1. To actively encourage and support all lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender audiologists, speech-language pathologists, students of the professions and/or related professionals in their endeavors to work and study professionally, openly, and without fear of discrimination.
2. To increase sensitivity to and support of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender issues within audiology, speech-language pathology, and related professions, including work environments and relationships.
3. To promote the professional role of audiologists, speech-language pathologists and related professionals in working with people with positive HIV status and patients with AIDS.
4. To provide a professional, political, and/or social platform for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender issues within the professions and within training programs.
5. To work with other organizations and agencies to achieve the above objectives.
Lesbians, gay men, bisexuals, transgender individuals, and supporters are welcome and encouraged to become members of L'GASP. The organizational bylaws provide for anonymous and/or confidential membership in the organization upon request. Nominal dues are collected each year.
There are over 250 professional and student members of L'GASP who reside in almost every state and in Canada and Australia.
The beginnings of L'GASP are traced back to the 1982 ASHA Convention in Toronto when a small group got together and expressed their desire to meet other gays in speech-language pathology and audiology. It was during that discussion that the acronym, GASP, first emerged, standing for Gay Audiologists and Speech-Language Pathologists.
As the group continued to meet each year at ASHA conventions for dinner and socializing, the circle grew in numbers, due largely to word-of-mouth and pink posters that announced the gatherings. By the 1990 Seattle Convention, the group decided to organize and the first formal business meeting was held at the 1991 Convention in Atlanta. There, a resolution changed the name to L'GASP to more accurately reflect our membership of both men and women. L'GASP formally petitioned for recognition as an Allied and Related Professional Organization (ARPO) within ASHA and was granted this status in 1991.
The official business meeting is held each year at the ASHA Conventions, along with special programs and social events. L'GASP has participated in Pride festivals in many cities and at the National March on Washington in 1993. We have been written about many times in the ASHA Magazine (see Fall, 1996 issue!), the ASHA Leader, Advance for Speech-Language Pathologists and Audiologists, the Public School Caucus newsletter Practically Speaking, and in many other professional newsletters.
From the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA) Website
For link to asha.org, click here.
L'GASP-GLBT Caucus is a group of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender professionals that began meeting informally as "GASP" at the 1982 ASHA convention in Toronto. The desire was to meet other professionals in speech-language pathology and audiology, with similar sexual orientation, in order to discuss issues common to all. Meetings were announced by word-of-mouth and the informal nature of the gatherings continued until the ASHA convention in Seattle 1990, when the group decided it was time to organize. In 1991, at the ASHA convention in Atlanta, an organizational steering committee was formed and they changed their acronym to embrace the female members of the group—"GASP" to "L'GASP". In 2005, at ASHA San Diego, the provisional descriptor "GLBT Caucus" was appended to the original name, thus recognizing that the original name did not encompass members who are bisexual or transgendered.
L'GASP-GLBT Caucus provides a forum in which to meet other gay, lesbian, and bisexual professionals and discuss issues that concern our professional lives. Through meetings, newsletters, and networking, members voice the concerns and frustrations met in facing the professional oppression that homophobia engenders. Members also celebrate the strides our communities have made in combating homophobia, and we strategize about what more can be done.
L'GASP conducts special conferences during ASHA Convention and at other times throughout the year.