Speech and Hearing Association of Alabama Website: www.alabamashaa.org Established: Oct. 24, 1959 Members: 740 Contact: Vicki Copeland, executive director, info@alabamashaa.org or 256-325-8885 SHAA’s mission is “to advance the disciplines of speech-language pathology and audiology in order to provide support for professionals while advocating quality services.” SHAA carries that out primarily by providing excellent and affordable ... State Spotlight
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State Spotlight  |   February 01, 2017
Speech and Hearing Association of Alabama
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Hearing & Speech Perception / State Spotlight
State Spotlight   |   February 01, 2017
Speech and Hearing Association of Alabama
The ASHA Leader, February 2017, Vol. 22, 68. doi:10.1044/leader.STSP.22022017.68
The ASHA Leader, February 2017, Vol. 22, 68. doi:10.1044/leader.STSP.22022017.68
Established: Oct. 24, 1959
Members: 740
Contact: Vicki Copeland, executive director, info@alabamashaa.org or 256-325-8885
How are you making a difference in your members’ professional lives?
SHAA’s mission is “to advance the disciplines of speech-language pathology and audiology in order to provide support for professionals while advocating quality services.” SHAA carries that out primarily by providing excellent and affordable continuing education. Each year we host a two-day convention at which attendees choose from up to eight concurrent sessions in all fields of interest: audiology, child or adult speech-language treatment, and augmentative and alternative communication (AAC). Attendees can meet all annual CE requirements in one place. The convention also allows people to network and meet up with friends, as well as peruse information on jobs and communication sciences and disorders (CSD) resources. SHAA also provides hundreds of hours of online training through its continuing education lending library.
What is the most significant challenge, unique circumstance or pressing frustration facing communication sciences and disorders professionals in Alabama today?
More than half of SHAA members are public school clinicians and are paid according to the Alabama State Board of Education pay scale. However, school-based clinicians in Alabama who hold their CCCs are not eligible for the state salary supplement that is available to teachers who hold their National Board Certification. One of SHAA’s ongoing efforts is to provide more equitable pay for clinicians, not only in schools, but in every other setting as well.
What is your association’s proudest accomplishment?
One of our proudest accomplishments is the AAC Achievement Award, presented each year to someone who uses AAC as their primary mode of communication and has made significant gains in communication. Last year’s recipient was Daniel Creech. He and his wife are both AAC users.

One of SHAA’s ongoing efforts is to provide more equitable pay for clinicians, not only in schools, but in every other setting as well.

What is a particularly memorable event in your association’s history and how did it come about?
One of most memorable events in our history was the passage of a licensure law for audiologists and SLPs in 1975. That legislation, the result of a huge effort involving many SHAA members, ensured that audiologists and SLPs in Alabama meet educational and practicum standards consistent with those established by ASHA. It also established the Alabama Board of Examiners for Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology as a licensing board. The state code gives SHAA an integral role in maintaining the licensure board. The two work closely together to communicate important licensing information to audiologists and SLPs in Alabama and to maintain high-quality, ethical care throughout the state.
Do you have a particularly successful advocacy or recruitment strategy to share?
SHAA feels that supporting CSD students and involving them in our activities is vital to our growth. Each year we bring almost 100 students to the convention and design some sessions specifically for them, such as workshops on transitioning from student to professional and preparing a professional resume.
What should every CSD professional in Alabama know about the association?
They should know about the fantastic fellowship our members enjoy. We are a family of sorts with common goals, interests and concerns. We work hard to help our members in every way possible. The annual convention is the culmination of that hard work, where we can network, socialize, earn CEUs and enjoy great meals. SHAA wants every audiologist and SLP in Alabama to be involved in our exciting mission. We always have room for energetic new members on various committees, including those overseeing the convention, AAC, school affairs, the continuing education lending library and public information.
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February 2017
Volume 22, Issue 2