Swallowing Training and Education Portal (STEP)
Professional Issues 

Course Description:

The Swallowing Training and Education Portal (STEP) Professional Issues learning module will discuss issues related to ethics and advocacy in swallowing and swallowing disorders management. Several dysphagia clinicians report that they do not have the resources that they need to provide the best care for individuals with swallowing impairments. Unfortunately, many resources that swallowing clinicians need are beyond their reach, but within the control of other medical professionals and administrators of medical facilities. Using analogies and terminology that all can understand, this course discusses the barriers that impact best patient care in dysphagia management. It also informs learners about the importance of documentation, interprofessional collaboration and education, as well as patient advocacy in order to maximize patient outcomes and quality of life.  
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: 

  • List 3 major barriers to best practices in dysphagia management

  • Describe the negative outcomes when SLP discharge summaries are omitted

  • Explain why poor documentation of dysphagia can lead to poor patient care

Detailed Course Agenda 

Critical Thinking in Dysphagia Management Webinars (101 minutes)

  • Advocacy in Dysphagia Management 

  • Swallowing Training and Education Tools for Students and Dysphagia Clinicians 

Dysphagia Grand Rounds Articles and Webinars (118 minutes)

  • Research Methods 101

  • Omissions of Dysphagia Therapies in Hospital Discharge Communications 

Down the Hatch Podcasts (98 minutes)

  • Advocacy in Dysphagia Management Podcast 

  • The Documentation Dilemma

Dysphagia Cafe Blog Posts (PDF Articles) (20 minutes)

  • Dysphagia Interprofessional Education: Preparing SLP students for Success  

STEP Snippets: Mini-Tutorial Videos (23 minutes)

  • Dysphagia Awareness 

  • Strategic Planning in Dysphagia Management 

Total Time = 360 minutes 


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 0.6 ASHA CEUs (Intermediate level, Professional area)