical practice often reinforces systems of oppression that fail to meet the needs of transgender and nonbinary individuals, particularly those who have identities that intersect with vectors of power (e.g., racism, ableism). This course will give guidance for establishing and maintaining a practice of cultural humility, starting first with understanding foundational terminology and then describing how transgender and nonbinary people are often harmed in traditional allied health settings despite the good intentions of all parties. The course then progresses to provide practical and effective strategies for personal and professional reflection and growth, and participants are encouraged to pause the course at various points to engage in their own reflection. This course is beneficial for all members of the allied health profession and has useful information for both educational and healthcare settings.

Meet Your Instructors

Leah B. Helou, PhD, CCC-SLP

Leah B. Helou, PhD, CCC-SLP, is an assistant professor of communication science and disorders at the University of Pittsburgh. As a researcher, Dr. Helou aims to ask questions and solve problems related to the neural and psychological pathways that underpin healthy and disordered voice and speech production. She maintains several distinct yet intertwined lines of…

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Wendy Vastine, MA, CCC-SLP

Wendy Vastine (they/them), CCC-SLP, is a voice-specialized speech-language pathologist at San Francisco Voice & Swallowing, where they direct Passaggio, the gender affirmative voice training program. They have been working with trans voices for about 15 years through their private practice, Transformative Voice, and they have been exploring the connection between voice and identity for over…

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Chapters & Learning Objectives

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1. Introductions and Terminology

This chapter will address basic terminology, including pronouns that might be used by transgender and/or nonbinary individuals. This information is foundational to delivering respectful and inclusive care.

2. Experiences of Oppression

This chapter will present statistics and experiences that reflect the oppression faced by transgender and/or nonbinary individuals (trigger warning for members of the trans and/or nonbinary communities). Current voices in intersectional transgender leadership will be amplified, and common microaggressions will be presented. This information is critical to understanding the common burdens and penalties that compound the oppression faced by the trans and/or nonbinary community.

3. Begin With Yourself: Becoming a Force for Positive Change

This chapter will provide tips for basic etiquette that should guide interactions with trans and/or nonbinary individuals. It will also guide MedBridge audience members to explore and reflect on their own individual gender identity, and biases related to issues of gender. Mx. Vastine and Dr. Helou discuss pronoun use and common microaggressions. This content is important for those who are committed to self-examination and personal growth that will help them break ongoing cycles of oppression.

4. Carrying Your Process Into Your Profession

This chapter describes the Culturally Humble Clinician, who builds a clinical environment that is affirming and safe. Many trans and/or nonbinary people have harmful experiences in healthcare and educational settings, and applying the information in this chapter is a critical first step in creating a space that community members want to return to and refer to. Since neurodivergence is disproportionately prevalent in the trans community compared to the cisgender community, specific tips for office accessibility is included. Also provided are suggestions for ongoing growth in allyship, ways to avoid negative gate-keeping, and a brief list of some current trans and/or nonbinary change-makers. This chapter ends with a panel discussion amongst transgender and/or nonbinary colleagues in speech-language pathology who are among those leading the cultural humility education in the medical field.

More Courses in this Series

Gender Affirmative Voice Training: Approach and Technique

Presented by Leah B. Helou, PhD, CCC-SLP and Wendy Vastine, MA, CCC-SLP

Gender Affirmative Voice Training: Approach and Technique

Subscribe now, and access clinical education and patient education—anytime, anywhere—with video instruction from recognized industry experts.
Video Runtime: 80 Minutes; Learning Assessment Time: 20 Minutes

Transgender and/or nonbinary people and their vocal needs are gaining increased visibility. At the same time, even voice-specialized SLPs often struggle to know how to work with people in a way that fully honors their gender identity. Participants will gain an introductory understanding of the main target areas that a transgender person may wish to address in their voice and some foundational approaches for targeting these areas. Guidance will be provided on how to avoid enforcing a clinician's own gender bias and other forms of microaggressions throughout the therapy and assessment process for truly patient-centered care.

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