Connecticut Speech-Language-Hearing Association Website: www.ctspeechhearing.org Facebook: Connecticut-Speech-Language-Hearing-Association Established: 1950 Members: 350 Contact: Julie Zellner, president, srjaz@comcast.net CSHA recently joined forces with the Connecticut Council of Language, Speech and Hearing Coordinators in the Schools, incorporating them into our organization as the School Leadership Council (SLC). This change consolidates and strengthens the muscle of ... State Spotlight
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State Spotlight  |   April 01, 2017
Connecticut Speech-Language-Hearing Association
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Hearing & Speech Perception / State Spotlight
State Spotlight   |   April 01, 2017
Connecticut Speech-Language-Hearing Association
The ASHA Leader, April 2017, Vol. 22, 68. doi:10.1044/leader.STSP.22042017.68
The ASHA Leader, April 2017, Vol. 22, 68. doi:10.1044/leader.STSP.22042017.68
Facebook: Connecticut-Speech-Language-Hearing-Association
Established: 1950
Members: 350
Contact: Julie Zellner, president, srjaz@comcast.net
How are you making a difference in your members’ professional lives?
CSHA recently joined forces with the Connecticut Council of Language, Speech and Hearing Coordinators in the Schools, incorporating them into our organization as the School Leadership Council (SLC). This change consolidates and strengthens the muscle of speech-language pathologists in Connecticut schools by integrating school speech-language pathology leaders from across the state and providing a single voice for them to use in addressing school-related practice issues.
The Hospital and Medical Speech Pathology Committee serves as the meeting place for the state’s professionals who work primarily with adults.
Perhaps the activity most important for the good of all our members is our legislative oversight. CSHA maintains vigilance over the activities with the help of a paid lobbyist, who meets with us annually to alert us of any pending legislation that affects audiologists and SLPs. This has resulted in several important CSHA advocacy campaigns.
What is your association’s proudest accomplishment?
Several years ago, ear, nose and throat physicians in Connecticut attempted to remove the term “diagnose” from the speech-language pathology scope of practice in state licensure language. The aim of this move was to prevent SLPs from diagnosing dysphagia, which physicians viewed as their responsibility. That change, however, would have precluded any diagnostic practice for SLPs licensed in Connecticut, including diagnosing speech and language disorders. CSHA rallied its members, wrote letters to legislators, and testified at hearings at the Capitol. Thanks to our efforts, not only was limit to our scope of practice defeated, but the legislature decided it would never open the licensure law for a profession without directly consulting with the members of that profession.
What is the most significant challenge, unique circumstance or pressing frustration facing communication sciences and disorders professionals in your state today?
School-based SLPs lost their representation at the Connecticut State Department of Education (SDE). When the most recent SLP consultant at the SDE retired, more than 10 years ago, tight budgets led to the decision not to replace her. There is no one at the state level with experience and expertise in schools practice who can inform other SDE staff about the needs and contributions of audiologists and SLPs in schools. Changing this is one of CSHA’s ongoing priorities.
Do you have a particularly successful advocacy or recruitment strategy to share?
CSHA followed the ASHA model and initiated “Lobby Days,” in which we take groups of CSHA members and students to the Capitol for a day. These events are a great way for students and professionals to get a first-hand look at how state government works and how citizens can make their voices heard.
What is a particularly memorable event in your association’s history and how did it come about?
When CSHA celebrated its 60th anniversary in 2010, we were thrilled to welcome then-ASHA President Tommie Robinson, who attended our Spring Conference and had the honor of cutting the cake, which was in the shape of the state and decorated with the CSHA logo.
What should every communication sciences and disorders professional in your state know about the association?
CSHA is an organization run entirely by volunteers who give their time to advance the professions in our state. Inexpensive membership fees entitle members to discounted registration for our conferences each year, website access, and inclusion in our Directory of Speech and Hearing Services, searchable by consumers. Membership is free for students and clinical fellows. CSHA is a great way to meet other dynamic professionals who are the movers and shakers in our area.
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FROM THIS ISSUE
April 2017
Volume 22, Issue 4