New Jersey Speech-Language-Hearing Association Website: www.njsha.org Facebook: www.facebook.com/NewJerseySHA Established: Sept. 14, 1955 Members: 1,324 Contact: Linda Tucker-Simpson, president, president@njsha.org or 888-906-5742 How are you making a difference in your members’ professional lives? NJSHA strives to serve our members by advocating for legislation and regulatory changes that can positively impact their service delivery. In addition, ... State Spotlight
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State Spotlight  |   June 01, 2014
New Jersey Speech-Language-Hearing Association
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ASHA News & Member Stories / State Spotlight
State Spotlight   |   June 01, 2014
New Jersey Speech-Language-Hearing Association
The ASHA Leader, June 2014, Vol. 19, 68. doi:10.1044/leader.STSP.19062014.68
The ASHA Leader, June 2014, Vol. 19, 68. doi:10.1044/leader.STSP.19062014.68
Website: www.njsha.org
Established: Sept. 14, 1955
Members: 1,324
Contact: Linda Tucker-Simpson, president, president@njsha.org or 888-906-5742
How are you making a difference in your members’ professional lives?
NJSHA strives to serve our members by advocating for legislation and regulatory changes that can positively impact their service delivery. In addition, we recently began offering affordable and convenient webinars throughout the year to complement our traditional face-to-face continuing education opportunities.
What is a memorable event in your association’s history and how did it come about?
The association, with the help of our legislative agent, has a long history of working with the New Jersey legislature to develop and pass laws that benefit SLPs and audiologists. In 2008, NJSHA worked with the family of Grace Gleba to convince the legislature to pass “Grace’s Law,” which requires insurance companies to provide coverage toward the purchase of hearing aids for children younger than 16.
What is the most significant challenge, unique circumstance or pressing frustration facing communication sciences and disorders professionals in your state today?
Our school-based members have concerns about new statewide legislation related to the evaluation of school personnel and measurement of student progress. NJSHA is working to ensure that the final legislation is fair and equitable for our communication professionals and for their students with communication disorders. NJSHA also assists our members who work in private practices and in health care settings as they navigate changes related to Medicaid and Medicare as well as private health insurance coding, billing and reimbursement.
What is your association’s proudest accomplishment?
NJSHA is recognized in the state as a resource for communication disorders professionals and the clients we serve. We are proud of the ongoing work that resulted in the appointment of an NJSHA member to the state’s Aphasia Task Force and the Dyslexia Task Force. Through our work on the Dyslexia Task Force, New Jersey’s governor signed a bill into law on Jan. 21, 2014, that addresses dyslexia identification and treatment in public schools. It requires all public school students who have exhibited one or more potential indicators of dyslexia or other reading disabilities be screened for dyslexia no later than the first semester of the second grade, and mandates that the communication and reading professionals who work with these children complete at least two hours of professional development annually on the screening, intervention, accommodation and use of technology with these students.
In addition, through meetings with the New Jersey Department of Education, we were able to draft a model for the evaluation of SLPs in the schools.
Do you have a particularly successful advocacy or recruitment strategy to share?
Working with a legislative agent has been very beneficial in helping us to build and maintain relationships with New Jersey legislators, Department of Education and Audiology and Speech Pathology Advisory Committee. Through these relationships, we have been able to influence legislation and regulations that directly affect our members on a daily basis. NJSHA received a 2013 ASHA advocacy grant, which we used to fund our first Student Advocacy Day. At this event at the state capitol, we trained students from communication sciences and disorders programs around the state about the importance of personal and professional advocacy efforts and how best to approach legislators. Because this event was so well-received by the students, we will repeat it annually.
What should every communication sciences and disorders professional in your state know about your association?
Our highest calling is to meet the needs of our members and the people they serve across a wide variety of treatment settings. All of the association’s work is done by dedicated and hard-working NJSHA members—and we welcome more. Every member has the opportunity to experience the feeling of accomplishment that comes with participating in the association.
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June 2014
Volume 19, Issue 6