Utah Speech-Language Hearing Association Website: www.ushaonline.net Facebook: www.facebook.com/USHAonline Established: 1936 Membership: 250 Contact person: Sarah Cox, president, ushaonline1@gmail.com How are you making a difference in your members’ professional lives? USHA provides a quality conference each year that allows members to earn CE credits close to home. The topics address current issues ... State Spotlight
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State Spotlight  |   August 01, 2014
Utah Speech-Language Hearing Association
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ASHA News & Member Stories / State Spotlight
State Spotlight   |   August 01, 2014
Utah Speech-Language Hearing Association
The ASHA Leader, August 2014, Vol. 19, 84. doi:10.1044/leader.STSP.19082014.84
The ASHA Leader, August 2014, Vol. 19, 84. doi:10.1044/leader.STSP.19082014.84
Established: 1936
Membership: 250
Contact person: Sarah Cox, president, ushaonline1@gmail.com
How are you making a difference in your members’ professional lives?
USHA provides a quality conference each year that allows members to earn CE credits close to home. The topics address current issues so that members can use the most current best practices in their work. Legislative issues that affect our professions are always at the top of our priority list, so we advocate for ourselves and our members in the political arena. We welcome the participation of anyone who has a passion for improving his or her professional life and wants to share that with others.
What is the most significant challenge, unique circumstance or pressing frustration facing communication sciences and disorders professionals in your state today?
Utah is a growing state, with the school-age population growing most quickly, and the public schools have the highest class sizes in the nation—but also the lowest per-pupil expenditure. The growth rate and class sizes translate into very high caseloads for school-based speech-language pathologists—in some districts, caseloads number 70 to nearly 100 students. As a result, the Utah Board of Education now allows bachelor’s-level speech-language technicians to work under the direction of a licensed SLP. Even with SLTs, caseloads have not decreased—and in some cases have actually increased—presenting a unique challenge in the provision of high-quality services to students with communication disorders. Utah SLPs in health care settings share the nationwide pressures of productivity requirements, while bearing the load of related necessary duties and adhering to high ethical practices. USHA is restructuring its committees to support our members’ needs in these areas.
What is your association’s proudest accomplishment?
Our proudest accomplishment happens annually at the USHA conference, when members come together for two days to collaborate in medical and educational tracks on current issues facing SLPs and audiologists. Local and national speakers provide quality educational experiences at a highly discounted rate.
What is a particularly memorable event in your association’s history and how did it come about?
At our annual conference we select an ambassador—someone who has received CSD services—to represent the association and to address the business luncheon. In March 2014, we were moved to tears as a beautiful 21-year-old told jokes and expressed her gratitude for our profession and her newfound love for communicating. As we listened to her device’s electronic voice express the thoughts and feelings she had programmed into it, we caught a glimpse into her life and journey. Our ambassadors remind us why we chose this profession in the first place and that together we can make a difference.
What should every communication sciences and disorders professional in your state know about the association?
We would like everyone to know that we are working hard to accomplish our mission and we would love to have them be a part of that. Our mission is to:
  • Advocate for the interests of SLPs and audiologists.

  • Uphold the highest standards and ethics for the professions.

  • Provide a forum for the exchange of professional practice information and ideas.

  • Promote greater community understanding of speech, language and hearing problems.

  • Educate the public about the programs and services provided by speech-language pathologists and audiologists.

Please join us as we work toward these goals!
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FROM THIS ISSUE
August 2014
Volume 19, Issue 8