Cultural Competence

“Cultural competence involves understanding and appropriately responding to the unique combination of cultural variables—including ability, age, beliefs, ethnicity, experience, gender, gender identity, linguistic background, national origin, race, religion, sexual orientation and socioeconomic status—that the professional and client/patient/student bring to interactions.  Developing cultural competence is a dynamic and complex process requiring ongoing self-assessment and continuous expansion of one’s cultural knowledge. It evolves over time, beginning with an understanding of one’s own culture, continuing through interactions with individuals from various cultures, and extending through one’s own expansion of knowledge.”—ASHA Practice Portal on Cultural Competence

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Open Attitude
Know what is intended to be learned, but also try to move forward with a spirit of curiosity about those who are different from ourselves.  Be ready to receive new information with an open mind. Be prepared to explore diverse ideas and alternative viewpoints 

Self-Awareness
Understand personal background and culture, while being aware of our own assumptions, biases, and judgments.  Awareness of how we are perceived by others.  The ability to self-reflect while recognizing personal strengths and limitations.

Awareness of Others
Recognize that all individuals have their own background, worldview, beliefs, and values.  Understand that these influences may not always agree, but should be equally considered and accepted.

Cultural Knowledge
Gathering information about the values, beliefs, and norms of others.  Listening actively, while establishing relationships based on trust.  Communicating in ways that allow for inclusion of different groups, individuals, and cultures.  Recognize areas of conflict and working together to address them.

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