Inequity and the Professionalisation of Speech-Language Pathology


  • Kristen Abrahams University of Cape Town
  • Harsha Kathard University of Cape Town
  • Michal Harty Univeristy of Cape Town
  • Mershen Pillay University of KwaZulu-Natal



As a profession, speech-language pathology (SLP) continues to struggle with equitable service delivery to both people with communication challenges and disabilities. SLP clinical practice in its traditional form has an individual focus and therefore cannot adequately serve the large population in need, which, in South Africa is the majority population. Using the concept of social embeddedness of professions as a guiding frame, the article explores the history of the profession and the influence of the medical model and coloniality in shaping SLP profession’s knowledge and practices. As such, we argue that professionalisation in its current form perpetuates injustice. The article proposes innovation across clinical practice, education and research as leverage points for imagining new practices.


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How to Cite

Abrahams, K., Kathard, H., Harty, M., & Pillay, M. (2019). Inequity and the Professionalisation of Speech-Language Pathology. Professions and Professionalism, 9(3).

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