ASHA Members Link up in Atlanta Convention Draws More Than 10,000 Attendees to 1,300 Sessions ASHA Convention Coverage
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ASHA Convention Coverage  |   December 01, 2002
ASHA Members Link up in Atlanta
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ASHA News & Member Stories / ASHA Convention Coverage
ASHA Convention Coverage   |   December 01, 2002
ASHA Members Link up in Atlanta
The ASHA Leader, December 2002, Vol. 7, 1-18. doi:10.1044/leader.ACC1.07232002.1
The ASHA Leader, December 2002, Vol. 7, 1-18. doi:10.1044/leader.ACC1.07232002.1
For a few days in November in Atlanta, the theme of the ASHA Convention—“Communication: Our Strongest Link”— literally came alive for 10,000 people. The theme was apparent in the 1,300 program sessions of the Speech-Language Pathology/Discipline-Wide Convention and the Audiology Convention, in the Opening Session, in the Honors and Awards Ceremony, in the booths of the Exhibit Hall, and, of course, informally and collegially, in all the vast corridors of the Georgia World Congress Center, which housed the Nov. 21–24 event.
The Convention meetings, institutes, short courses, computer labs, and poster presentations ran the communication gamut. There were master classes on stuttering; sessions on hyperammonemia and cortical dysfluency, Möbius syndrome, Smith Magenis syndrome, Landau-Kleffner syndrome, Williams syndrome, aphasia, apraxia, dysarthria, alexia, and dyslexia; and scores of intriguing poster sessions on kangaroo care, multiple intelligence, sound boxes, effects of Ritalin, selective mutism, singing, snoring, signing, and hundreds more.
And there were also special events—the first-ever rally of the National Student Speech Language Hearing Association as well as NSSLHA’s Karaoke Nite, the Foundation Founders Breakfast, ASHA’s Hotlanta Party with R&B artist Peabo Bryson, and a special Member Appreciation Day. There was a discipline-wide keynote speech on the subject of negotiation and three audiology keynote speeches. In addition, two U.S. Department of Education (ED) assistant secretaries—Susan Neuman of the Office of Elementary and Secondary Education and Russ Whitehurst, director of the new Institute of Education Sciences—gave a presentation on the Bush administration’s “No Child Left Behind” program.
Opening Session
After a rousing musical warm-up, courtesy of the Morehouse College Marching Band, members were officially welcomed by ASHA President Nancy A. Creaghead on Nov. 21 at the Opening Session. Creaghead’s presidential address focused on the need for collaboration—among members, members and clients, and clinicians and researchers—if the professions are to remain strong.
Continued growth also requires the efforts of professionals to introduce young people to the field of communication sciences and disorders. We know, she said, that entry into the professions is often the result of personal experience, and she urged members to begin active recruitment efforts at the high school and college levels. She also recognized the American Speech-Language-Hearing Foundation’s vital role in meeting the needs of students through the awarding of scholarships and grants.
Keynote speakers Steve and Cokie Roberts regaled the audience with stories of their experiences as broadcast journalists. Cokie is chief congressional analyst for ABC, former co-anchor of ABC’s “This Week With Sam Donaldson and Cokie Roberts,” and senior news analyst for National Public Radio. Steve is a regular commentator on CNN’s “Late Edition,” PBS’ “Washington Week in Review,” and ABC radio, and he also hosts his own TV show, “The Roberts Report,” carried worldwide by the Voice of America.
Taking up the theme of collaboration that Creaghead had begun, the Roberts spoke of their 30-plus-year marriage as the ultimate collaboration. “Candor is vastly overrated in marriage,” Steve Roberts said. Tact and tolerance are more important, as they are in any collaboration.
These last attributes are as necessary in politics as they are in marriage, he added, and found there even more rarely. “The sense of collaboration has eroded in national politics,” he said, which is why nothing gets done. Along with it went the notion of compromise, which can be thought of as a type of mutual respect. Modern media are, to a great extent, to blame for the erosion of compromise, both Roberts said. “Television tends to celebrate silliness and sensationalism” and does not celebrate the virtues of compromise.
Awards Ceremony
The ASHA Awards Ceremony highlighted the impressive achievements of the recipients of the Association’s highest award, the 2002 ASHA Honors. The 29 ASHA Fellows also were honored, as well as those who received other awards.
The recipient of ASHA’s Media Award for International Communications—John Stossel—spoke at the Nov. 22 ceremony. Stossel, a winner of 19 Emmy awards and other honors, is a consumer advocate who has worked on the ABC news magazine “20/20.” He also has a special connection with the professionals of ASHA; Stossel has worked closely with speech-language pathologists in his long battle against stuttering.
Stossel told the audience that, when he was young, he avoided speaking in front of people in an attempt to hide his stuttering: “I guess I thought most people would think I was just dumb.” He underwent speech treatment and later, after he graduated from college, began working for a television station where he was encouraged to go on the air. Since his reporting was on tape, which allowed for multiple takes, his speech appeared fluent to viewers.
When Stossel moved from news reporting to news anchoring, which required him to read from a prepared script, he found he could do so fluently. Live reporting, however, was a challenge. He recalled that once, while covering an election, his speech became so blocked that the program’s producers went to a commercial, an experience that he called “my most humiliating moment on television.”
After trying hypnotism, acupuncture, and transcendental meditation, Stossel said that he achieved some success through a program at Hollins University that taught him to focus on speech control. “It was like pulling the cork out of the bottle,” he related to the audience. He thanked the people involved with the Hollins program and all SLPs for helping other people get better.
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December 2002
Volume 7, Issue 23