Charting the Course Ahead ASHA’s Strategic Plan Outlines Future Direction of the Association ASHA News
ASHA News  |   March 01, 2005
Charting the Course Ahead
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ASHA News & Member Stories / ASHA News
ASHA News   |   March 01, 2005
Charting the Course Ahead
The ASHA Leader, March 2005, Vol. 10, 3-27. doi:10.1044/leader.AN2.10032005.3
The ASHA Leader, March 2005, Vol. 10, 3-27. doi:10.1044/leader.AN2.10032005.3
In March 2004 the Legislative Council approved a Strategic Plan that charts a course for ASHA’s direction in the coming years. Michael Kimbarow, who proposed the plan in 2002 while serving as vice president for administration and planning, formed a Strategic Plan working group of ASHA leaders to develop a framework within which the many components of the Association could work in a coordinated way toward a desired future. The final product was widely reviewed before its final approval by the Legislative Council last spring.
The plan includes a vision statement that looks ahead 20 years to 2025, and describes where the Association will be if it follows the path laid out by the plan.
Key Issues for the Future
Seven major issues were identified during the plan’s development that reflect member concerns, enhance member services, or ensure that individuals with communication disorders have access to quality services. Outcomes were established for each issue. To achieve each outcome, multiple strategies will be implemented over the next three years (2005–2007). Some strategies complement programs already underway as part of ASHA’s Focused Initiatives for 2005 (see sidebar on page 27). Following are the seven issues identified as top priorities for future planning.
  • High quality research in communication sciences and disorders is essential to provide evidence-based clinical practice and quality clinical services. Outcomes in this area are: increasing applied and efficacy research, improving knowledge of the availability and use of evidence-based practice research, and increasing funding for research.

  • A critical shortage of doctoral-level (PhD) faculty affects the preparation of professionals as well as the amount of research conducted in communication sciences and disorders. Outcomes in this area are: increasing the number of students trained to take positions as doctoral-level faculty, retaining current faculty, and increasing funding for doctoral program fellowships.

  • A comprehensive scope of practice in communication sciences and disorders enhances the visibility of the professions for clients and stakeholders and their awareness of the value of audiology and speech-language pathology services. Outcomes in this area are: ensuring that the scope of practice includes any new areas of practice; increasing advocacy for the use of public and private reimbursement systems to provide quality services; and increasing the perceived value by consumers, stakeholders and related professionals of services provided by audiologists and speech-language pathologists.

  • An increase in the knowledge and skill sets needed to provide quality professional services in a culturally competent manner across various practice settings will lead to specialization in clinical practice. Outcomes in this area are: building awareness of how linguistic and cultural differences affect research, service delivery, and professional education; improving awareness of the number of opportunities for clinical specialization; and identifying knowledge and skills in major areas of communication sciences and disorders.

  • Increased international exchange of professional knowledge and information will require various forms of dissemination and communication, as well as educational and professional practice delivery systems. Outcomes in this area are: educating members about ASHA’s valued-added programs, services, and resources; encouraging interchange of professional knowledge and information among professionals from different nations; and collaborating with other countries on an international conference on communication sciences and disorders.

  • Mutual international collaboration in setting standards for registration and credentialing while respecting each nation’s models of education and professional practice is required to meet the expectation that people worldwide will have access to quality, culturally competent programs. Outcomes in this area are: increasing recognition and adoption of ASHA credentialing and accreditation standards within the United States and expanding knowledge of the registration/credentialing standards in other countries.

  • Understanding and recognition of cultural, linguistic, and political differences worldwide will facilitate ASHA’s ability to work collaboratively with other international associations. Outcomes in this area are: increasing awareness of the cultural, linguistic, and political differences that affect service delivery worldwide; and understanding the impact of language and culture on international collaboration.

Current Projects
National Office staff have developed and are implementing a 2005 work plan with specific strategies to achieve the desired outcomes of the plan. Progress in completing the work plan is monitored on a quarterly basis.
2005 Focused Initiatives

For ASHA, the Stratsegic Plan takes the long view of issues facing communication sciences and disorders, and the more immediate program work is outlined in annual Focused Initiatives (FIs). Every year, members are contacted by e-mail and asked to name the three issues about which they are most concerned. In 2004, more than 3,000 members responded, and from that data the Legislative Council and Executive Board selected four of the top issues as Focused Initiatives for 2005: They are:

  • Evidence-Based Practice

  • Personnel Issues

  • Doctoral (PhD) Shortage

  • Health Care Reimbursement

In some cases the 2005 Focused Initiatives are closely aligned with the Strategic Plan. Watch for a full description of this year’s FIs in a future issue of The ASHA Leader.

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March 2005
Volume 10, Issue 3