Nebraska Speech-Language-Hearing Association Website: www.nslha.org Facebook: www.facebook.com/Nebraska-Speech-Language-Hearing-Association-211154402845 Twitter: @NSLHA1 Established: May 13, 1971 Members: 325–350 Contacts: Shari DeVeney, president, sdeveney@unomaha.edu; Janet Seelhoff, executive director, info@nslha.org, 402-476-9573 NSLHA provides up-to-the-minute continuing education emphasizing evidence-based practice through face-to-face and online formats, and we also take great pride in our strong grassroots advocacy efforts. Our ... State Spotlight
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State Spotlight  |   December 01, 2016
Nebraska Speech-Language-Hearing Association
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Hearing & Speech Perception / Regulatory, Legislative & Advocacy / State Spotlight
State Spotlight   |   December 01, 2016
Nebraska Speech-Language-Hearing Association
The ASHA Leader, December 2016, Vol. 21, 66. doi:10.1044/leader.STSP.21122016.66
The ASHA Leader, December 2016, Vol. 21, 66. doi:10.1044/leader.STSP.21122016.66
Website: www.nslha.org
Twitter: @NSLHA1
Established: May 13, 1971
Members: 325–350
Contacts: Shari DeVeney, president, sdeveney@unomaha.edu; Janet Seelhoff, executive director, info@nslha.org, 402-476-9573
How are you making a difference in your members’ professional lives?
NSLHA provides up-to-the-minute continuing education emphasizing evidence-based practice through face-to-face and online formats, and we also take great pride in our strong grassroots advocacy efforts.
Our advocacy work goes beyond influencing state legislation to interacting with the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) and managed care companies operating in our state. This past year, NSLHA members testified on the expanded use of synchronous and asynchronous telepractice in Nebraska. We also met with DHHS representatives to recommend modifications to the Medicaid fee schedule for audiology and speech-language services and successfully addressed a major health insurer’s changes to speech-language treatment authorization. Regular communications between NSLHA and policymakers, DHHS and managed care companies ensure members’ voices are heard in decisions related to speech-language and hearing service delivery.
We plan to increase advocacy efforts with school-based stakeholders (administrators, school board representatives) to improve work environments, salaries and recognition for schools professionals.
What are the most significant challenges facing Nebraska communication sciences and disorders professionals?
Connecting professionals across our predominantly rural state is a persistent issue. To address the needs of all constituents, we alternate the location of our annual convention between mid-state and eastern sites. We also ventured into the online continuing education arena this year to support geographically isolated professionals and connect them with a professional support system.
In schools, continuing frustrations include caseload size, appropriate compensation and education of other faculty and administrators about the importance and necessity of our role.
Finally, chronic SLP shortages across urban and rural communities continue to vex employers. Educators in the state’s three speech-language pathology and audiology training campuses strive to meet the employment needs of our communities by encouraging graduates to stay in Nebraska and join NSLHA. We try to safeguard a bright future for our professions in the Midwest.
What is your association’s proudest accomplishment?
Our members have responded positively to the educational programming at our annual conventions, NSLHA’s advocacy efforts, and our focus on student involvement throughout the association. In 2015, NSLHA modified its bylaws to increase student involvement on the board. This change reflects our passion for leadership development and the need to transition student involvement into professional involvement after graduation.
What is a particularly memorable event in your association’s history?
Student and professional participation in our annual Legislative Day continues to grow. It’s exciting to see students engaging in this event and showing the motivation to converse knowledgably with lawmakers for the benefit of the professions. Members also have responded well to our online educational opportunities, which we plan to expand to meet the needs of professionals across our state.
Do you have a particularly successful advocacy or recruitment strategy?
Encouraging student involvement has resulted in successful recruitment of early-career professionals. Also, with an ASHA student advocacy grant, we offered a free webinar on Nebraska’s legislative process and the bills NSLHA supported or did not support prior to our Legislative Day. This allowed members to comment on specific bills and have a focused, cohesive message for the legislators.
What should every CSD professional in your state know about the association?
We are here for you and would love for more professionals to be active in NSLHA. We are only as strong as our membership. Each member makes a difference. Consider getting involved to support the professions and be part of a larger cause: working together to benefit the people of our great state.
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December 2016
Volume 21, Issue 12