November 1, 2013 Association

ASHA News: November 2013

ASHA Launches Early Detection Campaign

People may fail to seek treatment for speech, language and hearing issues because they aren't familiar with the early warning signs, according to a recent ASHA survey, and ASHA's new nationwide multimedia campaign, "Identify the Signs," aims to reverse that pattern.

Launched last month, the year-long campaign includes television, radio and print public service announcements—in English and Spanish—distributed throughout the country. A campaign website highlights the early warning signs of speech, language and hearing disorders and provides resources for treatment and help.

In a recent ASHA membership survey, 45 percent of respondents reported lack of awareness as the chief barrier to early detection of communication disorders. Research has shown that early detection is critical to treating—and often reversing—communication disorders. Delayed treatment can result in social isolation, poor academic or career performance, and delayed development.

ASHA Members Hit Capitol Hill

ASHA members participated in grassroots advocacy in record-breaking numbers in 2013: More than 230 members of ASHA boards, committees, special interest groups, councils and other groups visited members of Congress or their aides to advocate for the professions.

The members, representing 18 ASHA groups, attended more than 565 face-to-face meetings in Capitol Hill congressional offices. The visits helped ASHA garner legislation cosponsors, set the groundwork needed for members of Congress to introduce legislation, and provide information on the importance of audiology and speech-language pathology services.

The groups included the Audiology and Speech-Language Pathology Advisory Councils, Board of Directors, Board of SIG Coordinators, Continuing Education Board, Government Relations and Public Policy Board, Health Care Economics Committee, National Black Association for Speech-Language-Hearing, National Student Speech Language Hearing Association and other students, Political Action Committee Board, School Finance Committee, and eight special interest groups.

The grassroots advocates discussed several issues, including repealing the Medicare outpatient therapy cap, legislating comprehensive Medicare coverage of audiology services, protecting funding for the Individuals With Disabilities Education Act, and reducing the documentation burden on audiologists and speech-language pathologists.

If you will be traveling to the D.C. area for business or pleasure and are interested in participating in a Capitol Hill visit, contact Caroline Goncalves, ASHA associate director of federal advocacy, at If you can't get to D.C. and still want to make your voice heard, write to your congressional representative through the ASHA Take Action website or request a meeting in the lawmaker's home office during a congressional recess.

Faculty, Students Win Research Awards

Six faculty members have received the 2013 Advancing Academic Research Careers award and 10 students have received the 2013 Students Preparing for Academic Research Careers award. Now in their 10th year, these ASHA award programs are designed to help reduce the shortage of PhD-level faculty in communication sciences and disorders.

Advancing Academic Research Careers

AARC awards are designed to help encourage junior-level CSD faculty to remain in higher education. Each winner receives $5,000 to support mentored activities that may include, for example, enhancing teaching skills, conducting research, writing grant applications, publishing research, and presenting at professional meetings. Two of the awards were specifically designated for clinical practice research.

The 2013 AARC winners are Sue Grogan-Johnson, Kent State University; Sunjung Kim, University of Central Arkansas; Erin Picou, Vanderbilt University; Jessica Richardson, University of South Carolina; Karla Washington, University of Cincinnati; and Krystal Werfel, University of South Carolina.

Students Preparing for Academic Research Careers

SPARC is designed to foster students' interest in pursuing a PhD and career in academia. Each winner receives $1,000 to support a mentored relationship for teaching and research-related activities, which may include travel to scientific and professional meetings. For details on the recipient's planned teaching activities and research interests, visit the SPARC website.

The 2013 recipients, all master's students (unless otherwise noted), are Kenia De Los Santos, Iona College (undergraduate); Michelle Erskine, University of Wisconsin-Madison; Laura Friedman, University of Maryland-College Park (undergraduate); Diondra Maestas, University of New Mexico (undergraduate); Cornetta Mosley, University of Washington (AuD); Callie Muri, University of Texas-Dallas; Jillian Nyswonger, East Carolina University; Jamie Ragsdale, University of New Mexico (undergraduate); Caitlin Ryan, University of Wisconsin-Madison; and Kristin VanWyngaarden, University of Nebraska-Omaha.

For more information, visit the ASHA Awards Programs page.

Did You Know?

You can find a complete calendar of upcoming events on the Calendar page of ASHA's website.

You can receive up-to-date information on a variety of topics by subscribing to the growing list of e-mail newsletters.

EdFind lists information on more than 300 institutions offering degree programs in audiology, speech-language pathology, and speech, language and hearing science.

Audiologists can download patient information handouts on more than 30 topics—many in Spanish as well as in English.

Lessons for Success Focuses on Grant Writing Skills

Interested in learning how to compete successfully for federal research funds? Apply by Jan. 13, 2014, for ASHA's 12th annual Lessons for Success program, which will take place April 28–30, 2014, at the national office in Rockville, Md.

Lessons for Success is designed for early-career researchers, post-doctoral fellows and PhD students conducting basic, translational or applied research who have previously submitted a proposal for (but not necessarily received) extramural research funding.

During the three-day program, mentors provide training on grant writing and the professional competencies needed to succeed in a research career. The program is supported by a grant from the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders.

In their evaluations, participants in the 2013 program expressed enthusiasm about and appreciation for the experience. "I cannot stress enough how much my grantsmanship has improved since attending this workshop," one participant commented.

Another offered, "I liked the opportunity to read other grants and evaluate them. I thought that was helpful in developing my own grant writing skills ... and in understanding how my grant will be viewed by review committees."

Online Tool Brings Researchers and Clinicians Together to Collaborate

Researcher Cynthia Thompson of Northwestern University is heading a five-year project—funded with a $12 million NIH grant—to study language recovery in people with aphasia. The study will collect data from patients at three project sites and from other patients throughout the country.

To enroll patients outside of the sites in Chicago, Boston and Baltimore, Thompson and her colleagues are turning to CLARC (Clinicians and Researchers Collaborating), ASHA's new online tool that matches clinicians and researchers interested in forming research collaborations.

Any clinician or researcher who is an ASHA member may participate in CLARC. Enrolling online as a researcher or clinician—or both, if appropriate—takes just a few minutes. Once enrolled, participants can search the database for "matches" and contact these potential collaborators to discuss the nature and purpose of the collaboration.

Thompson's Center for the Neurobiology of Language Recovery will use different imaging methods to identify, monitor and evaluate brain-behavior changes within and across language domains in people with aphasia. Researchers will gather behavioral and neuroimaging data to examine the effects of treatment for selective language impairments in aphasia, investigate the course of language recovery and associated adaptive neuroplasticity, and identify cognitive and neural variables predictive of language and brain recovery.

Through CLARC, Thompson and her colleagues will identify clinicians who are interested in working with the study. The clinicians will deliver the state-of-the-art clinical protocols to their patients, and report data to the Center for the Neurobiology of Language Recovery.

Research collaborations are needed, Thompson says, to improve and inform the evidence base in communication sciences and disorders. "This collaboration has potential to improve access to state-of-the-art treatment for people with aphasia," she says, "as well as to provide opportunities for clinicians interested in research and to generate a large network of professionals working together to make advancements in our understanding of the effects of treatment for aphasia."

Clinicians and researchers interested in this type of collaboration are encouraged to enroll in CLARC. To enroll and for more information, including frequently asked questions, visit the ASHA Community CLARC page.

New Web Pages for State Telepractice and Ethics Regulations

Clinicians looking for information about specific regulations on telepractice and codes of ethics can find it in a state-by-state listing on ASHA's website.

The telepractice pages include any available state-specific information on licensing requirements, definitions, supervision, delivery models, quality of service and other issues.

The ethics pages provide links to states' codes, statutes and regulations related to ethics and grounds for discipline.

ASHA's state advocacy page also has links to state-by-state information on early hearing detection and intervention, school-age hearing screening, and insurance mandates for coverage of hearing aids and for services for autism spectrum disorder.

CSD Education Survey Closes Dec. 13

ASHA encourages the more than 300 academic institutions offering undergraduate through doctoral programs in communication sciences and disorders to complete and submit the 2013 Communication Sciences and Disorders Education Survey. The deadline is Dec. 13.

Academic programs' completion and submission of the survey is critical to produce robust national and individual state reports, which are the authoritative source for data on CSD education. Program data is also included in EdFIND, ASHA's online searchable database. Prospective students use EdFIND—one of the most visited pages on the ASHA website and the top-viewed page on mobile devices—to look for and learn about CSD programs.

Contact with any questions.

Membership Survey Reminder: Inform Us About You

Did you receive ASHA's 2013 membership survey in your mail?

Last month, a sample of ASHA member audiologists and speech-language pathologists received the biennial survey, designed to gather information about professional issues, including ASHA services and programs, ethics education, cultural and linguistic diversity, telepractice, and the workforce.

If you received a survey, please take the time to respond by mid-November. Your answers provide key information to the membership, professions and discipline. The survey results will be available in spring 2014.

For more information, contact Jeanette Janota, senior research associate and statistician, at


See what ASHA's Board of Directors voted on recently [PDF].

Are you on ASHAsphere?

Here are some of the recent posts:

Making the Change to Telepractice

After 23 years working in schools, SLP Tracy Sippl found herself "looking for a different avenue for delivering speech-language pathology services. Simply, I was ready for a change." She discovered telepractice—not as a private practitioner, but as an employee of a company that contracts with school systems. She offers guidance for taking this step, concluding "students are able to accomplish more in less time compared with face-to-face therapy. Teletherapy has its own rewards, and students find ways to show you how important you are to them. Once, as I was working with a kindergarten student, she looked at me and exclaimed, 'Hi, Mrs. Sippl! I'm so excited to see you today! I love you!'"

Teaching Parents the Power of Play

Maria Del Duca firmly believes in the importance of play, but the early intervention specialist contends that many parents don't know how to play with their children. "We need to teach parents how to play so their children can continue to develop during the time we are not present as service providers and throughout their childhood," she says. She offers pointers for getting parents to buy in to the concept, and also gives tips for parents who ask about the "right" way to play.

Stuttering: The Real Deal or Normal Disfluency?

Fluency expert Craig Coleman weighs in on the "wait and see" approach for a child with early stuttering. For a child with normal disfluencies, this approach is much more acceptable than for a child with early stuttering, he says. But how do you tell the difference? Coleman offers a chart that describes some characteristics of "normal disfluency" and "stuttering," as well as other risk factors for clinician assessment.

2013 Awards of Excellence

ASHA is proud to present the recipients of the association's 2013 Awards of Excellence [PDF]. These outstanding individuals have made significant contributions to speech-language pathology, audiology, and speech, language, and hearing sciences. Their work has drawn well-deserved accolades from their colleagues, students and clients.


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