April 1, 2013 Departments

Spotlight on Special Interest Group 1, Language Learning and Education

When was SIG 1 founded?

SIG 1 (then Special Interest Division 1) was founded in 1991 with 299 affiliates. It was the first proposed SIG, and the first to receive SIG status. 

How many affiliates does SIG 1 have now?

SIG 1 typically has between 3,500 and 4,000 affiliates. Our current total is 4,312. 

Why should ASHA members affiliate with SIG 1?

SIG 1 is the only group that addresses issues related to developmental language disorders across the lifespan. SIG 1 affiliates are interested in clinical practice issues related to early intervention services, preschool and school-age services, and services and outcomes for adults with developmental language disorders. Because of this span of interests, there is a wide range of clinical topics covered on our ASHA Community site and highlighted in our issues of Perspectives on Language Learning and Education. 

In addition, SIG 1 affiliates work in diverse clinical and academic settings, including health care facilities, schools, clinics, universities and private practices. Therefore, affiliates of SIG 1 collectively bring an amazing amount of knowledge and experience together. Our affiliates include many top researchers and clinicians in the area of language disorders, who offer their expertise by contributing to our Perspectives issues.

How does SIG 1 affect ASHA's membership at large?

First, SIG 1 ensures that high-quality information is available to ASHA members through a variety of mechanisms. SIG 1 contributes top-notch evidence-based practice information to the membership through the high quality of our Perspectives issues, the archives of our October Online Chats, the creation of CE products available through the ASHA store, and our sponsored seminars and short courses at the ASHA convention.

Second, SIG 1 ensures the issues we care about become part of ASHA's larger agenda. In this economy, there are many threats to service provision for clients with developmental language disorders. For example, early intervention has been hit especially hard in many states despite evidence that children who receive early intervention have better long-term outcomes compared to those who do not. SIG participation allows members of ASHA one mechanism for having a voice and influencing the larger professional organization. 

When issues arise-such as restricted access to early intervention-our SIG 1 affiliates discuss them, and we alert ASHA leaders about what is happening around the country. Those discussions also empower the SIG 1 Coordinating Committee to advocate on a larger scale by bringing affiliates' viewpoints and challenges to ASHA leaders. That process can lead to better advocacy efforts through lobbying on Capitol Hill and the creation of documents that affiliates can use to advocate at the state and local level. In this way, SIG affiliation gives each of us greater access to those who represent us on a national level.  

What are two benefits of affiliating with SIG 1 that everyone should know about?

SIG 1 affiliates can earn CEUs by reading Perspectives on Language Learning and Education and paying the $5 processing fee to take an online test. Affiliates receive their results immediately and can print out a certificate of completion. We publish four issues per year and affiliates can earn 0.2 CEUs per issue. 

SIG 1 affiliates can engage in professional discussions through our SIG 1 community site and during our annual October online chat. These discussions are archived and available to affiliates and other ASHA members at any time. Discussions on the SIG 1 community-and feedback from affiliates-also help the Coordinating Committee choose topics, authors, and speakers for our Perspectives issues, online chats, and ASHA convention seminars.

Which of your recent Perspectives articles is a must-read for CSD professionals and why?

The articles in our January 2012 Perspectives have received a high number of hits online. The topic of this issue-edited by Jan Edwards of the University of Wisconsin-Madison-is the assessment and treatment of speech sound disorders. The issue challenges us to move beyond simplistic assessments of speech sound disorders, such as the typical single-word naming task in which we characterize each speech sound as correct or incorrect in a specific word-level context. Instead, the issue encourages various ways to capture the complexity of a child's speech sound production:

  • Glaspey provides information on how to characterize a child's stimulability.
  • Munson and colleagues describe how to use visual analog scaling to document speech sound production in more sophisticated ways, both during diagnosis and to document response to treatment.
  • Hustad describes methods for characterizing the intelligibility of a child's speech production, which is important because our overall goal in treatment is to increase speech intelligibility.
  • Rvachew and Brosseau-Lapre provide readers with information on the potential benefits of input-focused interventions for speech sound production and development of phonological awareness.

ASHA members appear to have found this particular issue of Perspectives relevant and worth reading—we recommend you check it out.

Lisa Hammet Price, PhD, CCC-SLP, is an associate professor in the Department of Special Education and Clinical Services at Indiana University of Pennsylvania. She is associate coordinator of the SIG 1 Coordinating Committee. She can be reached at lprice@iup.edu.

cite as: Price, L. H. (2013, April 01). Spotlight on Special Interest Group 1, Language Learning and Education. The ASHA Leader.

  

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