Spotlight on: Special Interest Group 13 (Swallowing and Swallowing Disorders)
Debra Suiter, PhD, CCC-SLP, coordinator
Laurie Sterling, MS, CCC-SLP, Coordinating Committee member
Lynne Brady Wagner, MA, CCC-SLP, associate coordinator
When was SIG 13 founded?
It was founded in 1992 and had 796 affiliates that year. It has grown exponentially since that time.
How many affiliates does it have?
Special Interest Group 13, Swallowing and Swallowing Disorders, is the largest of ASHA's special interest groups, with 7,227 ASHA member affiliates.
Why should ASHA members affiliate with SIG 13?
As with all the special interest groups, SIG 13 offers a variety of benefits for $35 year. Our Perspectives is published four times a year and offers between 0.2 and 0.3 CEUs per issue. Many of the top researchers and clinicians in the field of swallowing and swallowing disorders are affiliates of SIG 13, and they have been very generous with their time writing articles for Perspectives. This gives SIG 13 affiliates the opportunity to keep up to date on evidence-based practice from the movers and the shakers in the field.
SIG 13 affiliates have the opportunity to network via our online ASHA Community, which is very active and encompasses a wide range of experiences and practices. It is a great place to ask questions, share ideas, and learn about evidence-based practice.
SIG 13 also hosts yearly "Online Chats," formerly known as Web Chats, on various topics pertaining to dysphagia. Past topics have included esophageal dysphagia, head and neck cancer, and the Frazier Free Water Protocol.
Finally, SIG 13 affiliates receive savings on SIG 13-sponsored short courses at the ASHA convention and other SIG 13-affiliated events, such as ASHA's Healthcare and Business Institute.
How does SIG 13 affect the membership at large?
SIG 13 has been very involved through the years in assisting with the development of ASHA's Knowledge and Skills and Practice Guideline documents on videofluoroscopy, fiberoptic endoscopic evaluation of swallowing, pediatric dysphagia, and swallowing services in the schools.
What are two upcoming events/initiatives for SIG 13?
Many of our SIG 13 affiliates are presenting at the ASHA Health Care Conference in Memphis, Tennessee, on April 28 and 29. SIG 13 is planning an Online Chat on Swallowing in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit for 2012. We also have been busy working with the ASHA Topic Committee on Swallowing and Swallowing Disorders to plan sessions and short courses for ASHA's Convention, November 15–17 in Atlanta.
Which of SIG 13's recent Perspectives articles is a must-read for communication sciences and disorders professionals and why?
The December 2011 issue of Perspectives highlighted many of the more controversial areas of dysphagia practice and offered point/counterpoint perspectives on current hot topics in our field, such as use of the Frazier Free Water Protocol and e-stim.