About STEP

STEP offers a subscription-based dysphagia education library. Think of it as Netflix for Swallowing.

Welcome to the STEP COMMUNITY, where our mission is to make evidence-based dysphagia education and training affordable and accessible to all. STEP provides you with unlimited access to 50+ hours of video, audio and text-based courses, created to support clinicians, students and instructors around the world. At a reasonable price of $15/month (with no annual commitment), and the option to earn ASHA CEUs, STEP provides you with the swallowing education resources you need to succeed at any stage, from basics to the most advanced.

What does STEP Membership include?

STEP membership provides with you with unlimited access to evidence-based swallowing education and courses created by dysphagia experts. Multiple course offerings in audio, video and text format are organized for you by topic under learning modules including: Normal Swallowing, Swallowing Assessment, Dysphagia Treatment and Professional Issues. Advance your knowledge and skills, using one or more of the STEPS below: 

Swallowing Neuro Anatomy and Physiology Shorts (SNAPS)

SNAPS, created by Dr. Ianessa Humbert, are short, visually appealing and easy-to-follow animated tutorials; teaching you all that you need to know about the basic neuro anatomy and physiology of the oropharyngeal swallowing structures. 


As the name suggests, these back-to-basics foundational videos created by Dr. Ianessa Humbert and SLP Rinki Varindani Desai, help clinicians build an essential knowledge base on pertinent topics in swallowing disorders across the lifespan. 

Critical Thinking in Dysphagia Management (CTDM)

CTDM courses are multimedia presentations that address the inadequacy of dysphagia training on normal and impaired swallowing among speech-language pathologists. Created by Dr. Ianessa Humbert, the goal of these courses is to empower clinicians with critical tools to effectively manage patients with dysphagia.

Dysphagia Grand Rounds (DGR)

Dysphagia Grand Rounds is a virtual dysphagia journal club for speech-language pathologists and dysphagia clinicians created by Dr. Ianessa Humbert and SLP Rinki Varindani Desai. It includes research article discussions via recorded webinars; to help clinicians learn how to critically appraise dysphagia research literature and better apply it to their clinical practice. The goal of DGR is to help clinicians bridge the research-practice gap.

Down The Hatch (DTH)

Down the Hatch is a swallowing podcast focusing on hot topics relevant to dysphagia clinicians around the world. With lively banter, Dr. Ianessa Humbert and Dr. Alicia Vose take on controversial topics in the field of dysphagia management; while inter-weaving various levels of evidence, anecdotes, clinical experience and the scientific literature.

Dysphagia Cafe (DC)

Dysphagia Cafe is a swallowing blog created by SLP Jonathan Waller with the goal of generating and sharing digestible original articles from global leaders in dysphagia research and practice.

Meet the Founders

Ianessa Humbert, Ph.D., CCC-SLP

Ianessa Humbert, Ph.D. is an accomplished scientist, professor, and  highly sought-after speaker with expertise in swallowing and swallowing disorders.  With over 100 speaking invitations around the world, the most common feedback from attendees continues to be “This is the first time a course has really forced me to think about what I’m doing”. Dr. Humbert’s teaching philosophy requires attendees to question everything they  think they know before learning can begin. 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 and has co-founded online learning tools including STEP (Swallowing Training and Education Portal), lovingly known as Swallowing Netflix, 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, from the larger body of research literature, and of course, common sense!

Rinki Varindani Desai, M.S., CCC-SLP

Rinki Varindani Desai is an ASHA-certified 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. In addition to being the co-founder of the Swallowing Training and Education Portal, Rinki is also the 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’ Annual Conference Committee and the MSHA Healthcare Committee. A recipient of seven ASHA ACE awards, Rinki was one among 30 clinicians in the US selected for ASHA’s Leadership Development Program in 2017 and for ASHA’s Faculty Development Institute in 2019. Originally an SLP from Mumbai, India; has practiced for nearly a decade in acute, sub-acute and long-term care medical settings. She is currently the adult outpatient lead and a clinical instructor in the Department of Otolaryngology and Communicative Sciences at the University of Mississippi Medical Center. Rinki has presented nationally and internationally on topics related to adult dysphagia. She enjoys reading, writing, teaching, traveling with her husband around the world, and doing what she can to help advance the profession by paying it forward. Reach out to her anytime on Facebook or Twitter to say hello.

Let's get started!

Take the first STEP towards clinical advancement in Swallowing and Swallowing Disorders