Illinois Speech-Language-Hearing Association Established: 1960 Website: www.ishail.org Facebook: www.facebook.com/ishail.org Twitter: @ISHAIllinois Members: 2,000 Contact: Danila McAsey, past president, slrsp@mtco.com These are challenging times with respect to proposed school reforms and regulatory and legislative actions affecting service delivery, reimbursement, personnel preparation and credentialing of personnel across many work settings. Legislative ... State Spotlight
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State Spotlight  |   November 01, 2014
Illinois Speech-Language-Hearing Association
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Regulatory, Legislative & Advocacy / ASHA News & Member Stories / State Spotlight
State Spotlight   |   November 01, 2014
Illinois Speech-Language-Hearing Association
The ASHA Leader, November 2014, Vol. 19, 66. doi:10.1044/leader.STSP.19112014.66
The ASHA Leader, November 2014, Vol. 19, 66. doi:10.1044/leader.STSP.19112014.66
Established: 1960
Twitter: @ISHAIllinois
Members: 2,000
Contact: Danila McAsey, past president, slrsp@mtco.com
How are you making a difference in your members’ professional lives?
These are challenging times with respect to proposed school reforms and regulatory and legislative actions affecting service delivery, reimbursement, personnel preparation and credentialing of personnel across many work settings. Legislative and regulatory affairs volunteers and our lobbyist monitor dozens of legislative and education proposals that affect our members and clients. Through this advocacy, and by mobilizing our members to act, we have shaped legislation to support, rather than hinder, our efforts to provide high-quality, evidence-based services. We have deterred efforts that would restrict our scope of practice and burden our training institutions and state licensure applicants.
What is the most significant challenge, unique circumstance or pressing frustration facing communication sciences and disorders professionals in your state today?
Eternal vigilance is the price of freedom, and it’s also the price of maintaining our professional identity and professional standing. We must be alert to proposed changes that may result in professional encroachment, denigrate the highest-qualified provider standards, or impede consumer access to the evidence-based services or technology they need.
What is your association’s proudest accomplishment?
Our annual convention in Chicago. This three-day program is packed with 2.5–2.75 CE credits that interest researchers and clinicians in every setting. Student involvement is crucial—graduate students from across the state give presentations and poster sessions through the “Student Initiated Research and Clinical Application.” We offer presentations and short courses by nationally and internationally known speakers, many from Illinois.
What is a particularly memorable event in your association’s history?
Cultural anthropologist Margaret Meade said, “Never doubt that a small group of committed people can change the world.” In Illinois, the grassroots advocacy efforts of a single ISHA member will make a difference for students with language impairments in Illinois and across the nation. She noted the disparity in ACT exam accommodations awarded to students whose primary designation is learning disability and those whose primary designation is language impairments: Students with LD are routinely granted accommodations, but those with LI are consistently denied on first request. In its denials, ACT requests additional information not required for students with LD, with no guarantee of accommodations.
Armed with documentation on the relationship between oral and literate language, the SLP began a campaign to educate the ACT that students with LI struggle with reading and writing tasks in much the same manner as students with a language-based LD. When this effort yielded no results, the SLP conducted a statewide survey to determine the impact of the disparity. With this information (accommodation requests, denials, appeals and ACT response), ISHA and the SLP contacted ASHA, which helped gather data to present to the Department of Justice (a response is pending). This issue demonstrates that by our actions, professional practice and advocacy, we can truly improve the quality of life for our students, patients and clients.
Do you have a particularly successful advocacy or recruitment strategy to share?
Our Representative Council brings local concerns to the state, and statewide information to the local level. With representation from 18 areas, the council is a strong vehicle for mentoring young professionals, helping them become involved in committee and advocacy activities at the local and state levels.
With the launch of our redesigned website and social media efforts, we have engaged young professionals—as well as tech-savvy seasoned professionals—in new ways. We hope to be able to build on that momentum in the coming year.
What should every communication sciences and disorders professional in your state know about the association?
ISHA represents the many voices of our members and all professionals involved in communication sciences and disorders across the state, and makes sure that those voices are heard.
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FROM THIS ISSUE
November 2014
Volume 19, Issue 11