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Webinar: The International Dysphagia Diet Standardization Initiative (IDDSI): History, Framework and Steps Towards Implementation

March 28, 2018 @ 12:00 pm - 1:00 pm

The International Dysphagia Diet Standardization Initiative (IDDSI): History, Framework and Steps Towards Implementation


Join us for a one-hour webinar on Mar 28, 2018 at 12:00 PM EDT.

This webinar will be of interest for Speech-Language Pathologists, Registered Dietitians, Nursing, Physicians, Food Service Managers, and others involved in the management of dysphagia across the continuum of care including inpatient care, community care and Long-Term Care.

In this webinar, Professor Steele will discuss the history behind and rationale for development of the IDDSI framework. Testing methods will be illustrated, and implementation will be discussed.

Professor Catriona M. Steele, Ph.D., CCC-SLP, BCS-S, S-LP(C), Reg. CASLPO, ASHA Fellow.

Professor Catriona M. Steele is a speech-language pathologist and Director of the Swallowing Rehabilitation Research Laboratory at the Toronto Rehabilitation Institute – University Health Network (www.steeleswallowinglab.ca). She is a member of the Board of Directors for the International Dysphagia Diet Standardisation Initiative (www.iddsi.org).

Registration: https://register.gotowebinar.com/register/2099459567889401858

Canadian Support for IDDSI

Dietitians of Canada (DC) – “DC encourages all dietitians, their colleagues and staff, to become familiar with the IDDSI system and evaluate how best to integrate these standards within their spheres of influence.” (Dietitians of Canada supports IDDSI – January 2018)


Speech-Language and Audiology Canada (SAC) – “…SAC’s Board of Directors voted to support the International Dysphagia Diet Standardization Initiative’s (IDDSI) framework, roll-out and implementation in Canada. SAC is currently working with the Pan-Canadian Alliance to advocate at the federal and provincial or territorial level for the implementation of IDDSI across Canada.” (SAC in Action – Dysphagia Position Statement and Support for IDDSI)



Dysphagia (swallowing impairment) is broadly estimated to affect 8% of the general population. This is 580 million people worldwide. Persons with dysphagia might experience trouble with: swallowing food or drinks, chewing, sucking, controlling saliva, taking medication, or protecting the airway from choking. Dysphagia can occur at any time during the lifespan and may be short or long term. Dysphagia has a number of significant consequences including pneumonia, malnutrition or dehydration. Having a swallowing impairment greatly impacts an individual’s quality of life.


One of the most common ways of managing dysphagia is the provision of texture modified foods (chopped, minced, pureed) and thickened liquids (thin and various thicknesses). These modified foods and drinks are provided to help reduce the risk of choking or material entering the airway and are commonly referred to as a dysphagia diet. Due to the enormous variation in types of foods and drinks as well as their properties, it is challenging to categorize foods and drinks to ensure universal understanding of the types of foods and drinks that best meet the needs of an individual with dysphagia. Confusion and miscommunication regarding diet textures and drink consistencies represents a safety risk that contributes to increased risk of illness and even death.


In 2013, a multidisciplinary committee of volunteers from around the world came together to form the International Dysphagia Diet Standardisation Initiative (IDDSI). The goal of the IDDSI project was to develop international standardized terminology and descriptors for dysphagia diets that would meet the needs of individuals with dysphagia across the age span, across all care settings and across all cultures. The outcome of the committee’s work is the IDDSI Framework, published in November, 2016. The framework is supported by food and drink descriptors and simple, valid and reliable methods for testing foods and drinks to confirm their characteristics and level in the framework. The American Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (AND) and the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association have voted to formally support the implementation of IDDSI framework and definitions. This means that IDDSI terminology will replace the National Dysphagia Diet that has been used in the United States since 2002.


March 28, 2018
12:00 pm - 1:00 pm