Michigan Speech-Language-Hearing Association Website: www.michiganspeechhearing.org Facebook: www.facebook.com/MISpeechLanguageHearingAssociation Established: 1939 Members: 1,340 Contact: Dawn R. Taylor Kutney, 517-332-5691, msha@att.net Our professionals depend on the Michigan Speech-Language-Hearing Association (MSHA) as the go-to organization for issues that affect those with communication disorders and their treatment providers. From legislative issues to insurance coverage to continuing education, ... State Spotlight
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State Spotlight  |   March 01, 2016
Michigan Speech-Language-Hearing Association
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Hearing & Speech Perception / Regulatory, Legislative & Advocacy / State Spotlight
State Spotlight   |   March 01, 2016
Michigan Speech-Language-Hearing Association
The ASHA Leader, March 2016, Vol. 21, 66. doi:10.1044/leader.STSP.21032016.66
The ASHA Leader, March 2016, Vol. 21, 66. doi:10.1044/leader.STSP.21032016.66
Established: 1939
Members: 1,340
Contact: Dawn R. Taylor Kutney, 517-332-5691, msha@att.net
How are you making a difference in your members’ professional lives?
Our professionals depend on the Michigan Speech-Language-Hearing Association (MSHA) as the go-to organization for issues that affect those with communication disorders and their treatment providers.
From legislative issues to insurance coverage to continuing education, MSHA strives to be current. Therefore, in addition to providing advocacy and representation, we have also had redefined our image to members and the public. We’ve redesigned our webpage, added our presence to social media such as Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, and worked to establish a real and modern public persona.
What is the most important issue facing communication sciences and disorders professionals in Michigan?
A 2009 state law required all speech-language pathologists in the state to acquire licensure by 2013. For many years, SLPs in public schools needed a master’s degree and teaching certificate, but not licensure or certification, so the biggest challenge may be educating special education directors about our license and what it means for hiring standards, the code of ethics, and the scope of practice. Under the licensure law, all new SLPs and those in non-public-school settings must have licensure. SLPs working in schools when the law passed can get a special license that limits them to school-based employment. Full licensure has requirements similar to those of ASHA certification, which many school-based SLPs allowed to lapse.
Michigan’s right-to-work law, passed in 2012, poses a further challenge, as the law weakens union membership and standards. This new hiring standard underscores the importance of maintaining ASHA certification and reinforces the concept of a professional license.
What is your state’s proudest accomplishment?
We successfully advocated for coverage of specific treatment codes being denied by some health maintenance organizations in the state’s Medicaid program: expressive language disorder, mixed receptive-expressive language disorder, speech and language developmental delay due to hearing loss, dysarthria and other diagnosed conditions. We demonstrated that the Affordable Care Act prohibits denying services to children based on pre-existing or chronic conditions, and requires habilitative and rehabilitative services to children. We also refuted Medicaid’s claim that the services should be provided by schools.
What is a particularly memorable event in your association’s history?
Michigan just achieved licensure in 2009 for audiologists and SLPs—one of the last states to do so—and MSHA led this decades-long effort. The memorable moments from our continued legislative presence at our state capitol include having great turnouts at our legislative days and having our members acknowledged on the House and Senate floors during sessions; filling the many steps to the Capitol door with members from around Michigan; and hearing legislators and their staff, after asking what we do, say something to the effect of, “Oh, yes, my mom (dad, child, nephew, etc.) saw a speech-language pathologist when they were recovering from their stroke (or accident, or cleft palate, or in school, etc.).”
Do you have a particularly successful advocacy or recruitment strategy to share?
Communicating with our own members—who are themselves communication professionals—is critical, and MSHA continues to try new methods without abandoning the traditional ones. We are enjoying a unique attempt to reach new members in an old-fashioned way—at meet-and-greet events. We host concurrent events at bars or restaurants in several key spots—Detroit, Grand Rapids, Lansing—to create a buzz to draw new members.
What should every CSD professional in your state know about the association?
Our members benefit from many behind-the-scenes activities, such as legislative advocacy and insurance meetings. MSHA also offers continuing professional development at the annual MSHA Conference, which draws 600-plus members for opportunities to learn, update skills, and network with colleagues. Speakers at the forefront of the field present on topics of interest to a wide range of professionals. The scope of learning opportunities offers great value.
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March 2016
Volume 21, Issue 3