California Speech-Language-Hearing Association Website: www.csha.org Facebook: www.facebook.com/csha.org YouTube: bit.ly/cal-youtube Established: 1965 Members: 5,159 Contact: Shawn Talbot, executive director, stalbot@csha.org; 916- 921-1568; @cshaorg CSHA is raising awareness of our professions through advocacy and interagency collaborations. We have representatives involved with numerous California state agencies. Two members are on the state ... State Spotlight
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State Spotlight  |   January 01, 2015
California Speech-Language-Hearing Association
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Regulatory, Legislative & Advocacy / ASHA News & Member Stories / State Spotlight
State Spotlight   |   January 01, 2015
California Speech-Language-Hearing Association
The ASHA Leader, January 2015, Vol. 20, 66. doi:10.1044/leader.STSP.20012015.66
The ASHA Leader, January 2015, Vol. 20, 66. doi:10.1044/leader.STSP.20012015.66
Website: www.csha.org
Established: 1965
Members: 5,159
Contact: Shawn Talbot, executive director, stalbot@csha.org; 916- 921-1568; @cshaorg
How are you making a difference in your members’ professional lives?
CSHA is raising awareness of our professions through advocacy and interagency collaborations. We have representatives involved with numerous California state agencies. Two members are on the state licensing board, and one member serves on the Interagency Coordinating Council to represent the association and advocate for clients. Several members work with the credentialing commission and the Department of Rehabilitation’s Regional Center, which coordinates services for people with disabilities. Our legislative counsel keeps us current and maintains visibility to lawmakers. CSHA supports professional development by offering a wide range of continuing education opportunities and workshops, including our annual convention.
What is the most significant challenge, unique circumstance or pressing frustration facing communication sciences and disorders professionals in your state today?
There is a lack of awareness among other professionals, as well as the public at large, about our professions and their broad scopes of practice. CSHA is addressing this through outreach, education and interagency collaborations. Heavy caseloads and workloads represent a challenge for many of our members, as they do throughout the nation.
What is your association’s proudest accomplishment?
CSHA owns an office and employs a staff to help provide the best and most efficient service possible. Our 2014 annual convention in San Francisco had a record-breaking attendance of 2,157. We take pride in our state- and district-level awards to honor outstanding achievements and service to our organization and the public. We also give recognition in the consumer and program categories, honoring clients who have overcome challenges and service providers who have demonstrated excellence. We have produced more than 40 professional videos highlighting these recipients (bit.ly/cal-youtube).
What is a particularly memorable event in your association’s history and how did it come about?
Better Hearing and Speech Night is an inspirational event we have sponsored for four straight years. As part of ASHA’s Better Hearing and Speech Month, we invite children and adults with communication disorders and their families to attend a professional minor league baseball game at no cost.
CSHA has raised money to give more than 4,000 tickets to client families. Approximately 30,000 spectators at these games have heard our message. Feedback has been overwhelmingly positive: Several families say that the program has allowed them to overcome a reluctance to attend public events with a family member who has a communication disorder.
During the game, our clients usually take on special jobs, such as throwing out the first pitch and serving as guest announcers, and during the seventh-inning stretch, dozens of clients join their clinicians and take to the field to lead the crowd in singing “Take Me Out to the Ballgame.” CSHA plans to sponsor more of these events throughout the state.
Do you have a particularly successful advocacy or recruitment strategy to share?
We value students and understand that they represent the future of our organization. One of our proudest accomplishments is our scholarship foundation (www.csha.org/scholarship), which has awarded $1,000 scholarships to 38 graduate students since its inception four years ago. We provide opportunities to volunteer at all levels, including on our board, which comprises professional members, two students and two speech-language pathology assistants. Our local workshops and the annual convention also help attract new members each year. Finally, our commitment to advocacy has always been a strong motivator to join; our legislative counsel is active at the state capitol, and our ties to state agencies are strong.
What should every communication sciences and disorders professional in your state know about the association?
Our members are the heart of the organization—seek one out and start a conversation. The office, board and an army of volunteers keep the profession strong by providing a powerful blend of advocacy, collaboration and education.
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January 2015
Volume 20, Issue 1