2021 Ethics in Action: Ethics Video Contest Winner Announced

The Ethics Education Committee is excited to share the results and exceptional submissions of the 2021 Ethics in Action NSSLHA Contest. Three NSSLHA chapters participated in the second annual ethics contest:

  • Eastern Illinois University
  • Governors State University
  • Northern Illinois University

We were thrilled to have even more students participate in this year’s contest as compared to the inaugural 2020 contest. Twenty-four students participated across the three NSSLHA ethics teams. Each team was tasked with creating a short video that demonstrated how the principles of equity and equality apply to the practice of audiology or speech-language pathology. The context may be broad, or specific to a school-based, private clinic, or healthcare setting. Submissions needed to highlight the relationship between equity, equality, and the ASHA Code of Ethics (ASHA, 2016).

The Ethics Education Committee collaborated with the Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion (DEI) Committee to support judging efforts. Each NSSLHA team submitted creative and thought-provoking examples of how ethics is essential and foundational across our professional and clinical landscapes.

Congratulations to Governors State University for submitting the winning ethics video!

Governors State University team: Jillian Curran, Victoria Dean, Marissa De Paoli, Amara Jones, Eunis Lukose, Jessica Molinar, Melody Richardson, Martha Ruiz, Violette Shearer, Kayla Warner

Governors State University included the following summary to complement their ethics video submission:
Our video highlighted the first Principle of Ethics I, rule C that states, “Individuals shall not discriminate in the delivery of professional services or in the conduct of research and scholarly activities on the basis of race, ethnicity, sex, gender identity/gender expression, sexual orientation, age, religion, national origin, disability, culture, language, or dialect” (ASHA, 2016). In scenario one, a speech-language pathologist diagnoses a child with a language disorder, based on an assessment that was given only in his second language—English. This is unethical because the assessment the child was given should have been administered in his first language (Spanish) as well; therefore his results were not representative of his true language skills. Further, the clinician’s attitude regarding retesting the child in Spanish, as well as her heavy emphasis on the child’s English skills could be considered discriminatory in nature.

In the second scenario, a clinician spoke poorly of a client to their colleague, based on his diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease. The clinician stated that she does not see value in providing services to patients with degenerative diseases, and also described how she often referred similar patients to other speech-language pathologists, so that she did not have to work with them. This is another ethical violation, as the clinician is acting in a discriminatory manner towards clients with degenerative diseases. Moreover, Principle I, rule C is incredibly important for clinicians to abide by, as each and every individual deserves the right to be treated equally and with respect.

According to the Milken Institute of Public Health, “Equity recognizes that each person has different circumstances and allocates the exact resources and opportunities needed to reach an equal outcome” (2020). As representatives of the profession, clinicians cannot refuse to provide appropriate services based on personal biases. Therefore, it is the responsibility of speech-language pathologists to move the field forward and improve both the equity and equality of patient care for all.

Thank you to the participating NSSLHA chapters, judges, and ISHA for supporting the 2021 Ethics in Action NSSLHA Contest. The Ethics Education Committee looks forward to preparing for the 2022 contest. We welcome and encourage all NSSLHA chapters to participate! Please watch the additional NSSLHA chapters’ video submissions.


Eastern Illinois University

Eastern Illinois University team: Molly Ahern, Jenna Bennet, Ciara Beyer, Natalie Coartney, Elizabeth Froemling, Aysha Hutson, Jayci Stewart


Northern Illinois University

Northern Illinois University team: Chyna Bennett, Liza Buhr, Samantha Coyle, Minha Iman, Tiffany Jacob, Bernadette Mique, Megan Nordstrom