Get To Know the LGBTQ+ Communication Sciences and Disorders Student Association!

In celebration of LGBTQ+ Pride Month, get to know the LGBTQ+ CSDSA, its mission and goals, and what the future looks like. Also, hear from some of its officers to more deeply understand what being an LGBTQ+ student and/or a student clinician means—and the impact of the LGBTQ+ CSDSA on our students.

What Is the LGBTQ+ CSDSA?

The LGBTQ+ CSDSA is a student association for communication sciences and disorders (CSD) students who are members of the LGBTQ+ community.

Established in 2021, the LGBTQ+ CSDSA seeks to connect and support students—as well as advocate for their needs in the professions and in their educational settings. This is an organization by the LGBTQ+ community for the LGBTQ+ community.

The association’s mission is to support LGBTQ+ students by cultivating community, advocating for and advancing their interests, and providing support services for them. 

Who Is Eligible for Membership?

In order to join this association, you must be

  • a current undergraduate, graduate, or doctoral student;
  • a student who is taking a gap year prior to graduate education; or
  • a recent graduate entering their clinical fellowship year.

How Does This Association Support LGBTQ+ Students?

The association supports LGBTQ+ students in multiple ways:

  • coordinating a student mentorship program
  • hosting multiple social and academic events
  • disseminating and gathering data via the LGBTQ+ CSD National Climate Survey

Student Mentorship Program

One important way in which LGBTQ+ CSDSA supports students is through the student mentorship program.

Each semester, the student mentorship program pairs students and professionals who share similar research and career interests. In order to apply, potential mentees must

In January 2024, the mentorship program paired a record number of 31 student mentees with mentors in audiology and speech-language pathology. 

Social and Academic Events

Throughout the semester, the LGBTQ+ CSDSA supports its student community through multiple social and academic events. These events take place over Zoom. Past events include language exchanges, panels on topics such as graduate school and research, resume help, monthly themed social events, office hours, and even a research journal book club.

LGBTQ+ CSD National Climate Survey

An ongoing opportunity is the LGBTQ+ CSD National Climate Survey. Through the data gathered from this survey, the association aims to better understand the experiences of LGBTQ+ students within their university’s CSD undergraduate or graduate program(s) in the United States.

This survey is limited to adults (ages 18+) who

  • are part of the LGBTQ+ community and
  • are CSD students in the United States—either
    • currently enrolled in a CSD program or
    • having graduated from or participated within a CSD program during the last 5 years.

If you agree to participate in this study, you will complete an online survey. The survey includes questions about your gender and sexuality as well as your experiences in your undergraduate and/or graduate CSD programs. It should take you about 10–20 minutes to complete—depending on how much you share. You can skip any questions that you do not want to answer.

Officer Spotlight

Brent Barber

Anna French

We asked some of our student officers about their experiences within the LGBTQ+ CSDSA, its impact, and what being a student clinician (or future student clinician) within the LGBTQ+ community means to them:

What does being an LGBTQ+ professional mean to you?

“Being an LGBTQ+ professional means advocating for equality and inclusivity against adversity within our field.” – Brent Barber, LGBTQ+ CSDSA Officer

“Being within the LGBTQ+ community means facing microaggressions and very quickly deciding how to advocate for yourself and others within the community. It means standing up for yourself while having productive conversations and educating others who may not have the same resources and experiences that you do.” – Anna French, LGBTQ+ CSDSA Officer

How has the LGBTQ+ CSDSA impacted you?

“The LGBTQ+ CSDSA has impacted my life tremendously by giving me a sense of belonging. By joining the LGBTQ+ CSDSA, I was able to find individuals similar to me, as well as a support system within our field that I can always fall back on if needed. I have gained endless leadership skills, and I know that I made a positive impact on our field just by being a part of this organization. I have always been passionate about LGBTQ+ rights and being able to finally find an organization within our field that embodies what I stand for was amazing.” – Brent Barber, LGBTQ+ CSDSA Officer

“The LGBTQ+ CSDSA has influenced me by connecting me with a community of fellow students and professionals who share similar experiences to mine or are currently facing similar challenges.Top of FormBottom of Form Meeting some of the other LGBTQ+ CSDSA officers at the ASHA 2023 Convention was truly enlightening; their impact on my life has been profound. Similarly, the mentorship has really impacted me by providing me with someone who is always on my side and is always ready to help in whatever way they can” – Anna French, LGBTQ+ CSDSA Officer

How to Support the LGBTQ+ CSDSA

The LGBTQ+ CSDA is proud to run a variety of supportive programs—including national advocacy efforts, educational and social events, and a thriving mentorship program. You can learn more about our programs and how to support us on our website.

Officer positions are still open on the LGBTQ+ CSDSA! Any interested students should email the association at

Are you a student interested in learning more about the LGBTQ+ CSDSA? Are you a professional interested in entering our mentorship program? Please follow up with us on Instagram—or email us!

Leave A Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.