Arkansas Speech-Language Hearing Association Website: www.arksha.org Facebook: Arkansas Speech Language Hearing Association Established: 1954 Members: 536 Contact: Marilyn Porterfield, executive director, arksha@arksha.org Our mission is connecting, learning and communicating with audiologists, speech-language pathologists, future professionals and consumers through advocacy, education, mentoring, networking and resources. ArkSHA diligently works with our lobbyists to defend our ... State Spotlight
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State Spotlight  |   April 01, 2016
Arkansas Speech-Language Hearing Association
Author Notes
  • Melodee Owens, MS, CCC-SLP, immediate past president
    Melodee Owens, MS, CCC-SLP, immediate past president×
  • Kamela Rowland, MS, CCC-SLP, president
    Kamela Rowland, MS, CCC-SLP, president×
Article Information
Hearing & Speech Perception / Regulatory, Legislative & Advocacy / State Spotlight
State Spotlight   |   April 01, 2016
Arkansas Speech-Language Hearing Association
The ASHA Leader, April 2016, Vol. 21, 66. doi:10.1044/leader.STSP.21042016.66
The ASHA Leader, April 2016, Vol. 21, 66. doi:10.1044/leader.STSP.21042016.66
Facebook: Arkansas Speech Language Hearing Association
Established: 1954
Members: 536
Contact: Marilyn Porterfield, executive director, arksha@arksha.org
How are you making a difference in your members’ professional lives?
Our mission is connecting, learning and communicating with audiologists, speech-language pathologists, future professionals and consumers through advocacy, education, mentoring, networking and resources. ArkSHA diligently works with our lobbyists to defend our scope of practice and values. We provide a quarterly newsletter, job placement, participation on committees and association activities, a professional information network, and professional visibility through participation and referral networking. ArkSHA also monitors issues related to third-party reimbursement, advocates for improved services to people with disabilities, develops joint committees with other agencies to address issues of mutual concern, and forms ad hoc committees to address timely issues that affect delivery of quality services.
What is the most significant challenge, unique circumstance or pressing frustration facing communication sciences and disorders professionals in Arkansas?
Audiologists and SLPs are dealing with paperwork/caseload issues, reimbursement, and assigned roles and responsibilities that do not support scope of practice and the high value of our fields in various settings. Audiologists and SLPs also struggle with being able to communicate their value and scope, particularly when compared with educators or other health care providers.
What is your association’s proudest accomplishment?
In 2015 we completed strategic planning with ASHA’s state liaison. Through this valuable, reflective process we determined measurable goals for future success and leadership. We developed a new mission and vision statement and outlined objectives to increase membership and diversity, address licensure issues, advocate for loan reimbursement, and preserve scope of practice and the profession at the legislative level.
What is a particularly memorable event in your association’s history and how did it come about?
We received our first ASHA State Advocacy Grant to further develop student participation and legislative activities. ArkSHA is looking forward to working with universities and colleges in the state to select potential leaders to participate in this inaugural event.
In 2009, ArkSHA wrote a bill that allowed school-based SLPs to receive a salary stipend—much like that of nationally certified teachers—pending fulfillment of the requirements of the stipend. The legislation passed, but was never funded, and no state-level stipends have been issued. However, the work involved in developing and advocating for the bill provided significant information and education for SLPs to use in successfully advocating for salary increases and stipends at the school-district level.
Do you have a particularly successful advocacy or recruitment strategy to share?
ArkSHA has been successful in recruiting members by increasing the differential in convention registration fees for members and nonmembers. We also hope to increase advocacy and student membership through our new Student Advocacy Day.
We successfully advocated to defeat legislation that attempted to restrict audiologists’ scope of practice. ArkSHA was also heavily involved with defeating a bill that would lessen requirements for education and credentialing for audiologists, SLPs and a host of other professionals.
What should every communication sciences and disorders professional in your state know about the association?
ArkSHA strives to meet the needs of our membership. Being a member of ArkSHA is a positive and fun way to collaborate with peers. We provide leadership opportunities and continuing education to meet the professional pursuits of our colleagues. We love our members and the communities we serve.
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FROM THIS ISSUE
April 2016
Volume 21, Issue 4