The COVID-19 pandemic has affected audiologists and speech-language pathologists throughout the world. To provide a global perspective on the pandemic, ASHA’s Special Interest Group 17, Global Issues in Communication Sciences and Related Disorders, has published a new forum in Perspectives of the ASHA Special Interest Groups. This forum, Implications of COVID-19 on Global Speech, Language, and Hearing Services, explores a variety of topics related to the virus, its impact on practice, and future directions for clinicians and researchers.

Three articles in the forum focus on topics with global implications. First, Rule and Karia look at the need for global collaboration in order to meet universal changes to clinical practice during the COVID-19 pandemic. Next, ASHA Past President Elise Davis-McFarland reviews the codes of ethics in both Majority and Minority World countries’ speech-language therapy associations—while also focusing on cultural humility and the role that the personal attitudes and knowledge a clinician brings into global practice can play. Later in the forum, Blake discusses the delivery of intelligibility enhancementa crucial service that speech-language pathologists can provide for multilingual clients via telepractice after the introduction of COVID-19 restrictions.

The remaining five articles focus on the impact of COVID-19 on three countries on different continents: Australia, Kenya, and Peru. Salas-Provance et al. observed that in Peru, professional relationships were created and strengthened as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Two articles focused on the impact of COVID-19 in Africa, particularly in Kenya. Dolores E. Battle discusses the government of Kenya’s response to COVID-19 as well as how the United Disabled Persons of Kenya and the Association of Speech and Language Therapists Kenya have advocated for people with disabilities in Kenya. In a later article, Gibson and colleagues provide a closer look at the speech-language pathology practices of one nongovernmental organization (NGO) in Western Kenya.

Staley et al. look at how a shift to telepractice across Australia in response to COVID-19 can benefit residents of Australia’s sparsely populated Northern Territory. In the final article of the forum, McLeod and colleagues look at three different technological solutions for service provision in children with speech sound disorder, ultimately finding a magnitude-of-treatment effect that is comparable to in-person therapy.

We’d like to thank everyone who worked to put this forum together, particularly outgoing SIG 17 Editor Carolyn Higdon, for their work bringing these unique and timely articles to Perspectives. You can check out this forum, as well as more than 15 other articles about COVID-19 and its intersection with the communication sciences and disorders discipline, as part of our Special Collection on COVID-19.

You can read the entire forum here or explore the individual articles below. We hope that you enjoy this forum from Perspectives and SIG 17.

Explore the Forum

Battle, D. E. (2020). The impact of COVID-19 on health care, education, and persons with disabilities in Kenya. Perspectives of the ASHA Special Interest Groups, 5(6), 1793–1796.

Blake, H. L. (2020). Intelligibility enhancement via telepractice during COVID-19 restrictions. Perspectives of the ASHA Special Interest Groups, 5(6), 1797–1800.

Davis-McFarland, E. (2020). Ethics in international practice. Perspectives of the ASHA Special Interest Groups, 5(6), 1779–1784.

Gibson, R., Rochus, D., Musasizi, D., Omolo Alouch, F., & Staley, B. (2020). The impact of COVID-19 on speech-language pathology practices in western Kenya. Perspectives of the ASHA Special Interest Groups, 5(6), 1801–1804.

McLeod, S., Ballard, K. J., Ahmed, B., McGill, N., & Brown, M. I. (2020). Supporting children with speech sound disorders during COVID-19 restrictions: Technological solutions. Perspectives of the ASHA Special Interest Groups, 5(6), 1805–1808.

Rule, D. W., & Karia, M. K. (2020). Speech-language pathology and audiology care in the COVID-19 era: Shared experiences. Perspectives of the ASHA Special Interest Groups, 5(6), 1776–1778.

Salas-Provance, M. B., Escobedo Arriola, M., &  Torres Arrunátegui, P. M. (2020). Managing in a crisis: American and Peruvian professionals’ experiences during COVID-19. Perspectives of the ASHA Special Interest Groups, 5(6), 1785–1788.

Staley, B., O’Boyle, J., Armstrong, E., Coonan, E., Taylor, L., & Dutton, J. (2020). The impact of COVID-19 on professional practice in the Northern Territory, Australia. Perspectives of the ASHA Special Interest Groups, 5(6), 1789–1792.