July 1, 2013 Features

Sweet Home Chicago

For convention attendees, Chicago offers a rich shared history with ASHA ... and a full slate of local activities and attractions.

Although the association wasn't born there, in 1930 the seeds that would grow into today's ASHA were planted there.

In only its fifth year of existence, ASHA—then the American Society for the Study of Disorders of Speech—was a fledgling organization charting an uncertain path through a very different time. Speech-language pathologists were still called "speech correctionists," and their clients were "speech defectives." The association held its annual meetings in cooperation with the National Association of Teachers of Speech, though it had formally broken from that group in 1925. In 1929, the membership hatched plans for a three-day stuttering symposium in Chicago the following year. The meeting drew only 30 attendees—quite a contrast to the 10,000 communication sciences and disorders professionals and students expected to attend this year's convention.

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But according to Charles Van Riper, who recounted ASHA's early history in the November 1981 issue of Asha Magazine, the 1930 convention—despite its intimacy—was "perhaps the most important one our association ever held." Near the end of the meeting, Van Riper wrote, a heated debate broke out among attendees over what exactly should constitute a speech-language pathologist's scope of practice.

"Someone arose and protested the emphasis on stuttering and insisted that in the future the society should concern itself more with lisping, voice disorders and aphasia," Van Riper recalled. But others warned that encroaching on the medical profession would threaten the organization's well-being. And some argued that all speech disorders should be the concern of the membership.

Then the discussion turned to the larger picture. If the society was to survive and grow, many said, it should stress services. Pauline Camp of Wisconsin, the first state supervisor of speech correction, illuminated succinctly the path the association had been trying to blaze: "If we can put a speech correctionist in almost every school system—and certainly there is sufficient need for one—then many of our survival problems will vanish, and our growth will be amazing."

Although this view was strongly opposed by some members, who insisted that they simply did not know enough about speech disorders to treat them effectively, Camp's opinion prevailed. Members began to lay plans to build a profession independent of medicine and psychology, based in colleges and public schools.

As Van Riper tells it, the 1930 meeting was nothing less than transformative and "ended in an atmosphere of excitement and exhilaration. The vision of a new profession was now very clear." Eighty-three years later, the fact that school-based SLPs constitute more than half of ASHA's membership is a testament to the clarity of that vision.

The 2013 ASHA Convention marks the 23rd time in its history the association has gathered in Chicago. And although ASHA's path and its members' scope of practice are far clearer than in 1930, the potential for transformation, hope and inspiration endures.

When your day of sessions and short courses is complete, check out all the sights, sounds and tastes Chicago has to offer. Eat whatever you want—it's a big city!

Attractions

  • Adler Planetarium: Chicago business leader Max Adler founded the Adler Planetarium—"America's First Planetarium"—in 1930. The museum features three full-size theaters, extensive space science exhibitions and one of the world's most important antique astronomical instrument collections on display (1300 S. Lake Shore Dr.).
  • Chicago Cultural Center: The Cultural Center is home to two magnificent stained-glass domes, as well as free music, dance and theater events, films, lectures, art exhibitions, and family events (78 E. Washington St.).
  • Field Museum: The museum is part of a lakefront Museum Campus that includes the John G. Shedd Aquarium and the Adler Planetarium. These three institutions are regarded as among the finest of their kind in the world and together attract more visits annually than any comparable site in Chicago (1400 S. Lake Shore Dr.).
  • John Hughes Movie Walk: Gen-Xers with a fond spot in their hearts for the '80s films of John Hughes can now see the locations where some of them were filmed. The John Hughes movie walk takes you back to the fictional Shermer, Ill., of "Sixteen Candles" and "Ferris Bueller's Day Off."
  • Millenium Park: Discover a state-of-the-art collection of architecture, landscape design and art that provide the backdrop for hundreds of free cultural programs including concerts, exhibitions, tours and family activities. It also features the Cloud Gate sculpture by Anish Kapoor (201 E. Randolph St.).
  • Navy Pier: Navy Pier features 50 acres of parks, promenades, gardens, shops, eateries and attractions. From rides to restaurants, exhibitions to entertainment, shopping to dining cruises and tour boats, Navy Pier has it all—in a stunning location on the shores of Lake Michigan (600 E. Grand Ave.).
  • Old Town: This historic neighborhood is home to many Chicago stand-bys, including the Second City comedy theater and historic architecture wherever one looks. Don't forget to stop by the Spice House (1512 N. Wells St.) for some of the finest seasonings available anywhere!
  • Shedd Aquarium: The John G. Shedd Aquarium, a not-for-profit institution dedicated to public education and conservation, cares for more than 32,500 animals representing nearly 1,500 species from around the world (1200 S. Lake Shore Dr.).
  • The Signature Room at the 95th: Why pay to visit the top of the Willis (Sears) Tower, when you can enjoy Chicago's magnificent skyline over a relaxing beverage and fine cuisine? Located along the Magnificent Mile at the top of the John Hancock Building, the Signature Room is the perfect oasis after a long day of sessions at McCormick Place (875 N. Michigan Ave.).
  • Theatre District: Located in the Loop, the district is bursting with entertainment options. Visit Chicago Traveler for showtimes and tickets.

Dining

  • Frontera Grill: Rick Bayless, winner of Bravo's "Top Chef Master," offers a rotating menu of hardwood grilled dishes, rich moles, and chile-thickened braises learned from throughout Mexico (445 N. Clark St.).
  • Harry Caray's Italian Steakhouse: Owned by the legendary broad-caster, Harry Caray's serves the finest prime, aged steaks, chops and Italian favorites. The sophisticated, high-energy restaurant is home to a museum-quality collection of sports memorabilia, original newspapers and photographs (33 W. Kinzie St.).
  • Miller's Pub: Located downtown in the Loop, Miller's is a Chicago institution, offering lunch and dinner since 1950. Don't forget to indulge in a "Tom and Jerry," the signature drink made of dark rum, brandy and egg nog (134 S. Wabash Ave.).
  • The Plaza at Park Grill: The city's largest al fresco dining venue, the Plaza at Park Grill is the ultimate room with a view. Nestled in Millenium Park, it affords an experience like no other in Chicago—weather permitting (11 N. Michigan Ave.).
  • Twin Anchors Restaurant & Tavern: Former hangout of Frank Sinatra, Twin Anchors is one of Chicago's oldest restaurants. Since its founding in 1932, the tavern has been known for barbequed baby-back ribs (1655 N. Sedgwick St.).

Music

  • Buddy Guy's Legends: There's only one place in Chicago to experience the finest blues seven nights a week, enjoy fantastic southern Cajun soul food, and behold a major archive of blues memorabilia. Voted "Best Blues Club" several times over by Living Blues Magazine, Citysearch and AOL, Legends continues to be a mecca for the blues (700 S. Wabash).
  • Kingston Mines: Chicago's oldest and largest blues club features two stages, two bands and six hours of live blues every night (2548 N. Halsted St.).
  • Reggie's Chicago: This sweet spot brings a music fan's ultimate dream to reality with a terrific bar and grill, kickin' rock club, and a music lover's record store—all under one roof! (2105 S. State St.).

Shopping

  • Magnificent Mile: A portion of Chicago's Michigan Avenue is known as the Magnificent Mile, where there are more shops, boutiques, restaurants, stores and cafés than you can shake a Visa card at! 
  • Wicker Park/Bucktown and Armitage in Lincoln Park: If you're more in the mood for unusual finds, boutiques and funky style, take the CTA to these famous Chicago neighborhoods.
  • Chicago Green City Market: Find tasty delicacies and home-grown fruits and vegetables at this nationally known farmer's market, which moves indoors to the Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum in November. The market runs every Saturday (2430 N. Cannon Dr. in Lincoln Park).

Matthew Cutter, is a writer/editor for The ASHA Leader. mcutter@asha.org

cite as: Cutter, M. (2013, July 01). Sweet Home Chicago. The ASHA Leader.

Network and Connect

The ASHA convention provides unique opportunities to connect with old and new colleagues and peers at special gatherings and receptions. Join in the fun at these great events!

First-Timers Orientation

Wednesday, Nov. 13, 5–6:30 p.m. (Location to be announced)

We encourage new attendees to come to this popular gathering to learn about the ASHA convention and to preview programs and activities slated for the next three days. You'll have an opportunity to meet ASHA President Patty Prelock and Convention Co-Chairs Donise Pearson and Colleen O'Rourke, as well as other ASHA representatives. Light refreshments will be served.

Welcome Reception

Thursday, Nov. 14, 5–6:30 p.m. McCormick Place, Exhibit Hall

Join us in the exhibit hall Thursday evening to catch up with friends and colleagues and mingle with exhibitors. This reception provides dedicated time to check out the exhibiting companies, socialize and network, all while recharging your battery with light snacks and a cash bar before heading to the Twilight Sessions. The welcome reception is open to all fully registered attendees; guest tickets are available so friends and family can join the fun.

ASHA Closing Party

Saturday, Nov. 16, 6–8 p.m. (Location to be announced)

What would an ASHA convention be without Saturday evening's fantastic finale? The popular closing party returns this year to cap three days of outstanding professional development, productive visits with companies in the exhibit hall, and memorable special events. Enjoy tasty food and a cash bar—with friends old and new—at an exciting, soon-to-be-announced Chicago venue. Space is limited, so reserve tickets early when you register for the convention.



No Vision Is No Problem for 'Annie' Recipient

Erik Weihenmayer can't see, but he is a world-renowned outdoor adventurer whose vision includes helping people with disabilities.

Weihenmayer, a blind outdoor-adventure athlete who has scaled the highest peak on each of the seven continents-including Mt. Everest, the world's highest peak-will receive ASHA's 2012 Annie Glen Award.

ASHA's highest honor is named for the wife of Sen. John Glenn, who overcame a severe stutter and is widely known for her advocacy for people with communication disorders. The "Annie" recognizes individuals who demonstrate her spirit.

Weihenmayer, who lost his vision at age 13, is a former middle school teacher and wrestling coach. In addition to conquering the world's highest peaks, he climbed an 800-foot rock tower in Moab, Utah, with Mark Wellman, the first paraplegic to climb the 3,000-foot face of El Capitan, and Hugh Herr, a double-leg amputee and scientist at Harvard's prosthetics laboratory. The three subsequently formed No Barriers, a nonprofit organization that promotes innovative approaches and assistive technologies that help people with disabilities push through real or perceived barriers. Weihenmayer also serves as a National Braille Literacy Champion for the American Foundation for the Blind.

"Erik Weihenmayer demonstrates that perfect eyesight isn't necessary to have extraordinary vision," says ASHA President Patty Prelock. "He is dedicated to living without limitations-and to using what others might consider a weakness or disability as the source of strength and innovation. He clearly embodies the spirit of the 'Annie,' and ASHA is honored to present it to him."

The author of the memoir "Touch the Top of the World" and co-author of "The Adversity Advantage: Turning Everyday Struggles Into Everyday Greatness," Weihenmayer also appears in "Farther Than the Eye Can See," a documentary of his Everest climb.

Look for more about the 2013 "Annie" award winner in future issues of the Leader.



New and Noteworthy at Convention

This year's convention features some new developments and unusual happenings, from new educational opportunities, to more ways to connect with colleagues, to icy treats.

Free wi-fi!

Limited free wireless Internet service, provided by McCormick Place, is available in various public areas of the convention center. That's right-you can check your e-mail, access the Web and perform other low-bandwidth functions with your smartphone, laptop or tablet between sessions.

Clinical technical sessions.

This new format-the sister program to the technical research sessions-consists of a 20-minute oral presentation focused on the technical aspects of a particular diagnostic or treatment strategy, followed by a Q&A. Developed as "how-to" programs, they emphasize the applied, clinical aspects of the professions.

Record-breaking proposal numbers. When we say record-breaking, we mean it-submissions were up by nearly 30 percent! Audiology saw the largest gain with a staggering 75 percent increase. This convention's program will be better than ever, reflecting current trends in the professions with high-quality education sessions and more poster sessions.

Hotel reservations and shuttle bus passes.

Be sure to use the ASHA housing service to make your reservation, which includes a free shuttle bus pass. This year you'll need to present a shuttle pass to board the buses, which is a great incentive to book your room at an ASHA hotel. Shuttles will operate Wednesday through Saturday to make travel to and from McCormick Place convenient and easy for ASHA convention attendees who are staying within the ASHA block of hotels. We take the stress out of transportation while you get to sit, relax and squeeze in some extra networking (or napping) time!

Special events.

Don't miss the keynote address at the Opening General Session by the celebrated partnership of Ben Cohen and Jerry Greenfield of Ben & Jerry's ice cream fame-followed by free samples!-or Friday's Awards Ceremony, where we celebrate outstanding ASHA members' contributions to the professions. Help welcome our special guests, Sen. John Glenn and Annie Glenn, who-in addition to presenting the Annie Award to Erik Weihenmayer are celebrating their 70th wedding anniversary this year!



  

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