NYMC Faculty Publications

A Viewpoint on Accent Services: Framing and Terminology Matter

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American Journal of Speech-Language Pathology

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Speech-Language Pathology


PURPOSE: The purpose of this article is to offer a contemporary viewpoint on accent services and contend that an equity-minded reframing of accent services in speech-language pathology is long overdue. Such reframing should address directly the use of nonpejorative terminology and the need for nurturing global linguistic diversity and practitioner diversity in speech-language pathology. The authors offer their perspective on affirmative and least-biased accent services, an in-depth scoping review of the literature on accent modification, and discuss using terms that communicate unconditional respect for speaker identity and an understanding of the impact of accent services on accented speakers. CONCLUSIONS: Given ongoing discussions about the urgent need to diversify the profession of speech-language pathology, critical attention is needed toward existing biases toward accented speakers and how such biases manifest in the way that accent services are provided as well as in how clinicians conceptualize their role in working with accented speakers. The authors conclude with discussing alternate terms and offer recommendations for accent services provided by speech-language pathologists.