September 1, 2013 Departments

State Spotlight: North Carolina Speech, Hearing and Language Association

Website: www.ncshla.org
Facebook page: www.facebook.com/northcarolina.hearing
Established: March 20, 1954
Members: 1,094
Contact: Louise Raleigh, president, lfraleig@uncg.edu

How are you making a difference in your members' lives?

The North Carolina Speech, Hearing and Language Association's mission is to promote the professional practice of the speech, language and hearing sciences, advocate for its members and the profession, and work to ultimately enhance the lives of people with communication impairments in North Carolina. Through NCSHLA, professionals from across the state can network, build relationships and share information in a variety of ways.

NCSHLA monitors the environments in which SLPs and audiologists work—as well as the laws, policies and guidelines that govern their practice—to facilitate improved working conditions, eliminate barriers to effective service provision and increase opportunities for clinicians to grow professionally. Through workplace and specialty-based professional practice caucuses, members develop the association's policies. Our executive director is also the government affairs liaison, an ever-vigilant presence in the state legislature and the ombudsman for issues affecting the membership.

NCSHLA continually tracks issues at the state and national levels and notifies members via print and electronic media on developments that affect their practices. Our quarterly online newsletter features articles related to the professions, updates on professional issues and events, board and committee reports, product and service announcements, and employment opportunities. NCHSLA also holds a spring convention and a fall conference annually.

What is the most challenging situation for your members?

One of the greatest challenges is maintaining corporate compliance with Medicaid and Medicare rules. NCSHLA often features Medicaid workshops to help attendees meet compliance challenges.

What is your association's proudest accomplishment?

The association is immensely proud of its groundbreaking work in the training, supervision and use of speech-language pathology assistants. In concert with the North Carolina Board of Examiners for Speech-Language Pathologists and Audiologists, NCSHLA:

  • Defined the role of SLPAs.
  • Created a curriculum for obtaining an associate's degree.
  • Developed a registration examination for entry into the workforce.
  • Issued a letter supporting Medicaid reimbursement for services provided by SLPAs under the supervision of licensed SLPs.
  • Set requirements for registration with the Board of Examiners as codified by state law.

NCSHLA remains the point of contact for questions about SLPA training, and SLPA competency test results are sent directly to NCSHLA. The North Carolina Association of Supervisors in Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology, an affiliate organization of NCSHLA, has been instrumental in developing and providing training statewide in the supervision of SLPAs and published "The SLP Assistant Supervisor's Companion" in 2002. NCSHLA is especially proud of its collaborative relationship with NCASSPA and the Board of Examiners.

What is a particularly memorable event in your association's history and how did it come about?

The spring convention in 2004 was a hallmark celebration of NCSHLA's 50th anniversary. It was held at the famous Grove Park Inn in Asheville, with three of the original founding members in attendance. It was a fitting tribute to the rich history, longevity and viability of the organization.

Please share a successful advocacy or recruitment strategy.

NCSHLA holds a biannual invitation-only leadership summit to recruit new members to the organization and encourage current members to step into leadership roles.

What should every communication sciences and disorders professional in the state know about your association?

We need them as members and active participants for the association to maintain its track record of success for another 50 years. Strong volunteer participation in the management and operation of the organization is crucial.


  

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