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Self Study: Working with LGBTQ+ Persons

  • 01 Dec 2024
  • 12:00 AM
  • 31 Dec 2024
  • 11:59 PM
  • Self-Study


  • $10 for MSHA Members
  • Includes MSHA membership. Membership registration code sent following the webinar.


Working with LGBTQ+ Persons

December 1-31, 2024

Members: $10

Non-Members: $60

Program materials will be distributed via email December 1, 2024

As LGBTQ+ civil rights and societal acceptance has expanded, continued dissemination of knowledge about the LGBTQ+ community remains critical to support colleagues, patients, and other stakeholders. This session will provide a basic introduction and resources for supporting LGBTQ+ identities.

Following events in early 2020, our professional organizations have pledged to grow efforts related to diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging. While we must continue to diversify the professionals we train and employ, we must also continue to learn how to support these diverse communities to ensure a supportive work environment. With the increased visibility and focus on diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging it remains increasingly important for our professions to continue to provide equitable healthcare and an inclusive culture to diverse individuals, including those identifying in the LGBTQ+ community.

With estimates of approximately 4.5% of the population, and rising, the LGBTQ+ community is a large and growing minoritized community (Gates, 2017). Despite increased representation, research has indicated that individuals and families identifying under the umbrella of LGBTQ+ are still underserved by healthcare providers, more likely to drop out of high school, and more likely to experience poorer health outcomes, when compared to their cisgender heterosexual counterparts (Palmer, et al. 2016). Additionally, with sources indicate that as many as 46 % of LGBTQ+ workers in the US are closeted (or kept secret) in the workplace (Fidas & Cooper, 2019), it is not unreasonable to expect, that we have colleagues who have felt uncomfortable expressing their authentic selves in the place where they spend majority of their work week.

This presentation aims to dismantle misinformation surrounding LGBTQ+ identities, provide resources to better serve patients and support our LGBTQ+ colleagues while initiating conversations that center diverse perspectives (and people). As members of the LGBTQ+ community, we have the lived experience of receiving and providing healthcare. As providers we take a patient-centered approach to healthcare; this means we must consider all lived experiences. This also holds true when we are trying to promote a collegial environment where diversity and equity is at the forefront. By understanding our unique differences, as well as our similarities, we are better able to collaborate and engage as professionals, which ultimately better serves our patients and their loved ones. Through this introduction, professionals will be empowered to create more inclusive environments for LGBTQ+ identifying individuals, foster better comradery in our communities, and increase diverse perspectives that ultimately advance our profession.

Henry Botzum, AuD, CCC-A
Sarah Blizzard, EdD

Learner Outcomes
The participants will be able to:
1. List two benefits and consequences of an LGBTQ+ individual coming out to a provider
2. Demonstrate at least three ways SLP/AuD providers can create an affirming and welcoming environment for LGBTQ+ individuals
3. Identify at least three factors to accessible care for LGBTQ+ individuals

Time-Ordered Agenda

5 minutes Introduction
10 minutes LGBTQ+ identities (LGBTQ 101)
30 minutes How to be an ally / LGBTQ+ healthcare specific considerations
15 minutes Questions & Discussion

About the Presenters


Dr. Sarah Blizzard (she/they) is a passionate educator who has spent her career promoting intercultural and interpersonal dialogue as a way to understand and create inclusive and diverse communities. With BA and MA degrees in Communication Studies from UNC-Greensboro and an EdD in Higher Education from University of Denver, Dr. Blizzard has a unique approach to organizational change that highlights the importance of shared language and understanding. Currently, Sarah is enjoying creating Berkshire Community College's first multicultural center as well as freelancing as a certified life coach and organizational consultant.

Henry Botzum (he/him), AuD, is a Regional Sales Manager for Widex USA. Dr. Botzum completed his Clinical Doctor of Audiology from the University of Memphis following a BA in Music Performance from Ohio University and MA in Music from the University of Northern Iowa. Prior to his work at Widex, Henry served as a clinical audiologist at Berkshire Medical Center in Western, MA. Henry is active in Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion advocacy, serving on the DEIB and Membership committees for AAA.

REMINDER: Please check both your personal and professional email address if you have not received a confirmation email prior to the event. In the past, some participants have forgotten which was used during registration and missed the program!

Disclosure Statements

Henry Botzum, AuD, CCC-A
Financial: Henry receives salary as an employee of Widex, USA.
Non-financial: Henry is a member of AAA (membership & DEI committees), ASHA, and MSHA (VP Clinical Practice).

Sarah Blizzard, EdD
Financial: Sarah receives a salary as an employee of Berkshire Community College.
Non-financial: No non-financial relationships exist.

ASHA CE Provider approval and use of the Brand Block does not imply endorsement of course content, specific products, or clinical procedures.

Interested in sponsoring this event? Please consider partnering with us for this worthwhile experience. If you have any questions, contact our office at 781-647-7031 or by email at

Vision Statement

The Massachusetts Speech-Language-Hearing Association will be recognized as an authority and resource in the fields of Audiology and Speech-Language Pathology by legislative bodies, related professional associations and consumers.

© Massachusetts Speech-Language Hearing Association

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