About STEP

All-in-one learning solution for swallowing disorders

Welcome to the Swallowing Training and Education Portal, where our mission is to make swallowing training and education affordable and accessible to allSTEP offers unlimited access to 75+ hours of low-cost, high-quality, engaging coursework created by experts - to support clinicians, students, and instructors around the world. Learn at your own pace, build your dysphagia knowledge base and advance your skills at any stage with STEP courses and resources, from basics to clinics.

Click here to view answers to Frequently Asked Questions

STEP Monthly Membership

What does it include?

STEP monthly membership offers unlimited access to 50 hours of low-cost, high-quality, evidence-based, engaging dysphagia coursework created by experts. Membership can be cancelled anytime. For $15/month, learners get access to ALL our courses organized into different STEPS or course types, under four learning modules: Normal Swallowing, Swallowing Assessment, Dysphagia Treatment and Professional Issues.

Learn more about our different STEPS below:

Swallowing Neuro Anatomy and Physiology Shorts (SNAPS)

SNAPS are short, visually appealing and easy-to-follow animated tutorials created by Dr. Ianessa Humbert. SNAPS teach you all you need to know about the normal neuro anatomy and physiology of the oropharyngeal structures, in a way you may have never learned before. Swallowing is dynamic - our learning of the different structures and functions that make it work should be too! 

Foundations

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 key dysphagia topics across the lifespan.

Critical Thinking in Dysphagia Management (CTDM)

CTDM courses address the inadequacy of dysphagia training on normal and impaired swallowing among speech-language pathologists. Initially created as live trainings, the goal of these recorded courses is to empower clinicians with critical tools to effectively manage patients with dysphagia.

Dysphagia Grand Rounds (DGR)

Dysphagia Grand Rounds courses are recordings of a virtual dysphagia journal club for speech-language pathologists (SLPs) and dysphagia clinicians created by researcher Ianessa Humbert and SLP Rinki Varindani Desai. DGR courses include research article discussions to help SLPs learn to critically appraise dysphagia research literature and apply it to their clinical practice. The aim is to help bridge the research-practice gap in swallowing and swallowing disorders.

Down The Hatch (DTH)

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

Dysphagia Cafe (DC)

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

STEP Additional Offerings

What else can you learn?

In addition to our STEP monthly subscription, we offer one-time purchase courses, to further enhance and advance your knowledge and skills in the area of swallowing and swallowing disorders. Learn more about our additional offerings below:

Masterclass 

The Swallow Physiology Masterclass series by Dr. Ianessa Humbert offers training in deriving swallow timing measures using real-life MBS studies, with her Videofluoroscopic Interpretation of Physiology (VIP) training program.

Masterclass Tier 1: Normal Swallow Physiology introduces learners to clinical data collection, focusing on data that can be derived from clinical swallow evaluations and modified barium swallow studies. It includes 2.5 hours of recorded lectures focused on normal swallow physiology, which helps learners better understand the swallow timing measures in the VIP training. 

Masterclass Tier 1: Normal Swallow Practice Portal includes 16 hours of hands-on training deriving swallow timing measures on a series of normal MBS studies and a consultation with Dr. Humbert. 

Masterclass Tier 2: Abnormal Swallow training will be releasing soon.

 

Swallowing Symposium

With most in-person conferences  cancelled due to the COVID-19 global pandemic in 2020, we conducted a high-quality, low-cost live virtual swallowing conference called the STEP Swallowing Symposium from December 11 - 13, 2020, to help meet students' and clinicians' dysphagia education and training needs. This STEP course is a recorded version of our popular inaugral live symposium. It includes recordings of 11 thought-provoking sessions by dysphagia experts. We curated these to help you learn not just the basics; but to foster debate, promote critical thinking, and elevate discussions surrounding common issues in adult dysphagia management, across the continuum of care.

STEP Global

Over the years, one of the complaints we have heard from our colleagues in countries where English is the not the predominant language of training and communication, is the lack of access to high-quality swallowing education in their language. In keeping with our mission of making swallowing training and education accessible to all, we partnered with experts in Germany and Brazil to create STEP German and STEP Portuguese courses. We aim to continue to provide STEP courses in several other languages, to support students, clinicians, and instructors around the globe, as part of our STEP Global program.


Meet the Founders


Ianessa Humbert, Ph.D., CCC-SLP

Dr. Ianessa Humbert 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 STEP. She has also co-founded interVESTED to promote diversity, equity, and inclusion in the field of speech-language pathology and beyond. Dr. Humbert has demonstrated her gift for creating images that depict the dynamism of swallowing via her Swallowing Pocket Guide and 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! Learn more at www.ianessahumbert.com.


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 since over a decade. In addition to being the co-founder of STEP, Rinki is also the founder of the Medical SLP Forum and co-creator of the Dysphagia Therapy mobile app. She is Associate Coordinator of ASHA’s SIG 13 and Co-Chair of the Dysphagia Research Society's COVID-19 Task Force. She is an invited member of ASHA’s Alternative Payment Models Committee, DRS 2021 and ASHA 2021 Program Planning Committees and MSHA Membership and Healthcare Committees. Rinki was one among thirty clinicians in the US selected for ASHA’s Leadership Development Program and Faculty Development Institute. Originally an SLP from Mumbai, India, Rinki is currently the adult outpatient lead and a clinical instructor in the Department of Otolaryngology - Head and Neck Surgery at the University of Mississippi Medical Center. 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 Rinki to Facebook, Twitter or Instagram.

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Swallowing and Swallowing Disorders