Can’t Access Online-Only The letter from a Chicago reader (“Staying Up to Date,” May 17) criticizing preferences for printed journals (citing a “deeper issue” of professionals not keeping current by utilizing online resources) saddened me. It is perfectly acceptable to prefer printed materials. We respect our clients’ learning styles; likewise we must honor ... Inbox
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Inbox  |   September 01, 2011
Can’t Access Online-Only
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Professional Issues & Training / Telepractice & Computer-Based Approaches / ASHA News & Member Stories / Inbox
Inbox   |   September 01, 2011
Can’t Access Online-Only
The ASHA Leader, September 2011, Vol. 16, 4-54. doi:10.1044/leader.IN2.16092011.4
The ASHA Leader, September 2011, Vol. 16, 4-54. doi:10.1044/leader.IN2.16092011.4
The letter from a Chicago reader (“Staying Up to Date,” May 17) criticizing preferences for printed journals (citing a “deeper issue” of professionals not keeping current by utilizing online resources) saddened me. It is perfectly acceptable to prefer printed materials. We respect our clients’ learning styles; likewise we must honor the learning styles of our colleagues.
However, the deeper issue is actually access to technology. The Chicago writer has technology many rural professionals cannot obtain. Her statement, “if an ASHA member has access to a computer, s/he has access to journals,” is incorrect. A computer functions only as effectively as its network allows. Despite proximity to an Ivy League University, I cannot obtain broadband. Six companies have rejected my repeated service requests. There is no cell coverage for “air card” use. Our library has limited hours, few computers, hours of wait time, and no printers.
I simply cannot access online journals or engage in paperless documentation.
This is relatively common, despite what telecommunications companies report. Vermont’s governor initiated a public inquiry when corporate “maps” showed his home as having Internet services that it does not actually have. Many more are underserved, with speeds so slow it truly can take hours to access one journal article. Utilities are legally required to provide electricity and telephone services. Not so for Internet.
For ASHA members who have the technology you require, you are fortunate. Not all have those options. Under such inequitable conditions, compulsory paperless communication becomes inefficient, unproductive, unsupportive, and impossible.
Heather Forsythe Trumansburg, New York
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September 2011
Volume 16, Issue 9