What is STEP?

STEP is an all-in-one online learning solution for swallowing and swallowing disorders. STEP stands for the Swallowing Training and Education Portal, where our mission is to make evidence-based swallowing training and education affordable and accessible to all. STEP is a comprehensive swallowing library, offering unlimited access to 75+ hours of low-cost, high-quality, evidence-based courses and resources created by experts, on a wide variety of topics including normal swallowing anatomy and physiology, clinical and instrumental swallowing assessments, dysphagia treatment techniques, as well as professional issues in dysphagia management. Since 2018, STEP has supported hundreds of instructors, empowered thousands of students and clinicians to advance their knowledge and skills in dysphagia management, and helped them all ultimately improve the lives of countless individuals living with dysphagia around the world. Learn more about all that STEP has to offer

Who is STEP for?

STEP courses are ideal for anyone wanting to advance their understanding of swallowing and swallowing disorders. STEP is for students, educators, instructors, supervisors, clinical fellows, new graduates, seasoned clinicians and everyone else in between. Our goal is to help each of you improve your knowledge and skills in the area of swallowing disorders, irrespective of your level or setting, to ultimately help improve patient outcomes and lives. Come join our growing community and let us help you along your journey - one STEP at a time. 

Why was STEP created?

STEP was born out of frustration and has been meticulously molded by experience. In 2017, world-renowned swallowing scientist Dr. Ianessa Humbert and skilled medical speech-language pathologist Rinki Varindani Desai met and shared common experiences and frustrations about the lack of resources to support swallowing training and education needs among SLP students and clinicians. For decades, swallowing education was solely being provided in classrooms via textbooks in a limited amount of time. An increasing number of students and clinicians have reported feeling inadequately prepared to provide competent care to patients with swallowing impairments. The stakes are higher when our swallowing expertise directly dictates an individual’s ability to eat and drink and impacts their quality of life. This led to the creation of STEP – an affordable all-in-one evidence-based learning solution, filling the gap between knowledge and practice for all those involved in dysphagia management. Learn more ABOUT STEP.

How can I start learning on STEP?

STEP offers two ways to learn: 

1) MEMBERSHIP: You can subscribe to our self-paced MONTHLY MEMBERSHIP plans – offering unlimited access to our extensive swallowing course library, offering over 50 hours of coursework covering normal swallowing, assessment, treatment, and professional issues in dysphagia management. We offer three membership plans – STARTER, PLUS and CEU plans, to help meet diverse learning needs. Membership can be cancelled any time. As an introductory offer until January 31, 2022, your first month is on us! Use promo code firstmonthfree to get the first month off our all-new PLUS and CEU membership plans. Click here to learn more about our membership plans and to subscribe.  

2) MASTERCLASS: STEP also offers a more detailed, intensive, instructor-led Swallow Physiology Masterclass. Masterclass helps clinicians learn about swallow timing measures with the Videofluoroscopic Interpretation of Physiology (VIP) program. The training includes recorded lectures, hands-on practice, and a consultation with Dr. Ianessa Humbert. 

Can I earn ASHA CEUs on STEP?

Yes! We offer ASHA CEUs for all our MASTERCLASS training, as well as for coursework that is part of our membership-based swallowing library. Learners must be enrolled in our CEU MEMBERSHIP PLAN to earn up to 5.1 ASHA CEUs for STEP courses. Learn more about our MEMBERSHIP PLANS. ASHA CEUs are not offered to learners enrolled in our STARTER and PLUS membership plans. However, all your learning hours on STEP for any coursework that you watch can still be used towards certification maintenance and professional development. 

Once you have completed the Masterclass and/or CEU Plan coursework, we submit CEUs to ASHA on your behalf each month. Please ensure that your full name, address and ASHA ID is accurate in your Account details. There is nothing else you need to do from your end. Once each learning module is complete, a certificate will automatically populate in your STEP account. Please contact stepcommunityteam@gmail.com with questions. 

What are the different STEPS?

STEP offers a wide variety of swallowing-related educational courses organized into different STEPS (course types) such as: Swallowing Neuro Anatomy and Physiology Shorts (SNAPS), Foundations, Critical Thinking in Dysphagia Management (CTDM), Dysphagia Grand Rounds (DGR), Dysphagia Cafe (DC), Down the Hatch (DtH) and STEP Snippets (mini-tutorials). These are further organized by content into four learning modules namely: Normal Swallowing, Swallowing Assessment, Dysphagia Treatment, and Professional Issues. Visit the ABOUT page to learn more. Visit the MEMBERSHIP page to view the curriculum for our learning modules or to sign up for one of our STEP monthly membership plans. 

Is STEP evidence-based?

We wouldn't have created it any other way! Evidence-based practice is central to creating and curating all course content and resources for STEP. Our courses are created by swallowing researchers and practitioners with decades of experience and dysphagia expertise, ensuring the most up-to-date information and clinical practice recommendations for our learners.

What formats are STEP courses available in?

STEP offers courses under each learning module in MULTIPLE FORMATS including: audio, text-based and video courses. Once you sign up, STEP courses can be viewed across most computers, tablets and mobile devices with ease.

How can I join STEP?

You can join the STEP community by subscribing to with one of our three affordable monthly membership plans for anywhere between $15 - $25 / month, depending on the plan you choose. There are no annual membership commitments. If you don’t like what you see, you can CANCEL ANYTIME. Besides our monthly subscription, you can also learn more about our one-time purchase offering Swallow Physiology Masterclass

How much does STEP membership cost?

We offer three affordable monthly membership plans. Our STARTER membership costs $15/month,  our PLUS membership costs $20/month and our CEU membership plan costs $25/month. You only pay one month at a time and can cancel any time. There is no annual membership commitment. 

If you wish to purchase a STEP membership for a longer duration (such as a 6 month or annual subscription) or want to inquire about group subscriptions, please email stepcommunityteam@gmail.com for assistance. 

I teach a course in dysphagia. How can I incorporate STEP in my class?

We recognize how challenging it can be to cover all of swallowing and dysphagia in one or two semesters. Swallowing training and education needs to be detailed, dynamic, engaging, evidence-based, accessible, and learner-focused. It should include adequate exposure to normal swallow function, and include real-world visuals, research, clinical experience, and critical thinking. This is where STEP comes in as a resource! STEP is ideal for use as a teaching tool in your in-person or online dysphagia coursework. Instructors can have students sign up individually or contact us for group pricing options. All instructors who use STEP in their class will receive a FREE subscription for that entire duration.  If you are an instructor, supervisor, or clinical team lead wanting to learn more about STEP group licenses, please email us at stepcommunityteam@gmail.com.

How can I cancel my STEP monthly subscription?

Members can cancel their STEP subscription anytime. Follow these steps to end your active subscriptions. Sign in to your STEP account and select My Account (top right corner). Select the Billing tab. To end recurring payments, from My Account > Billing, click Cancel to end your current subscription. Email us at stepcommunityteam@gmail.com with any questions. 

Can I participate in STEP if I live outside the US?

Absolutely! STEP courses were created to be accessible to everyone, around the globe. Anyone can participate and learn on STEP, as long as you have internet access and a viewing device. We have also created STEP coursework in German and Portuguese, with the goal of gradually expanding the languages we offer STEP in. Learn more about our STEP Global program. 

Who created STEP?

STEP is the brainchild of swallowing researcher Dr. Ianessa Humbert and medical speech-language pathologist Rinki Varindani Desai, who saw a critical need to create a low-cost, high-quality, all-in-one learning platform for swallowing training and education, that was evidence-based and engaging, with the goal of bridging the research-practice gap in dysphagia training. Visit About STEP to learn more about our founders and our story. 

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