Vermont Speech-Language Hearing Association Website: www.vsha.us Facebook: Vermont Speech-Language Hearing Association established: 1958 Members: 107 Contact: Catherine Lavigne, president, president@vsha.us The primary focus of VSHA’s mission is advocacy and professional development. We strive to serve the needs of audiologists, speech-language pathologists and speech-language pathology assistants in Vermont by providing opportunities for professional development ... State Spotlight
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State Spotlight  |   June 01, 2015
Vermont Speech-Language Hearing Association
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Hearing & Speech Perception / State Spotlight
State Spotlight   |   June 01, 2015
Vermont Speech-Language Hearing Association
The ASHA Leader, June 2015, Vol. 20, 68. doi:10.1044/leader.STSP.20062015.68
The ASHA Leader, June 2015, Vol. 20, 68. doi:10.1044/leader.STSP.20062015.68
Website: www.vsha.us
Facebook: Vermont Speech-Language Hearing Association
established: 1958
Members: 107
Contact: Catherine Lavigne, president, president@vsha.us
How are you making a difference in your members’ professional lives?
The primary focus of VSHA’s mission is advocacy and professional development. We strive to serve the needs of audiologists, speech-language pathologists and speech-language pathology assistants in Vermont by providing opportunities for professional development and networking. We advocate for the professional standards and interests of our constituents that are necessary to provide the highest-quality services.
VSHA provides quality continuing-education opportunities for audiologists, SLPs and SLPAs at our annual fall meeting.
  • Our legislative counsel helps us monitor bills of interest and provide clarification about audiology and speech-language pathology scopes of practice.

  • VSHA offers informal regional meetings around the state for members and potential members to network, discuss trending issues and gather grassroots feedback.

What is the most significant challenge, unique circumstance or pressing frustration facing communication sciences and disorders professionals in your state today?
Our current focus is addressing the use of SLPAs, primarily in school settings, who do not have a specified level of training or experience in communication science disorders. VSHA has been working over the past eight years gathering information through task forces, formulating an advocacy plan and working with the secretary of state.
What is a particularly memorable event in your association’s history and how did it come about?
In the fall of 2012, VSHA significantly enhanced its electronic presence and capability by launching a redesigned website linked to two social communication platforms (Constant Contact and Facebook), a document storage platform (PB Works) and an electronic payment system (PayPal). With this improvement, we have significantly expanded use of electronic media to publicize events, accept membership and conference registration, and store data and important association documents.
What is your association’s proudest accomplishment?
One of VSHA’s proudest moments in the last decade was passage of a law requiring all audiologists and SLPs in Vermont to be licensed. This success came after 10 years of lobbying efforts.
VSHA is collaborating with the secretary of state on proposed licensure and certification of SLPAs, and supports the secretary’s proposal to move licensure oversight for audiologists, SLPs and SLPAs from the Agency of Education to the Office of Professional Regulation. This move would create a regulatory construct similar to that of other licensed professionals (such as nurses, occupational therapists, physical therapists and school psychologists). With this proposal, the three professions would be supported by a formally appointed licensing board that would define standards of practice, specify applicant qualifications and investigate allegations of unprofessional conduct. The proposal is in the first year of the Vermont legislative 2015–2016 biennium cycle, and may carry over into 2016 for legislative consideration.
Do you have a particularly successful advocacy or recruitment strategy to share?
Personal connections make a difference. We have successfully recruited people for our board, committees and general membership by having current board members contact people that they know and ask them to get involved.
What should every communication sciences and disorders professional in your state know about the association?
We are here for you. We represent the professional interests of audiologists, SLPs and SLPAs. Let us know how we can help. Send us an email. Check out our website for opportunities to network with us at regional meetings or the annual fall meeting. We look forward to hearing from you!
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FROM THIS ISSUE
June 2015
Volume 20, Issue 6