The National Black Association for Speech-Language and Hearing uses the acronym NBASLH which is pronounced “in bahz la” or /nbazle/.

History of NBASLH

In December, 1977, an Ad Hoc Committee on association development was established. The committee was composed of a number of Black Speech-Language Pathologists and Audiologists from different parts of the country. The Committee's first formal meeting was held at Howard University in Washington D.C., on January 26, 1978. Their mission was to discuss:

  • the concept of a Black speech-language and hearing association 
  • recommendations for implementing that concept
  • recommendations for appointing the Board of Directors and Executive Staff

The Association was incorporated in Washington D.C., June 30, 1978. The committee wanted to
establish a viable mechanism through which the professional needs of the Black professionals, students, and the communicatively handicapped community could be met.

The first official meeting of the Board of Directors and Executive Staff of the National Black Association for Speech-Language and Hearing (NBASLH) was held April 14-15, 1978 at the University of the District of Columbia.

It is important to note that the concept of a National organization for Black speech-language pathologists and audiologists was a new one. For several years prior to the incorporation of NBASLH, a number of people had spoken favorably of the need to establish such an organization. Indeed, it was attuned to the movement of other Black professionals such as physicians, dentists, lawyers, psychologists, social workers, accountants, and educators who had established organizations that focused primarily upon interests and concerns of Black professionals and students-in-training.

* Please note the term Black originally used in 1979 continues to be used by this organization to refer primarily to the populations in America having African ancestry.