New Hampshire Speech-Language-Hearing Association Website: www.nhslha.org Facebook: New Hampshire Speech-Language Hearing Association Established: 1965 Members: 111 Contact: Annie Doyle, president, nhslha@gmail.com, 603-228-5949 NHSLHA supports the needs of speech-language-hearing professionals and those we serve by providing networking and community outreach on communication disorders. We advocate for local and state professional standards and promote the ... State Spotlight
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State Spotlight  |   May 01, 2016
New Hampshire Speech-Language-Hearing Association
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Hearing & Speech Perception / State Spotlight
State Spotlight   |   May 01, 2016
New Hampshire Speech-Language-Hearing Association
The ASHA Leader, May 2016, Vol. 21, 74. doi:10.1044/leader.STSP.21052016.74
The ASHA Leader, May 2016, Vol. 21, 74. doi:10.1044/leader.STSP.21052016.74
Facebook: New Hampshire Speech-Language Hearing Association
Established: 1965
Members: 111
Contact: Annie Doyle, president, nhslha@gmail.com, 603-228-5949
How are you making a difference in your members’ professional lives?
NHSLHA supports the needs of speech-language-hearing professionals and those we serve by providing networking and community outreach on communication disorders. We advocate for local and state professional standards and promote the interests of our members to provide the highest-quality services to consumers. We are dedicated to the growth and visibility of our association and hold monthly meetings and a yearly retreat to address our strengths and weaknesses and explore how we can be present to all our members.
What is the most significant challenge, unique circumstance or pressing frustration facing communication sciences and disorders professionals in your state today?
New Hampshire is not a large state, but our population distribution is diverse. The more urban and densely populated areas have significantly more speech and hearing professionals. Away from cities, there may be only a few speech and hearing professionals serving geographically large areas. Speech and hearing professionals working alone in a rural area risk professional isolation and may feel unsupported and overlooked.
What is your association’s proudest accomplishment?
Establishing and maintaining standards for the practice of speech-language pathology in the state—in 1993, NHSLHA worked with our state legislators to set standards for licensure of speech-language pathologists through the state Office of Allied Health Professionals. At that time, the state Department of Education used the title “speech-language specialist” in its certification system and allowed candidates with “related” master’s degrees to acquire certification during critical shortage periods. NHSLHA was instrumental in changing the minimum qualification to a master’s degree in speech-language pathology, communication sciences and disorders (CSD), or speech and hearing science.
NHSLHA also led the effort to establish a legal definition and requirements for speech-language assistants (SLAs). To be certified as an SLA, candidates must have at least an associate’s degree in speech-language assisting or CSD.
What is a particularly memorable event in your association’s history and how did it come about?
For several years, NHSLHA’s existence hung in the balance; membership, volunteers and funds were all very low. Due to the sheer determination of our board, we pressed onward and NHSLHA has experienced a revitalization, and we are strong and financially solvent. In May 2015, with ASHA support, we spent a full day developing a three-year strategic plan to support the needs of New Hampshire’s speech-language-hearing professionals. As a result, our board grew in friendship, leadership and vision.
Do you have a particularly successful advocacy or recruitment strategy to share?
It has been a challenge to meet the needs of our membership from the Seacoast to the North Country, from the Lakes Region to the Massachusetts border. NHSLHA has redefined our mission to emphasize support of audiology and speech-language colleagues statewide. We have regional representatives to facilitate activities and communication among members within each county and to serve as the direct line to the NHSLHA Board. Members can share ideas, concerns and questions with their regional representative, who will direct them to our board for consideration and action. We encourage members to act as regional representatives. Contact our office—membership fees are waived for regional representatives!
What should every communication sciences and disorders professional in New Hampshire know about you?
NHSLHA strives to offer the most for our members, including increased engagement with university programs and students, continuing education opportunities, a monthly newsletter, spring and fall conferences, regional representation, increased social media presence, and a soon-to-be-added website benefit for members only. We maintain a watchful eye on the issues critical to our membership such as advocacy, insurance and legislation. We encourage all members to become involved.
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FROM THIS ISSUE
May 2016
Volume 21, Issue 5