2017 ASHA Convention Content Topic Areas

To learn more about the information covered under each Topic Area, select the links below to read the full descriptions. The Convention Program Committee Members work to select the most informative Convention content based on proposal submissions to each topic area.

Academic and Clinical Education

Topic Chairs: Pamela Smith and James F. Naas
Content Area: General Interest

This topic area accepts submissions that address issues related to models of teaching and learning in higher education, models of undergraduate and graduate academic, clinical, and research preparation, focus on supervision and evidence-based educational and research practices.

Submissions regarding translational, applied, or implementation research related to academic and clinical education and supervision will be encouraged.

Research and Professional Education

  • Scholarship of teaching and learning
  • Evaluation, Assessment, and/or Effectiveness of:
    • Academic and clinical programs
    • Academic and education and practice research
    • Student learning
    • Faculty-student collaborations
    • Academic and Clinical Teaching
    • Models of higher education (academic and clinical) and evidence of their effectiveness (e.g., case-based, problem-based, service learning approaches
    • Technology supported academic and clinical education
  • Descriptions of:
    • Simulation labs, standardized, and virtual patients
    • Innovative curricular modifications of academic and clinical programs
    • Curricular development of clinical doctoral programs in speech-language pathology and audiology
    • Accreditation of academic and clinical educational programs
    • Using assessment to improve academic and clinical teaching
    • Models of distance learning and on-line education
    • Technology supported academic and clinical education and their effectiveness
    • Clinical certification, clinical fellowship, and clinical externship
    • Building campus-community partnerships
    • Ethical issues in supervision
  • Supervision training for the following target audiences:
    • Clinical Educators of Graduate Students
    • Preceptors of Audiology Externs
    • Mentors of Clinical Fellows
    • Supervisors of Support Personnel
    • Supervisors of Those in Transition – to facilitate the acquisition of knowledge and skills needed for those professionals transitioning to a new area of practice or those reentering the profession
  • Supervision training in the context of the following broad categories of knowledge and skills required for effective supervision:
    • Supervisory Process and Clinical Education
    • Relationship Development and Communication Skills
    • Establishment/Implementation of Goals
    • Analysis and Evaluation
    • Clinical and Performance Decisions

Assessment of Hearing and Balance Disorders in Adults

Topic Chair: Devin L. McCaslin
Content Area: Audiology

This topic is applicable to audiologists and health care professionals providing screening and assessment of auditory, tinnitus, and vestibular/balance disorders to the adult population. Topics include screening and assessment in a variety of occupational and healthcare settings; clinical applications of physiologic and behavioral assessment of hearing, tinnitus, and dizziness/balance in adults; and medical evaluation in cases of adult hearing loss, tinnitus and balance disorders.

Research and Professional Education

  • Basic, translational, applied, or implementation research related to the screening and assessment of adult hearing, tinnitus, and vestibular/balance disorder
  • Case studies regarding screening and assessment of adult hearing, tinnitus, or vestibular function/balance
  • Standardization of clinical test procedures
  • Screening and assessment tools and protocol
  • Clinical applications of neurophysiological or electrophysiological tests of hearing and vestibular function/balance in the adult population
  • Engineering/technological innovations for screening and assessment of hearing loss, tinnitus, or vestibular/balance disorders in adults
  • Effects of aging on hearing and/or vestibular/balance function among adults
  • Effects of co-morbid health issues (other than those related to TBI) on hearing and/or vestibular function/balance
  • Neurodegenerative diseases affecting hearing, tinnitus, and/or vestibular function/balance
  • Prevalence of hearing loss, tinnitus and vestibular/balance disorders among adults
  • Hearing and vestibular/balance disorders and syndromes affecting adults
  • Genetic testing related to hearing and vestibular/balance disorders among adults
  • Screening and assessment of noise exposure and ototoxicity among adults
  • Multicultural/cross-linguistic factors in the screening and assessment of hearing loss, tinnitus, or balance disorders in the adult population

Assessment of Hearing and Balance Disorders in Children

Topic Chair: Derek J. Stiles
Content Area: Audiology

This topic is applicable to audiologists and health care professionals providing screening and assessment of hearing, tinnitus and vestibular/balance disorders in infants, toddlers, and children.  Topics include screening and assessment in a variety of educational and healthcare settings; clinical applications of physiologic and behavioral assessment of hearing, tinnitus, and dizziness/balance in infants, toddlers, and children; and medical evaluation in cases of pediatric hearing loss, tinnitus, and balance disorders.

Research and Professional Education

  • Basic, translational, applied, or implementation research related to screening and assessment of pediatric hearing, tinnitus, and vestibular disorder
  • Case studies regarding screening and assessment of pediatric hearing, tinnitus, or vestibular function/balance
  • Standardization of clinical test procedures
  • Screening and assessment tools and protocols
  • Reporting, documentation, and interpretation updates
  • Clinical applications of neurophysiological or electrophysiological tests of hearing and balance in the pediatric population
  • Engineering/technological innovations for assessment of hearing loss, tinnitus, or vestibular disorders in children
  • Effects of co-morbid health issues (other than those related to TBI) on hearing and/or balance in children
  • Neurodegenerative diseases affecting hearing, tinnitus, and/or balance in children
  • Prevalence of hearing and vestibular disorders among children
  • Hearing and vestibular disorders and syndromes affecting children
  • Genetic testing related to hearing and vestibular disorders among children
  • Screening and assessment of noise exposure and ototoxicity among children
  • Administrative, ethical and regulatory issues related to conducting Universal Newborn Hearing Screenings and compliance with EHDI guidelines
  • Administrative, ethical and regulatory issues related to conducting school hearing screenings and assessment
  • Multicultural/cross-linguistic factors in the screening and assessment of hearing loss, tinnitus, or balance disorders in children

Auditory/Central Auditory Processing

Topic Chair: Jeanane M. Ferre 
Content Area: General Interest

This topic area addresses issues of interest to audiologists and speech-language pathologists regarding auditory/central auditory processing (both normal and disordered) among children and adults including neuroscientific bases, behavioral and electrophysiological assessment, functional impact, intervention (including management and treatment), service delivery, academic and clinical preparation, treatment outcomes, and research.

Research and Professional Education

  • Basic, translational, applied, or implementation research related to auditory/central processing
  • Outcomes research related to auditory/central auditory processing
  • Development of auditory/central auditory processing skills
  • Age-related changes in auditory/central auditory processing skills across the life span
  • Neurophysiological and neuropsychological considerations related to auditory/central auditory processing
  • Screening for auditory/central processing disorders among children and adults
  • Assessment of auditory/central auditory processing among children and adults
  • Impact of auditory/central auditory processing disorders on academics, communication, psychosocial well-being, cognition, and life skills including issues of co- morbidity
  • Management of auditory/central auditory processing disorders including technological assistance
  • Treatment strategies for auditory/central auditory processing including technological applications
  • Intra- and interdisciplinary/professional collaboration in assessment and intervention
  • Academic and clinical preparation, including clinical supervision preparation
  • Issues and controversies related to auditory/central auditory processing

Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC)

Topic Chair: Jan Bedrosian
Content Area: Speech-Language Pathology

Proposals appropriate for this topic area focus on advancing knowledge and clinical practice pertaining to people with complex communication needs that require the use of augmentative and alternative communication (AAC), including consultation with and education/intervention for families, caregivers, peers, and relevant professionals. AAC applications/systems range from no/low tech (e.g., use of objects, sign language, graphic symbols displayed on communication boards) to high tech (Speech Generating Devices and apps). People requiring the use of AAC range across the lifespan and exhibit a wide range of communication disorders, including both developmental and acquired disorders.

Regardless of age or etiology, proposals having a primary focus on AAC should be submitted to this topic area.

Research and Professional Education

  • Technology issues (development, devices, software) related to AAC
  • AAC applications for mobile technologies
  • Access methods including brain-computer interface
  • Navigation issues and rate/speed of message delivery
  • Aided and unaided symbol/representational systems
  • Vocabulary/message selection related to AAC
  • Principles of assessment related to AAC
  • Language development/facilitation via AAC
  • AAC applications and developmental disabilities
  • AAC strategies for young children/beginning communicators
  • Augmented input
  • AAC and challenging behaviors not related to Autism Spectrum Disorders
  • Literacy development service delivery models and practices related to AAC
  • AAC applications and acquired disabilities
  • Inclusion of people who require the use of AAC in education, employment, and community life
  • Conversational partner and setting strategies promoting AAC competence
  • Attitudes toward people who require the use of AAC and their communication
  • Consumer and family issues related to AAC
  • Psychosocial impact/issues related to AAC
  • Cognitive considerations related to AAC
  • Multicultural/cross-linguistic issues related to AAC
  • AAC outcomes measurement
  • Funding and policy issues related to AAC
  • Administrative and regulatory issues related to AAC
  • University education and training issues specific to AAC
  • Clinical supervision issues specific to AAC
  • Personnel development and training issues specific to AAC
  • Ethical issues related to AAC
  • Translational, applied, or implementation research related to AAC
  • Meta-analyses pertaining to AAC research

Autism Spectrum Disorders

Topic Chairs: Tina Veale and Schea N. Fissel
Content Area: Speech-Language Pathology

Proposals in this topic area should address the complex social, communication, and/or behavioral needs of individuals with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) or social-communication (pragmatic) disorder (SCD). Sessions that address theory, etiology, differential diagnosis, comorbid conditions, assessment and intervention practices, service delivery models, and lifespan transitions are will be included.  Proposals will be evaluated based upon relevance to contemporary issues in ASD or SCD, clarity of the proposal, strength of evidence presented, and projected impact upon the practice of speech-language pathology. Interprofessional or collaborative proposals are welcomed. 

Research and Professional Education

  • Basic, applied, or qualitative research that advances the understanding of ASD or SC
  • Basic, applied, or qualitative research related to social-communication concerns of persons with ASD or SCD
  • Sessions presenting evidence relative to ASD or SCD and:
    • Speech, language, and social-communication
    • Theoretical models
    • Etiological models
    • Neurobiological models
    • Sensory processing disorders
    • Behavioral issues
    • Assessment of social-communicative competence
    • Treatment of social-communicative competence
    • Adaptive functioning and transitions across the lifespan
    • Cultural and linguistic diversity
    • Comorbid conditions
    • Interprofessional and family roles and responsibilities in assessment and treatment
    • Treatment intensity
    • Social and economic impact

Craniofacial and Velopharyngeal Disorders

Topic Chair: Adriane Baylis
Content Area: Speech-Language Pathology

This topic includes issues relating to research and clinical evaluation and management across the lifespan for individuals with cleft lip/palate, craniofacial anomalies and velopharyngeal dysfunction (VPD). This topic includes the interdisciplinary surgical, dental, audiologic, speech-language, psychosocial, genetic and educational factors impacting communication, hearing, and feeding/swallowing in affected individuals. Proposals related to education and training issues specific to clinical competency in the evaluation and treatment of speech, language, and feeding/swallowing disorders associated with craniofacial anomalies should also be submitted to this topic area. Evaluation and treatment of resonance disorders, speech sound disorders, and language disorders associated with cleft palate, VPD, and related craniofacial anomalies and craniofacial syndromes should be submitted to this topic area, including those given below.

Research and Professional Education

  • Interdisciplinary team care for individuals affected by cleft lip/palate, velopharyngeal dysfunction (VPD), craniofacial anomalies and craniofacial syndromes, including surgical, dental, hearing, speech-language, psychosocial, genetic and educational factors impacting affected individuals
  • Causes, incidence and prevalence of communication disorders in individuals affected by cleft lip/palate, VPD, craniofacial anomalies and craniofacial syndromes
  • Evaluation and treatment of feeding/swallowing disorders in children with cleft lip/palate, craniofacial anomalies and craniofacial syndromes
  • Evaluation of speech disorders, including but not limited to resonance and speech sound disorders, in individuals affected by cleft lip/palate, VPD, craniofacial anomalies and craniofacial syndromes
  • Speech therapy approaches used in the treatment of speech sound disorders in individuals affected by cleft lip/palate, VPD, craniofacial anomalies and craniofacial syndrome
  • Surgical and nonsurgical (e.g., prosthetic, biofeedback therapy) management of velopharyngeal dysfunction and associated speech and resonance disorders
  • Methods and approaches used in the perceptual speech evaluation for individuals affected by cleft lip/palate, VPD, craniofacial anomalies and craniofacial syndromes, as well as issues related to validity and reliability of speech ratings
  • Evaluation and treatment of language disorders in individuals affected by cleft lip/palate, VPD, craniofacial anomalies and craniofacial syndromes
  • Education, training, and supervision of students, CFs, and clinicians in the evaluation and treatment of speech-language and feeding/swallowing disorders in individuals affected by cleft lip/palate, VPD, craniofacial anomalies and craniofacial syndromes
  • Multicultural/cross-linguistic issues related to the evaluation and treatment of individuals affected by cleft lip/palate, VPD, craniofacial anomalies and craniofacial syndromes
  • Early intervention for children with cleft lip/palate, VPD, craniofacial anomalies and craniofacial syndromes
  • Treatment effectiveness, efficacy, and outcomes for individuals affected by cleft lip/palate, VPD, craniofacial anomalies and craniofacial syndromes
  • Role of instrumental assessment, including acoustic, aerodynamic and other approaches, in the evaluation and treatment of speech disorders associated cleft lip/palate, VPD, and other craniofacial anomalies
  • Role, types and applications of imaging technology, including videofluoroscopic, endoscopic, MRI, and other approaches, in the research, evaluation and management of speech-language disorders associated with cleft lip/palate, VPD, craniofacial anomalies and craniofacial syndromes
  • Administrative, billing/coding, and regulatory issues related to the management of individuals affected by cleft lip/palate, VPD, craniofacial anomalies and craniofacial syndromes
  • Psychosocial issues relevant to the care of individuals affected by cleft lip/palate, VPD, craniofacial anomalies and craniofacial syndromes
  • Ethics of service delivery for individuals affected by cleft lip/palate, VPD, craniofacial anomalies and craniofacial syndromes

Cultural and Linguistic Issues

Topic Chair: Danai Kasambira Fannin
Content Area: General Interest

Proposals should focus on how cultural differences (e.g., race, ethnicity, religious beliefs, age, national origin, gender, gender identity/gender expression, sexual orientation, socioeconomic status, disability, linguistic) influence; a) service provision; b) professional issues; c) research and; d) training. Presentations can target cultural considerations for appropriate assessment and intervention, variation in speech and language development, dialect and language variation, perceptions of communication and disability across cultures, or how cultural and linguistic diversity affects policy, counseling, supervision, and clinical training.

Research and Professional Education

  • Basic, translational, applied or implementation research related to cultural and linguistic factors
  • Cultural and linguistic differences and similarities in hearing, speech, and language development
  • Recruitment, retention, graduation, and career placement of non-international faculty and students whose communities are underrepresented in our professions
  • Cultural competence of professionals (pre-service and in-service) to appropriately counsel, assess, and treat diverse clients
  • Cultural and linguistic factors affecting audiology and speech-language pathology service delivery across the lifespan
  • Working with cultural mediators, interpreters, and translators across disciplines
  • Considerations for responding to the unique characteristics of culturally and linguistically diverse families, including families with internationally-adopted children
  • Communication and sociocultural issues associated with gay, lesbian, transgender, queer and bisexual individuals and their communities
  • Administrative, professional, ethical, and policy issues related to cultural and linguistic diversity
  • Recognition of, and solutions to reduce health disparities in receipt of speech, language, and hearing services or communication tools

Fluency

Topic Chair: Rodney Gabel
Content Area: Speech-Language Pathology

Proposals to the topic area should focus on all aspects of speech fluency (both typical and disordered, e.g., stuttering, cluttering), including development, as well as assessment and treatment of disordered fluency. Proposals can include theoretical and experimental studies that elucidate the nature, cause, development or remediation of fluency disorders. They also may address educational training or practice issues in fluency treatment, as well as cultural or linguistic factors that influence fluency or its assessment/treatment. 

Research and Professional Education

  • Theoretical models of fluency and fluency disorders
  • Development of fluency in individuals with and without other communication disorders
  • Genetic, cognitive, psychological, social, linguistic, and cultural factors related to fluency and fluency disorders
  • Physiological, neurological, acoustic, and perceptual issues related to fluency and fluency disorders
  • Prevention of fluency disorders
  • Education and training issues specific to fluency
  • Assessment and treatment of fluency disorders
  • Computer-based and other instrumentation for assessment and treatment of fluency disorders
  • Consumer issues related to fluency and fluency disorders
  • Fluency disorders across the lifespan
  • Multicultural/cross-linguistic issues related to fluency and fluency disorders
  • Effects of various communication disorders on speech fluency
  • Administrative and regulatory issues related to fluency
  • Ethics of service delivery for persons with fluency disorders
  • Basic, translational, applied, or implementation research related to fluency development
  • Outcomes research in fluency disorders, including the importance of the clients’ perspective on successful treatment
  • Consideration of other professionals (teachers, counselors, etc.) and their potential role in developing interprofessional team approaches to working with individuals with fluency disorders

Global Issues and Practices

Topic Chairs: Brenda Louw and Gina Tillard
Content Area: General Interest

In this topic area we welcome proposals that focus on global issues across the disciplines of audiology and speech-language pathology.  Wherever possible proposals should incorporate perspectives from more than one country or describe how matters transcend across countries. Global issues may include matters relating to clinical service development in an international arena, professional learning across countries, impact of global policy on peoples with communication or swallowing disorders. Proposals may present projects that emphasize global cooperation and collaboration between professionals, students and affiliates in service delivery, research or advocacy for people with communication disorders. Of particular interest are proposals that reflect the “big picture” of common interests internationally, such as equitable access to services and the support of countries developing audiology and SLP services and education programs. Proposals are welcomed in this topic with either a research or professional education focus.

Research and Professional Education

  • Reports of general policy matters, service delivery issues, education and health care issues and access, attitude, and worldview regarding services in countries outside of the United States
  • Translational, applied, or implementation research related to global issues and practice
  • Research that facilitates global exchange of ideas for effective clinical practices across work settings and across national boundaries
  • Policies, challenges, and strategies that impact research in global communities
  • Implications of the Multilateral Mutual Recognition Agreement (MMRA) and other issues that impact recognition of credentials across borders
  • Administrative, educational and health care models, and collaboration projects in global contexts
  • Projects that accentuate global health initiatives that include communication sciences and disorders
  • Projects that facilitate student, faculty and/or professional global experiences in speech-language pathology and/or audiology
  • Projects that emphasize facilitation of global cooperation and collaboration among speech-language pathologists, audiologists, speech, language and hearing scientists, affiliates and students who are interested in communication and related disorders with international breadth
  • Implementation science as it relates to global health issues

Hearing and Balance Science

Topic Chair: Ravi Krishnan
Content Area: Audiology

The Hearing and Balance Science topic focuses on basic science aspects of hearing (including tinnitus), speech perception, auditory and vestibular neuroscience, as well as neurophysiological, electrophysiological, and imaging studies of auditory and/or vestibular pathways from periphery to cortex. Submissions to this topic area may include human and animal studies. Proposals addressing clinical applications of neurophysiological or electrophysiological tests of hearing and balance and/or management of hearing loss, balance disorders, and tinnitus should be submitted to the Assessment of Hearing and Balance Disorders in Adults or the Assessment of Hearing and Balance Disorders in Children topic areas.

Research and Professional Education

  • Basic, translational, applied, or implementation research related to neuroanatomy and neurophysiology of auditory and vestibular function
  • Basic,translational, applied, or implementation research related to auditory and vestibular sciences
  • Investigation regarding basic scientific principles of tinnitus, hearing and balance
  • Computer-based and other research technologies for rehabilitation interfaces for hearing and balance
  • Multicultural /cross-linguistic issues and research in auditory and vestibular science
  • Theoretical models of auditory and vestibular function
  • Intraoperative monitoring of auditory, cranial nerves, somatosensory, vestibular, and motor systems function
  • Neurodiagnostics measures associated with cochlear implant function
  • Auditory Neuropathy/Dys-synchrony and Hidden Hearing Loss
  • Physiologic and electrophysiologic procedures to study auditory or vestibular systems
  • Evoked potentials, PET, fMRI, V/ENG, otoacoustic emissions
  • Acoustics and psychophysics
  • Acoustic calibration and National/International standards
  • Animal models of hearing and balance function
  • Vestibular/Balance science
  • Speech perception and psychoacoustics
  • Neural plasticity related to hearing, balance, tinnitus
  • Educational and professional issues specific to auditory and vestibular sciences
  • Models of hearing development across the lifespan
  • Models of vestibular development across the lifespan
  • Neuroscientific advances with implications for tinnitus, hearing and balance impairments

Interprofessional Education and Practice

Topic Chairs: Janet Simon Schreck and Jennifer M. Simpson
Content Area: General Interest

Interprofessional Education and Practice (IPE/IPP) is relevant to both disciplines within the profession. This topic area addresses interprofessional education, practice and research across the lifespan and scope of practice. Proposals should demonstrate incorporation of core tenets and competencies associated with IPE/IPP across the continuum of care that results in high quality, safe, person-centered, evidence-based collaborative practice. Though IPE/IPP emerged from the health care arena, application of IPE/IPP core competencies is relevant among all speech-language pathology and audiology clinical settings. IPE/IPP is distinct from multidisciplinary and interdisciplinary approaches and proposals should reflect this distinction. Proposals in this topic are should seek to advance the body of knowledge that informs interprofessional education and interprofessional practice.  They should focus on advancing the knowledge, skills, values, and attitudes needed to make competent judgments in domains of role clarification, interprofessional communication and collaborative leadership within person-centered and family-centered clinical care teams.

Proposals focused on IPE will demonstrate innovative didactic and experiential learning opportunities that support academic and clinical training required for building interprofessional competencies in the emerging clinical workforce along with faculty development required to sustain a culture in which IPE is recognized as necessary to achieve optimum clinical outcomes. Submission of translational, applied, or implementation research related to IPE and studies examining methods for assessing IP competencies in students are encouraged. Examples of IPE proposals that will be considered for presentation include those that:

  • Identify the barriers to implementation of interprofessional learning and how academic institutions can address these barriers through innovative curricular design
  • Demonstrate state-of-the-art technologies, use of clinical skills and simulation strategies, novel team-based clinical placements and creative solutions to institutional and accreditation challenges associated with IPE/IPP
  • Describe pedagogy for the domains of interprofessional education: values/ethics, roles and responsibilities, interprofessional responsibilities, and teams/ teamwork
  • Describe the motivation for and development of interprofessional learning models connecting students with community-based programs and services
  • Address the gap between academic settings, practice settings and oversight bodies in the context of IPE/IPP
  • Share successes associated with scheduling interprofessional education activities in health sciences schools
  • Describe factors pertaining to development of faculty leadership for IPE/IPP
  • Discuss ethical issue surrounding IPE

Proposals focused on IPP will demonstrate ways that speech-language pathologists and/or audiologists work interprofessionally with service providers from different professional backgrounds to provide the highest quality of comprehensive and collaborative healthcare or educational services to individuals, families, caregivers, and communities. Examples of IPP proposals that will be considered for presentation include those that:

  • Explore treatment outcome studies when services are delivered within an IPP framework
  • Demonstrate how audiologists and speech- language pathologists, as uniquely qualified communication specialists, contribute to policy making, patient safety, and overall improved health and educational outcomes by participating on interprofessional teams
  • Discuss ethical issues surrounding IPP
  • Share best practices and lessons learned for people with advanced levels of interprofessional education and practice endeavors
  • Advance the body of knowledge that informs interprofessional education and interprofessional practice

Intervention/Rehabilitation of Hearing and Balance Disorders in Adults

Topic Chair: Jessica Sullivan  
Content Area: Audiology

This topic is applicable to audiologists and health care professionals providing auditory, tinnitus, and vestibular/balance intervention/rehabilitation services to the adult population. Topics include intervention/rehabilitation in a variety of occupational and healthcare settings; clinical applications of physiologic and behavioral interventions for hearing, tinnitus, and dizziness/balance disorders in adults, as well as advances and/or innovations in prevention, intervention and counseling. 

Research and Professional Education

  • Basic, translational, applied, or implementation research related to intervention/rehabilitation for adults with hearing, tinnitus, or vestibular/balance disorders
  • Selection, evaluation, orientation and follow-up, electroacoustic measurements, programming and maintenance with: assistive listening devices (ALDs), hearing protection devices, hearing aids, cochlear implants and other implantable devices
  • Intervention/rehabilitation for hearing loss among adults, including surgical and medical management
  • Adult aural rehabilitation
  • Adaptive and alternative communication systems for adults with hearing loss and their families
  • Communication strategies for adults with hearing loss and their families
  • End-of-life communication support for adults with hearing loss and their families
  • Intervention/rehabilitation for tinnitus among adults, including surgical and medical management
  • Cerumen management in adults
  • Occupational/industrial hearing conservation programs
  • Ototoxic/vestibulotoxic monitoring programs
  • Intervention/rehabilitation for balance/vestibular disorders among adults, including surgical and medical management
  • Innovation in fall prevention programs – inpatient and home health
  • Engineering/technological innovations related to intervention/rehabilitation of hearing loss, tinnitus, or balance disorders
  • Counseling adults with hearing loss, tinnitus, or balance disorders and their families
  • Impact of hearing loss, tinnitus, or balance disorders on psychosocial function
  • Impact of hearing loss, tinnitus, or balance disorders on vocational function
  • Impact of hearing loss, tinnitus, or balance disorders on family function
  • Multicultural/cross-linguistic factors in the intervention/rehabilitation for adults with hearing loss, tinnitus, or balance disorders
  • The impact of listening effort

Intervention/Rehabilitation of Hearing and Balance Disorders in Children

Topic Chairs: Elizabeth Walker and Donna Fisher Smiley  
Content Area: Audiology

This area encompasses topics applicable to audiologists, speech language pathologists, and health care professionals providing auditory, tinnitus, and vestibular/balance intervention/rehabilitation services to the pediatric population. Topics include intervention/rehabilitation in a variety of educational and healthcare settings; clinical applications of physiologic and behavioral interventions for hearing, tinnitus, and dizziness/balance disorders in children, as well as advances and/or innovations in prevention, intervention and counseling.

Research and Professional Education

  • Basic, translational, applied, or implementation research related to intervention/rehabilitation for infants and children with hearing, tinnitus, or vestibular/balance disorders
  • Selection, evaluation, orientation and follow-up, electroacoustic measurements, programming and maintenance with: assistive listening devices (ALDs), hearing protection devices, hearing aids, cochlear implants and other implantable devices
  • Intervention/rehabilitation for hearing loss among infants and children, including surgical and medical management
  • Communication options for children with hearing loss (Auditory-Verbal, Auditory-Oral, Cued Speech, Total Communication, Signed Exact English, American Sign Language)
  • Pediatric aural rehabilitation
  • Adaptive and alternative communication systems for infants and children with hearing loss and their families
  • Cerumen management in pediatric population
  • Communication strategies for infants and children with hearing loss and their families
  • Intervention/rehabilitation for tinnitus among children, including surgical and medical management
  • Ototoxic/vestibulotoxic monitoring programs
  • Intervention/Rehabilitation for balance/vestibular disorders among children, including surgical and medical management
  • Engineering/technological innovations related to intervention/rehabilitation of hearing loss, tinnitus, or balance disorders
  • Counseling children with hearing loss, tinnitus, or balance disorders and their families
  • Impact of hearing loss, tinnitus, or balance disorders on children’s academic/educational performance
  • Impact of hearing loss, tinnitus, or balance disorders on children’s growth and development (e.g., psychosocial, speech and language, literacy, motor)
  • Impact of hearing loss, tinnitus, or balance disorders on family function
  • Pre-service, in-service education, and supervision issues specific to hearing, balance and tinnitus of infants and children
  • Early intervention services for infants/toddlers who are deaf/hard of hearing
  • Educational hearing conservation programs/interventions
  • Issues/interventions for children with hearing loss in the educational setting (e.g., accommodations, supplemental aids and services, self-advocacy, functional assessments, listening effort and fatigue)
  • Education and training of parents/professionals working with children with hearing loss and balance disorders
  • Multicultural/cross-linguistic factors in the intervention/rehabilitation for adults with hearing loss, tinnitus, or balance disorders

Language and Learning in School-Age Children and Adolescents

Topic Chairs: Shari Robertson and Jennifer Schultz  
Content Area: Speech-Language Pathology

Proposals appropriate for this topic area focus on advancing knowledge and clinical practice in communication and language development for school-aged children and adolescents, including consultation and education for families, educators, and other professionals.  Proposals will reflect the range of research and professional services appropriate for this population, including, but not limited to, the nature of language disorders, prevention, screening, evaluation and assessment, service delivery models and intervention methods, transition to vocational or post-secondary settings, and supports and services for individuals with conditions associated with childhood language disorders (e.g., Down syndrome, Fragile X).  Also included are proposals that address language intervention efficacy and effectiveness as well as research and scientific advances in the knowledge base that have implications for school-aged and adolescent communication and language development. Proposals that address these topics and infuse multiple, cross-linguistic and diversity issues are appropriate for this topic area.

Research and Professional Education

  • Translational, applied, or implementation research related to language and learning in school-aged children and adolescents
  • Evidence-based practice and outcomes research for language disorders in school-age children and adolescents
  • Psychometric properties of instruments designed to measure basic abilities or changes in spoken language; including standardized testing and progress monitoring tools
  • Second-language acquisition and/or use in school-age children and adolescents; multicultural/cross-linguistic issues in school-age children and adolescents
  • Prevalence of language disorders and language-learning disabilities in school-age children and adolescents
  • Etiologies of language disorders and language-learning disabilities
  • Language disorders in school-age children and adolescents with co-morbid disorders (psychiatric, genetic, maltreatment, etc.)
  • Prevention of language disorders and language-learning disabilities
  • Language assessment, intervention, supports, and long-term outcomes for individuals with histories of language disorders in childhood
  • Pedagogy and clinical education aspects of curriculum and training specific to preparing professionals to work effectively with school-age children and adolescents with language disorders
  • Administrative and regulatory issues related to language and learning in school-age children and adolescents including but not limited to Response to Intervention and facilitating achievement of Common Core Standards
  • Models of collaboration and multi-disciplinary or interprofessional teaming, problem-solving models
  • Family-centered practice in supporting school-age children and adolescents with language disorders
  • Transition planning for school-age children and adolescents with language disorders
  • Use of technology to support language learning in school-age children and adolescents with language disorders
  • Ethical issues related to language and learning in school-age children and adolescents

Language Disorders in Adults

Topic Chair: Natalie F. Douglas 
Content Area: Speech-Language Pathology 

This topic area covers the description, assessment, treatment, and prevention of acquired neurogenic language and cognitive-communication disorders due to stroke or degenerative disease in adults. This includes the effects of stroke, (aphasia or right hemisphere disorder), mild cognitive impairment, and progressive disease (including dementia, primary progressive aphasia and variants). Intervention approaches may include behavioral, client/caregiver-focused, computer-based, cross-linguistic, environmental, multi-cultural, medically managed, or others. 

Research and Professional Education

  • Translational, applied, qualitative or implementation research in language disorders in adults
  • Treatment outcomes research for language disorders in adults
  • Person- centered care and practice
  • Language and cognitive abilities in adults with communication disorders due to stroke or progressive disease
  • Comparisons of language and cognitive behaviors in adults with acquired neurogenic language and cognitive-communication disorders
  • Prevention of acquired neurogenic language and cognitive-communication disorders
  • Assessment of acquired neurogenic language and cognitive-communication disorders
  • Interventions, innovative treatment strategies for acquired neurogenic language and cognitive-communication disorders
  • Innovative service delivery models for acquired neurogenic language and cognitive-communication disorders
  • Interdisciplinary/teaming issues specific to acquired neurogenic language and cognitive-communication disorders
  • Academic and clinical education pertaining to acquired neurogenic language and cognitive-communication disorders
  • Multicultural/cross-linguistic issues in acquired neurogenic language and cognitive-communication disorders
  • Ethical considerations for service delivery in acquired neurogenic language and cognitive-communication disorders
  • End of life decision making related to acquired neurogenic language and cognitive-communication disorders

Language in Infants, Toddlers, and Preschoolers

Topic Chairs: Jill Duthie and Patti Solomon-Rice  
Content Area: Speech-Language Pathology

Proposals appropriate for this topic area focus on advancing knowledge and clinical practice in early communication and language development for young children, including consultation with and education for families, caregivers, preschool teachers, and other professionals. Proposals will reflect the range of research and professional services, including, but not limited to, the nature of early communication and language disorders; prevention; screening, evaluation, and assessment; service delivery models and intervention methods; communication and language efficacy and effectiveness research; and scientific advances in the knowledge base that have implications for early communication and language development. Proposals that address these topics and also infuse multiple, cross-linguistic and diversity issues, are appropriate for this topic area. 

Research and Professional Education

  • Translational, applied, or implementation research related to language in infants, toddlers, and preschoolers
  • Evidence-based practice and outcomes research for language in infants, toddlers and preschoolers
  • Developing language systems in oral and/or alternative modes by young children, including children from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds
  • Social and cognitive bases of communication and language acquisition in young children
  • Comparisons of communication and language abilities of young children with typical and atypical language
  • Prevalence of developmental language disorders
  • Screening for developmental language disorders in infants, toddlers, and preschoolers
  • Evaluation of developmental language disorders in infants, toddlers, and preschoolers
  • Treatment of developmental language disorders in infants, toddlers, and preschoolers
  • Etiologies of children's language disorders (including genetics) and the association with related conditions
  • Issues regarding service delivery models for infants, toddlers, and preschoolers
  • Issues related to family systems and natural environments for infants, toddlers, and preschoolers
  • Personnel preparation issues specific to language in infants, toddlers, and preschoolers
  • Supervision in language assessment and intervention with infants, toddlers, and preschoolers
  • Psychological impact of early childhood language disorders on children and their families
  • Administrative and regulatory issues related to language in infants, toddlers, and preschool children
  • Ethical considerations for service delivery to infants, toddlers and preschool children with language disorders

Leadership and Professional Issues

Topic Chairs: Robert Burkard and Patricia A. Prelock  
Content Area: General Interest

Leadership and Professional Issues covers ethics and ethical decision making, leadership including the knowledge and skills required and models for successful leadership, coaching and mentoring, recruitment of personnel, performance evaluations, self-care and wellness in the workplace, and HR issues including hiring processes, diversity, personnel orientation, bullying, gathering and responding to feedback related to the professions of speech language pathology, audiology and speech-language-hearing science. Topics in this area come from a wide range of practice environments and appeal to clinicians, academicians and administrators.

Research and Professional Education

  • Translational, applied, or implementation research related to leadership and professional issues
  • Evaluation or quality improvement studies
  • Recruitment, retention, and advancement (including diversity)
  • Conflict management (including bullying)
  • Coaching/mentoring
  • Use of support personnel
  • Performance improvement, improvement science, and outcome measurement
  • Leadership program development
  • Selfcare and wellness, techniques to avoid burnout and build resilience
  • Volunteerism
  • Clinical Ladders
  • Ethical practices in speech language pathology, audiology and speech-language-hearing science
  • Human Resource management: supervision, performance evaluations, employee discipline, professional development
  • Interprofessional practice as it relates to leadership and team-building

Literacy Assessment and Intervention

Topic Chair: Christine L. Freiberg
Content Area: Speech-Language Pathology

Proposals appropriate for this topic focus on assessment, development, and intervention as relevant to literacy in children who are typically developing, at risk, or exhibit literacy-related disabilities. Areas of interest may include phonological awareness, print awareness, word recognition, orthography and spelling, and reading comprehension.

Research and Professional Education

  • Transitional, applied, or implementation research related to literacy assessment and intervention
  • Evidence based practical and outcomes research in literacy assessment and intervention
  • Screening, assessment, intervention, and supports, including Response-to-intervention approaches for linguistic and meta linguistic aspects of reading, spelling, and writing disorders
  • Theoretical models of written language development and use in school-age children and adolescents
  • Psychometric properties of instruments designed to measure basic abilities or changes in reading and writing; in luring standardized testing and progress monitoring tools
  • Assessment of pre-literacy and language-based literacy skills, including phonological awareness
  • Prevention of written language problems by fostering language acquisition and emergent literacy
  • Identification of children and adolescents with (or at risk for) reading and writing problems
  • Assessment of reading and writing abilities and the relation to spoken communication and academic achievement
  • Effective intervention for problems involving reading and writing
  • Advocating for effective literacy practice by assisting general education teachers, families, and students
  • Disorders of language and literacy and their relationships to each other and to other communication disorders
  • Emergent literacy contributions to literacy development, in luring spoken language interactions, environment exposure to print, interactions with books and shared book reading, experiences with writing tools, and adult modeling literacy
  • Reciprocal relationships among listening, speaking, reading, writing, and thinking
  • Development of phonological awareness, alphabetic, principle, decoding and spelling, comprehension of written language and the writing process
  • Impact of cultural-linguistic diversity on written learning from preschool through post-secondary years
  • Curriculum materials, subject specific curriculum content, and language/literacy standards from preschool through post-secondary years
  • Language bases of disorders of reading, spelling, and writing as well as risk factors (genetic as well as environmental)
  • Impact on reading and writing development of various conditions, such as language learning disabilities, ASD, cognitive disabilities, hearing impairments, infectious or traumatic brain impairments, or severe speech impairments and ACC needs
  • Assessment and treatment issues dealing with emerging and early literary in infants, toddlers, and preschoolers

Motor Speech Disorders

Topic Chair: Laurie Sterling
Content Area: Speech-Language Pathology

This topic area is appropriate for proposals examining the etiologies, nature, assessment or treatment of apraxia of speech and/or dysarthria in the pediatric and adult populations.

Research and Professional Education

  • Translational, applied, or implementation research related to motor speech disorders
  • Outcomes/efficacy research in motor speech disorders
  • Application of theory to motor speech disorders
  • Developmental disorders in motor speech control
  • Changes in motor speech disorders associated with aging
  • Comparison of normal and disordered motor speech control
  • Dysarthria in children and adults
  • Identification, assessment, treatment, and theoretical models of childhood apraxia of speech (CAS) 
  • Acquired and Progressive Apraxia of Speech in adults
  • Motor speech disorders associated with progressive and degenerative neurologic disease
  • Intelligibility and comprehensibility in motor speech disorders
  • Instrumental/objective assessment of motor speech disorders
  • Etiologies of motor speech disorders
  • Pharmacological, surgical, behavioral, and other interventions in motor speech disorders
  • Multicultural/cross linguistic issues in motor speech disorders
  • Administrative and regulatory issues in motor speech disorders
  • Education, training, and supervision issues specific to developing competency in motor speech disorder

Practice Management and Service Delivery Innovation

Topic Chair: Wayne A. Foster
Content Area: General Interest

Practice Management and Service Delivery Innovation covers reimbursement, coding, billing, business development, regulatory requirements and advocacy in speech-language pathology and audiology. Topics in this area come from a wide range of practice environments and appeal to clinicians and administrators. This topic area also provides an avenue to provide information on new and innovative service delivery options. Proposals that address outreach to underserved populations and/or new approaches to economic viability in a changing environment are welcome. 

Research and Professional Education

  • Translational, applied, or implementation research related to business practices and management issues
  • Service delivery models/systems (e.g., private practice, university clinics, hospital clinics, corporate management, schools, grant outcomes)
  • Clinical outreach to underserved populations innovation
  • Business efficiency strategies
  • Business development and practice management
  • Licensure and independent provider status
  • Marketing and consumer relations
  • Ethics and trust, risk management, legal issues, and quality control
  • Expert witness testimony
  • Budgeting and fiscal management
  • Billing and reimbursement: coding, managed care, Medicare/Medicaid and third party reimbursement
  • Denials and appeals
  • Government regulatory and compliance issues
  • Accreditation issues (e.g., Joint Commission, OSHA, CARF, CHAP)
  • Legislative advocacy
  • Project management

Speech and Language Science

Topic Chair: Jessica Sofranko Kisenwether
Content Area: General Interest

The Speech and Language Science topic area focuses on linguistic aspects of communication across the lifespan, as well as speech perception, production, and measurement. Proposals addressing disordered speech and language or the use of techniques/treatments in disordered language or speech should be submitted to their relevant topic areas.

Research/Professional Education

  • Investigation of basic scientific principles of communication science including speech and language
  • Research and research technology related to speech and language science
  • Multicultural/socio/crosss-linguistic aspects of language and speech science
  • Multicultural /cross-linguistic issues in language and speech science
  • Acoustics, psychophysics, psychoacoustics
  • Speech perception and production
  • Psycholinguistics of language across the lifespan
  • Second language learning and use in adults and children: implications for speech and language development and use
  • Language form, language meaning, language context, and language use
  • Instrumental analysis of speech and language

In relation to normal language, cognition, and speech:

  • Neural correlates/substrates (sensory, motor, plasticity)
  • Neuroscientific advances
  • Processes
  • Acquisition/development
  • Theories/framework/models (including animal models)
  • Metastudy
  • Education and professional issues
  • Genetics
  • Instrumentation/measurements
  • Education, training, and supervision issues related to competency

Speech Sound Disorders in Children

Topic Chair: Raul F. Prezas
Content Area: Speech-Language Pathology

Proposals appropriate for this topic area should focus on the causes, characteristics, and management (prevention, assessment, and intervention) of speech sound disorders in children. Proposal that include consultation with and education for families, caregivers, preschool teachers, and other professionals also are appropriate for this topic area. 

Research and Professional Education

  • Translational, applied, or implementation research related to speech sound disorders in children
  • Evidence-based practice and outcomes research for speech sound disorders in children
  • Theoretical models of articulatory and phonological development in children with speech sound disorders
  • Genetic bases of speech sound disorders in children
  • Characteristics of children with speech sound disorders
  • Prevention of speech sound disorders in children
  • Assessment and diagnosis of speech sound disorders in children
  • Technological/methodological advances in assessment and treatment of speech sound disorders in children
  • Identification, assessment, and treatment of speech sound disorders in special populations of children
  • Multicultural/cross linguistic issues related to speech sound disorders in children
  • Phonological awareness and literacy in relation to speech sound disorders in children
  • Methods of service delivery for children with speech sound disorders
  • Supervision in service delivery for children with speech sound disorders
  • Policy, regulatory and program administration issues specific to speech sound disorders in children
  • Public awareness of speech sound disorders in children
  • Ethical considerations in service delivery for children with speech sound disorders

Swallowing and Swallowing Disorders

Topic Chairs: Donna Edwards and Paula Leslie
Content Area: Speech-Language Pathology

Proposals to the Swallowing and Swallowing Disorders topic area relate to normal and abnormal feeding, eating, drinking, and swallowing across the lifespan (infant, child, adolescent, and adult) and in all settings. Evidence based proposals should indicate how the topic focuses on one or more of the issues or practices below. 
Proposals are strongly encouraged from interprofessional teams and professions outside of communication science and disorders.

Research and Professional Education

  • Basic, translational, applied, or implementation research including the areas listed under Professional Education.
  • Research addressing outcomes
  • Qualitative studies of the patient/family, and/or student and/or practicing clinician experience
  • Multicultural/cross-linguistic issues as related to swallowing and swallowing disorders
  • Education, training and supervision issues for swallowing and swallowing disorders
  • Interdisciplinary and team issues related to swallowing and swallowing disorders
  • Ethical issues related to swallowing and swallowing disorders
  • Administrative, legislative and regulatory issues related to swallowing and swallowing disorders
  • Patient/family, and/or student and/or practicing clinician experience
  • Palliative care and end of life
  • Local and global service delivery for swallowing and swallowing disorders
  • Normal and abnormal swallowing neurology, anatomy, and physiology
  • Esophageal disorders
  • Congenital, acquired and progressive conditions as related to swallowing and swallowing disorders
  • Effects of cognitive change on swallowing
  • Complex medical issues and swallowing function across the lifespan such as tracheostomy/ventilator dependence, dental appliances, and wheelchair/spinal support/dependence
  • Prevention/screening/assessment/diagnosis/treatment of dysphagia
  • Innovative technologies for the assessment and treatment of dysphagia
  • Behavioral management of dysphagia
  • Pharmacological, surgical, and other non-behavioral interventions for dysphagia
  • Nutritional management
  • Outcomes, efficacy, and effectiveness related to the treatment of dysphagia

Telepractice

Topic Chairs: Melissa Jakubowitz and Sharon A. Sandridge
Content Area: General Interest

Proposals to this topic area should focus on all aspects of Telepractice as a model of service delivery for speech-language pathologists and audiologists in a variety of settings: schools, medical centers, rehabilitation hospitals, community health centers, outpatient clinics, universities, clients’/patients’ homes, residential health care facilities (including private practice), childcare centers, and corporate settings.

Research and Professional Education

  • Translational, applied, or implementation research related to Telepractice
  • Licensure, ethical, legal, security, and privacy issues related to Telepractice
  • Issues related to reimbursement for services delivered via Telepractice
  • Telepractice service delivery types and models
  • Issues related to identifying, understanding, selecting, applying, and managing technology and hardware used to deliver services via Telepractice
  • Issues related to the identification and selection of clients/patients/students to receive assessment and intervention services via Telepractice
  • Cultural and linguistic variables affecting the identification, assessment, treatment, and management of communication disorders/differences in individuals receiving services via Telepractice
  • Identification and selection of assessments and interventions appropriate for use with Telepractice
  • Training and use of support personnel in delivering services via Telepractice
  • Evaluating effectiveness of services delivered via Telepractice; outcome measures cost/benefit analysis

Traumatic Brain Injury

Topic Chair: Micaela Cornis-Pop
Content Area: General Interest

This topic area includes diagnosis/assessment of Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI), treatment, clinical programs, service delivery models, and educational/policy tools that can be used for clinical and rehabilitation management of individuals with cognitive, language, hearing and vestibular disorders associated with TBI across the lifespan. Proposals related to motor speech and swallowing problems due to cognitive, emotional and behavioral sequelae of TBI should also be submitted to this topic area.

Research and Professional Education

  • Translational, applied and implementation research related to TBI
  • The full range of TBI severity, from concussion to severe injury, at all stages of recovery, from acute to chronic
  • Evaluation tools and process used to diagnose TBI and implications for treatment planning
  • Physiology of concussion: assessment and treatment implications
  • TBI and co-morbidities, implications for clinical management
  • Innovative rehabilitation techniques and interventions
  • Management and functional outcomes of early life injuries
  • Approaches to working with families after brain injury
  • Mechanisms and treatments involved in long-term plasticity and recovery following TBI
  • Long term management and functional outcomes of TBI
  • Utilizing telehealth to provide cognitive rehabilitation
  • Community matters – measuring outcomes
  • Service delivery models including school-based programs; inpatient, outpatient and transitional rehabilitation; and community re-integration programs
  • Reimbursement issues related to TBI
  • Education, training and supervision issues related to TBI
  • Ethical considerations related to service delivery for TBI

Voice and Alaryngeal Communication

Topic Chair: Laura Purcell Verdun
Content Area: Speech- Language Pathology

This topic area covers normal and disordered aspects of phonatory and laryngeal function, including the assessment and management of voice and related laryngeal disorders, in children and adults.

Research and Professional Education

  • Translational, applied, or implementation research related to voice and alaryngeal communication
  • Outcomes research in voice disorders and related laryngeal conditions (i.e. resonance anomalies affecting voice quality, alaryngeal, chronic cough, PVFM, etc.)
  • Basic science in voice production and perception
  • Tissue engineering and vocal fold biomaterials
  • Epidemiology of voice disorders and related laryngeal conditions (i.e. resonance anomalies affecting voice quality, alaryngeal, chronic cough, PVFM, etc.)
  • Normal and abnormal voice production across the lifespan
  • Prevention of voice disorders
  • Evaluation and management of pediatric and adult voice disorders and related laryngeal conditions (i.e. resonance anomalies affecting voice quality, alaryngeal, chronic cough, PVFM, etc.)
  • Objective (i.e. acoustic, aerodynamic, imaging, etc.) and subjective (i.e. perceptual, self-assessment, etc.) assessment of voice and related laryngeal disorders (i.e. resonance anomalies affecting voice quality, alaryngeal, chronic cough, PVFM, etc.)
  • Role of instrumentation and technology in evaluation and management of voice and related disorders (i.e. resonance anomalies affecting voice quality, alaryngeal, chronic cough, PVFM, etc.)
  • Voice problems of the professional voice user
  • Assessment and management of unique voice populations (e.g. singers, actors, transgender, occupational voice, laryngectomy, tracheostomy dependent, etc.)
  • Laryngectomy and alaryngeal speech rehabilitation including esophageal speech, tracheo-esophageal prosthesis, use of artificial larynx, and other technologies
  • Development, coordination and collaboration of a multi-disciplinary voice care team
  • Multicultural/cross-linguistic issues in voice and alaryngeal communication
  • Ethical considerations in service delivery for voice disorders and related laryngeal conditions (i.e. resonance anomalies affecting voice quality, alaryngeal, chronic cough, PVFM, etc.)
  • Psychosocial impact of voice disorders on daily activities and participation in social contexts
  • Administrative and regulatory issues related to voice and alaryngeal communication 
  • Academic and clinical education, training, and supervision issues specific to developing competency in voice disorders and related laryngeal conditions (i.e. resonance anomalies affecting voice quality, alaryngeal, chronic cough, PVFM, etc.)
  • Interprofessional education and interprofessional practice in voice disorders