Rhode Island Speech-Language-Hearing Association Established: 1965 Membership: 136 Website: www.risha.info Facebook: www.facebook.com/Rhode-Island-Speech-Language-Hearing-Association-332190506035 Contact: Mary C. Boyle, president, mboyle@nssk12.org RISHA is a professional state organization for people trained in the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of communication disorders. The association, comprising speech-language pathologists, audiologists, students and associated professionals, is dedicated to fostering relationships and offering ... State Spotlight
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State Spotlight  |   January 01, 2017
Rhode Island Speech-Language-Hearing Association
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Hearing & Speech Perception / Regulatory, Legislative & Advocacy / State Spotlight
State Spotlight   |   January 01, 2017
Rhode Island Speech-Language-Hearing Association
The ASHA Leader, January 2017, Vol. 22, 68. doi:10.1044/leader.STSP.22012017.68
The ASHA Leader, January 2017, Vol. 22, 68. doi:10.1044/leader.STSP.22012017.68
Established: 1965
Membership: 136
Contact: Mary C. Boyle, president, mboyle@nssk12.org
How are you making a difference in your members’ professional lives?
RISHA is a professional state organization for people trained in the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of communication disorders. The association, comprising speech-language pathologists, audiologists, students and associated professionals, is dedicated to fostering relationships and offering support and information to professionals and the public. Educational and medical subcommittees meet monthly in a social setting to network and discuss materials and strategies. RISHA engages in political advocacy on legislation that affects members of the association, and offers an annual convention and CEU opportunities.
What is the most significant challenge, unique circumstance or pressing frustration facing communication sciences and disorders professionals in Rhode Island today?
RISHA faces challenges common to other states, including the recruitment and retention of members and volunteer leaders. Some long-term members have let their memberships lapse as they enter retirement. We offer reduced membership fees to attract associate and student members. RISHA also struggles to offer an annual conference at a reasonable cost while still recruiting nationally known speakers.
What is your association’s proudest accomplishment?
RISHA consistently advocates for communication sciences and disorders (CSD) professionals in the state. We strongly supported caseload cap legislation, the presence of SLPs at any elementary school multidisciplinary team meeting when a communication issue is discussed, a one-time salary supplement, and protection from music therapists’ encroachment on SLPs’ scope of practice. RISHA also worked with the state education department to standardize the evaluation of school-based SLPs and to develop speech-language treatment entry and exit guidelines. For the past five years RISHA has chosen a “speech-language pathologist of the year” to be honored with other state teachers and support personnel awardees.
What is a particularly memorable event in your association’s history and how did it come about?
RISHA is proud to have helped in the establishment of rigorous standards for speech-language assistants. Qualified support personnel must have completed at least 18 hours of graduate-level credits in speech-language pathology and at least 25 percent of the practicum hours required for ASHA-certified professional personnel. Observation-hours criteria were also established for certified SLPs.
Do you have a particularly successful advocacy or recruitment strategy to share?
The RISHA Schools Committee sponsors an annual Better Hearing and Speech Month display at the Rhode Island State House. Participants have included local chapters of the National Student Speech Language Hearing Association, medical and private practice companies, and support organizations for people with hearing loss. This event has helped increase public awareness of communication disorders and helped to establish professional relationships. Executive Board members visit local NSSLHA groups to introduce students to their state association and encourage membership. RISHA provides biannual CEU events that are free to members. We use our website and email blasts to keep members informed of sponsored events. We also award an annual scholarship to a CSD graduate student attending a local university.
What should every communication sciences and disorders professional in Rhode Island know about the association?
RISHA works diligently to represent the interests of its members in both medical and educational settings. We continue to improve our scope and advocacy as we strive to recruit new graduates and established professionals to become members of this wonderful organization.
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FROM THIS ISSUE
January 2017
Volume 22, Issue 1