Swallowing Training and Education Portal (STEP)
Dysphagia Treatment

Course Description:

The Swallowing Training and Education Portal (STEP) Dysphagia Treatment learning module will provide clinicians with a thorough understanding and overview of the different approaches to swallowing rehabilitation and management. This module will discuss rehabilitation related to traditional therapy techniques, strength training such as lingual strengthening and expiratory muscle strength training, as well as the use of electrical stimulation in dysphagia management.  Special attention is given to critical thinking in dysphagia management and applying research to clinical practice throughout the course discussions. 

Financial Support Disclosure: ASHFoundation provided funding to create components of this course.

Target Audience: Speech Language Pathologists

Course Objectives:

At the conclusion of this course, the learner will be able to: 

  • Discuss swallowing physiology and learn to apply it into treatment targets

  • Identify the principles of motor learning for dysphagia management

  • List and assess the research on strengthening exercises for dysphagia management 

Detailed Course Agenda

Swallowing Neuro Anatomy and Physiology Shorts – Animated Video Tutorials (7 minutes)

  • Muscle Basics 

Critical Thinking in Dysphagia Management Webinars (184 minutes)

  • Elucidating Inconsistencies in Dysphagia Management 

  • Principles of Motor Learning in Dysphagia Management

  • Skill v/s Strength: The Great Debate in Dysphagia Management

  • Electrical Stimulation Workshop 

Normal Swallow 101: Clinical Workshop Webinars (82 minutes)

  • Plotting the course of change in dysphagia therapy and how to avoid treating functional behavior 

Foundations Webinars (32 minutes)

  • Concepts in Dysphagia Therapy

  • All about Chin Tuck 

Dysphagia Grand Rounds Articles + Videos (572 minutes)

  • Effects of Surface Electrical Stimulation in Chronic Pharyngeal Dysphagia  

  • Aspiration and Swallowing in Parkinson’s Disease and Rehabilitation with Expiratory Muscle Strength Training 

  • Randomized Trial Comparing Two Tongue-Pressure Resistance Training Protocols for Post-Stroke Dysphagia 

  • Effects of Oral Intake of Water in Patients with Oropharyngeal Dysphagia 

Down the Hatch Podcasts (74 minutes)

  • Expiratory Muscle Strength Training in Dysphagia Management

  • Kinematic Visual Biofeedback to train Novel Swallowing Behaviors in Post-Stroke Patients with Dysphagia

  • Prevention is the Best Protection: Airway Defense in Swallowing 

  • Role of Financial Reward on Learning a Novel Swallowing Maneuver  

Research to Practice Videos (66 minutes)

  • Evidence-Based v/s Theory-Based Practice 

  • What the Deal with E-Stim? 

Dysphagia Café Blog Posts (PDF Articles) (52 minutes)

  • Challenge the Swallow – Testing the Limits of Dysphagia Management 

  • Expiratory Muscle Strength Training to Improve Deglutition and Cough Functions 

  • McNeil Dysphagia Therapy Program

  • VitalStim: Analysis of NMES Dysphagia Literature 

STEP Snippets: Mini-Tutorial Videos (11 minutes)

  • All About Epiglottic Inversion 

  • Epiglottic Inversion Strategies 

  • Chin Up: VFSS 

  • Tongue Base Retraction: VFSS 

Total Time = 1080 minutes 

ASHA CEUs: 1.8 

Completion  Requirements

  • The entirety of this module must be completed in order to earn ASHA CEUs

  • A multiple choice, true/false learning assessment (at least 80% accuracy)

  • Fill out course evaluation 

Registration Information 

This course is available as a learning module of STEP, a subscription-based education and training library for swallowing and swallowing disorders. 

STEP (Swallowing Training Education Portal) membership provides you with unlimited access to evidence-based courses and resources created by dysphagia experts; from normal to disordered swallowing across the lifespan. At $15/month, STEP provides you with the swallowing education and resources you need to succeed at any stage of your career; from basics to the most advanced. To register, please visit

  • Fees paid for online courses grant participants monthly access to courses available. 

  • Members can cancel their subscription anytime. Follow these steps to end your active subscriptions. Sign in to your account and select My Account (top right corner). Select the Billing tab. To end recurring payments, from My Account > Billing, hit Cancel to end your current subscription. 

  • Special Needs: Indicate any special assistance required when you register.

  • Complaints and/or feedback for improvement can be emailed to 

  • Beginning date of offering: July 1, 2020 

About the Instructors 

Ianessa Humbert, Ph.D.CCC-SLP is an accomplished scientist, professor, and highly sought-after speaker with expertise in swallowing and swallowing disorders. Dr. Humbert’s innovative training style has been funded by ASHFoundation and extends to non-traditional learning formats. She is the co-creator of the popular Down the Hatch podcast, has co-founded online learning tools including STEP (Swallowing Training and Education Portal) and has developed high-quality, no-cost learning tools available on her YouTube Channel. Dr. Humbert has demonstrated her gift for creating images that depict the dynamism of swallowing via her Swallowing Pocket Guide and Swallowing Neuro Anatomy and Physiology Shorts or SNAPS (on STEP). Dr. Humbert has been on faculty at the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, the University of Florida, and the University of Iowa. The content from Dr. Humbert’s courses are supported by scientific evidence from her laboratory and from the larger body of research literature.

Instructor Disclosures: 

Financial: Ianessa Humbert is a co-owner of Swallowology LLC and Elemint LLC. 

Non-Financial: Ianessa Humbert is the co-creator of Down the Hatch and Hope is in the Science.

Financial In-Kind Disclosure: ASHFoundation provided funding to create components of this course.

Rinki Varindani Desai M.S.,CCC-SLP, CBIS, CDP is an ASHA-certified medical speech-language pathologist, certified brain injury specialist and certified dementia practitioner; specializing in the assessment and treatment of cognitive-linguistic and swallowing disorders in adults. Rinki is the co-founder of the Swallowing Training and Education Portal, founder of the Medical SLP Forum and co-creator of the Dysphagia Therapy mobile app. She currently serves as Associate Coordinator of ASHA’s Swallowing and Swallowing Disorders Special Interest Group (SIG 13) and as Co-Chair of the Dysphagia Research Society's COVID-19 Task Force. She is also a part of ASHA’s Alternative Payment Models Committee, DRS’ 2021 Annual Conference Committee, the MSHA Healthcare Committee and on the Board of Directors for Burgundy and White, a non-profit for the head neck cancer community. Originally an SLP from Mumbai, India; Rinki has practiced for nearly a decade in acute, sub-acute and long-term care medical settings. She is currently the adult outpatient lead of the Voice and Swallowing Center and a clinical instructor in the Department of Otolaryngology – Head and Neck Surgery at the University of Mississippi Medical Center in Jackson, Mississippi. 

Instructor Disclosures: 

Financial: Rinki Varindani Desai receives a royalty for her contributions to the STEP website. Non-Financial: Rinki volunteers with the American Speech-Language Hearing Association (ASHA SIG 13) and Dysphagia Research Society. Rinki is the founder of the Medical SLP Forum and the co-creator of the Dysphagia Therapy mobile app.

This course is offered for 1.8 ASHA CEUs (Intermediate level, Professional area)