Tennessee Association of Audiologists and Speech-Language Pathologists Website: TAASLP.org Facebook: www.facebook.com/TAASLP Established: 1974 Members: 277 full members, 56 student members Contact: Susan A. Logan, president, susan.a.logan@vanderbilt.edu Our mission involves advocacy for our professionals and our consumers, education of our professionals and consumers, professionalism and ethics, information and networking, and student support. TAASLP has chosen to use ... State Spotlight
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State Spotlight  |   August 01, 2015
Tennessee Association of Audiologists and Speech-Language Pathologists
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Speech, Voice & Prosodic Disorders / Hearing Disorders / Special Populations / Early Identification & Intervention / Practice Management / Professional Issues & Training / Regulatory, Legislative & Advocacy / State Spotlight
State Spotlight   |   August 01, 2015
Tennessee Association of Audiologists and Speech-Language Pathologists
The ASHA Leader, August 2015, Vol. 20, 82. doi:10.1044/leader.STSP.20082015.82
The ASHA Leader, August 2015, Vol. 20, 82. doi:10.1044/leader.STSP.20082015.82
Website: TAASLP.org
Established: 1974
Members: 277 full members, 56 student members
Contact: Susan A. Logan, president, susan.a.logan@vanderbilt.edu
How are you making a difference in your members’ professional lives?
Our mission involves advocacy for our professionals and our consumers, education of our professionals and consumers, professionalism and ethics, information and networking, and student support.
TAASLP has chosen to use its funds for the past several years to ensure full-time lobbyist support. Because of our size, we don’t have funds for a full-time lobbyist and an association administrator, so volunteer professionals do the administrative work. However, John Williams, TAASLP lobbyist, is well-respected by the state’s representatives and knows our consumer and professional issues. Our challenge is to get broader participation from audiologists and speech-language pathologists in our state. TAASLP looks out for SLPs and audiologists in all work settings.
We use our website and Facebook page to keep professionals up to date. We can “blast” our members within 24 hours of any important issue. Be sure to like us on Facebook.
What is your association’s proudest accomplishment?
TAASLP was the first state association to push for telephone relay operators for people with hearing loss and to ensure that legislation was in place to protect the privacy of consumers using this service. Over the course of a year, we had meetings with representatives from all the phone companies in Tennessee and with members of the state legislature.
We have had many other advocacy successes, including legislation mandating insurance coverage for speech-language treatment for children with autism, universal newborn hearing screening, and insurance coverage for telepractice. In 2008, the state’s audiologists and SLPs united when the University of Tennessee’s Department of Audiology and Speech Pathology was targeted for closure in the wake of budget cuts. In 2007, members wrote a bill ensuring that clinicians could perform endoscopy. We continue efforts to repeal a “professional privilege tax” that unfairly burdens those licensed in the state. It does take a village to make things happen. We are proud of ours! Small but mighty!
Do you have a particularly successful advocacy or recruitment strategy to share?
Several years ago, we incorporated a College Bowl into our annual conference. This event includes the spirit competition for the best song or cheer and the academic competition. Students and attendees get so pumped for their favorite team! All six of the universities with audiology and speech-language pathology programs participate in the competition and also volunteer at the conference. TAASLP provides a room to each university and cash awards to the National Student Speech Language Hearing Association chapters of the winning and runner-up schools. One of our vendors pays the Praxis exam fees for the winners. The activities add focus and fun to the convention, and help recruit new professionals when the students graduate.

The College Bowl at our annual conference includes the spirit competition for the best song or cheer and the academic competition.

What should every communication sciences and disorders professional in your state know about the association?
We have your back! ASHA is there on the national stage, but only your state association looks out for your state interests. We are here to protect your scope of practice, caseload and insurance coverage; address ethical concerns; and provide continuing education. We also watch out for our consumers. Our website keeps you current about events in the state and other important information. It’s a bargain at $7 per month.
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FROM THIS ISSUE
August 2015
Volume 20, Issue 8