South Dakota Speech-Language-Hearing Association State legislator Jim Bolin learns about audiology equipment from Joel Brewer and Katie Awoyinka, AuD students at the University of South Dakota, at the 2014 SDSLHA Advocacy Day. Website: www.sdslha.org Facebook: www.facebook.com/groups/SDSLHA Established: 1958 Members: 125 Contact: Jessica Messersmith (past president) or Liz Hanson (president), sdslha@yahoo.org How ... State Spotlight
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State Spotlight  |   July 01, 2014
South Dakota Speech-Language-Hearing Association
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ASHA News & Member Stories / State Spotlight
State Spotlight   |   July 01, 2014
South Dakota Speech-Language-Hearing Association
The ASHA Leader, July 2014, Vol. 19, 66. doi:10.1044/leader.STSP.19072014.66
The ASHA Leader, July 2014, Vol. 19, 66. doi:10.1044/leader.STSP.19072014.66

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State legislator Jim Bolin learns about audiology equipment from Joel Brewer and Katie Awoyinka, AuD students at the University of South Dakota, at the 2014 SDSLHA Advocacy Day.
Established: 1958
Members: 125
Contact: Jessica Messersmith (past president) or Liz Hanson (president), sdslha@yahoo.org
How are you making a difference in your members’ professional lives?
The mission of SDSLHA is to be a resource for speech-language pathologists, audiologists, speech, language and hearing scientists, speech-language pathology assistants, and audiology technicians. We provide opportunities for professional growth, legislative and regulatory advocacy, advocacy for individuals with communication disorders and their families, and promotion of awareness of the professions.
We advocated on many bills during the 2014 state legislative session that addressed insurance coverage for audiology services for children, equipment distribution through the state telecommunications fund, and comprehensive coverage of autism-related services. Not all of our efforts were successful, but we did secure insurance coverage of audiology services and development of a state-run fund for hearing aids and assistive equipment for children. At the SDSLHA Advocacy Day—funded by an ASHA student advocacy grant—37 students and supervisors from the state’s three CSD programs gave lunch to legislators and spoke with them about pending legislation.
We developed a public service announcement on early hearing loss detection and intervention that airs on broadcast TV and our website. ASHA grants will allow us to create more PSAs this year.
What is the most significant challenge, unique circumstance or pressing frustration facing communication sciences and disorders professionals in your state today?
We are always trying to get others to understand what we, SLPs and audiologists, do as professionals, and to recognize our full scopes of practice—that is, we are not hearing aid dispensers or “speech teachers.”
What is your association’s proudest accomplishment?
We finally achieved comprehensive SLP licensure, which went into effect in 2013! This accomplishment was truly a team effort many years in the making, but well worth the fight.
What is a particularly memorable event in your association’s history?
We filled the hearing room for SB122 during the 2014 legislative session. The testimony of our families and professionals brought many legislators and observers to tears. The bill, which takes effect Jan. 1, 2015, requires health plans that offer coverage for professional audiology services to include coverage for medically necessary physician services—including professional services rendered by an audiologist—to treat hearing impairment in children younger than 19.
Do you have a particularly successful advocacy or recruitment strategy to share?
Get to know your representatives! Through our advocacy efforts, we have made great connections with representatives in our state legislature. You need these people as your champions, who will be instrumental in writing, introducing and sponsoring legislation that represents your advocacy efforts. Get them on your side and help them to understand what you do. Next, help them to see the concern and the potential solution.
What should every CSD professional in your state know about the association?
SDSLHA is on your side! SDSLHA is you. We undertake those efforts that our members identify as important. Join us and help make a difference.
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FROM THIS ISSUE
July 2014
Volume 19, Issue 7