Join In and Speak Up: We Want to Hear Your Voice Calling all members: Get involved with ASHA and be the change you want to see in the professions. From the President
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From the President  |   February 01, 2016
Join In and Speak Up: We Want to Hear Your Voice
Author Notes
  • Jaynee A. Handelsman, PhD, CCC-A, is the director of pediatric audiology at the C. S. Mott Children’s Hospital and a clinical assistant professor in the Department of Otolaryngology–Head and Neck Surgery in the University of Michigan Health System. She is an affiliate of ASHA Special Interest Groups 8, Public Health Issues Related to Hearing and Balance; 9, Hearing and Hearing Disorders in Childhood; and 11, Administration and Supervision. jaynee@med.umich.edu
    Jaynee A. Handelsman, PhD, CCC-A, is the director of pediatric audiology at the C. S. Mott Children’s Hospital and a clinical assistant professor in the Department of Otolaryngology–Head and Neck Surgery in the University of Michigan Health System. She is an affiliate of ASHA Special Interest Groups 8, Public Health Issues Related to Hearing and Balance; 9, Hearing and Hearing Disorders in Childhood; and 11, Administration and Supervision. jaynee@med.umich.edu×
Article Information
Professional Issues & Training / ASHA News & Member Stories / Speech, Voice & Prosody / From the President
From the President   |   February 01, 2016
Join In and Speak Up: We Want to Hear Your Voice
The ASHA Leader, February 2016, Vol. 21, 8-9. doi:10.1044/leader.FTP.21022016.8
The ASHA Leader, February 2016, Vol. 21, 8-9. doi:10.1044/leader.FTP.21022016.8
I remember—as though it were yesterday—receiving a call from someone working at ASHA whom I considered to be famous. He asked for my input about a professional issue, and although I cannot remember the specific topic we discussed, I remember feeling surprised that he knew who I was, and honored that he thought I had something of significance to contribute—that my voice was important and relevant.
I remember feeling equally surprised and honored when I was asked to serve on a small ASHA supervision task force, which was my first experience in collaborating with colleagues from diverse settings and backgrounds to develop a guidelines document. Again, I remember being thrilled that someone at ASHA believed in me enough to ask me to serve the association and the professions in this way, and I quickly realized that serving as an ASHA volunteer provided a different sort of professional and personal satisfaction than I derive from my day job.

I quickly realized that serving as an ASHA volunteer provided a different sort of professional and personal satisfaction than I derive from my day job.

Not only was my voice contributing to decisions that had an impact on my career locally, it was also coloring the future of the discipline as a whole. In addition, the experience of volunteering was affecting my personal and professional growth in ways I could not have anticipated.
One of the things that is important to me is to facilitate more active member engagement with ASHA. I believe that for us to be successful in supporting audiologists, speech-language pathologists, speech, language and hearing scientists, students preparing to enter the professions, and those we serve, we need diverse perspectives. We must actively engage with members from all cohorts of the professions. To do so, I ask for your assistance in two ways.
First, please think about the skills and expertise you draw from in your work with patients and clients, families, students, and colleagues, and consider how those qualities might be of value to an ASHA committee, board, task force, working group, etc. I am asking you to ponder how adding your voice to a group within ASHA might enrich your professional and personal lives.

I am asking you to ponder how adding your voice to a group within ASHA might enrich your professional and personal life.

As I indicated, my own ASHA volunteer experience has profoundly affected me in ways I could not have predicted.
Please consider completing the committee pool volunteer form and/or applying for ASHA’s Leadership Development Program. Joining a Special Interest Group and volunteering to serve on a Convention Program Committee are great ways to begin as well.
Second, please think about skills your work or ASHA colleagues can bring to the table. Consider letting them know that you value their opinion and encourage them to add their voices to the conversation. Remember that my own leadership journey began with someone asking my opinion and then being asked to serve on a task force.
I am confident that you all have colleagues who have great ideas but who might not realize the potential value and influence of those ideas. They may be ready for new challenges, but they may not know how to be included. A nudge from you might be all it takes.
I am so honored to be serving this year as ASHA president. Your input is incredibly important to me and to the entire Board of Directors. You can contact us any time via the In Touch link on the ASHA website.
The best way to stay current on what we’re up to is to sign up for Headlines.
Each ASHA member and affiliate has something important to contribute. Please use your voice and join the conversation.
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FROM THIS ISSUE
February 2016
Volume 21, Issue 2