About Special Interest Group 15, Gerontology


  • The Mission of the SIG on Gerontology is to promote an understanding of the effects of normal and pathological aging on cognition, language, speech, hearing, and swallowing.
  • The SIG Mission is accomplished by: (a) providing "research-to-practice" professional development opportunities for affiliates; (b) developing communication and networking opportunities for affiliates in diverse professional and scientific settings; (c) increasing awareness of the communication and swallowing needs of older individuals among consumers and professionals; and (d) advocating for positive outcomes on issues concerning older individuals.


The goals of SIG 15 include:

  • To increase professional awareness of geriatric concerns in the delivery of communication and swallowing disorders services.
  • To develop a forum for discussion of age-related research and clinical issues that impact upon service delivery to older adults and for dissemination of relevant information in a timely fashion.
  • To promote continuing education opportunities for ASHA members interested in gerontology and gerontological aspects of communication and swallowing disorders.
  • To provide advocacy within and recommendations to ASHA regarding policies, procedures, and guidelines related to geriatric communication and swallowing disorders.
  • To interact with other organizations concerned with the needs of older Americans, in order to promote quality interdisciplinary interventions and enhance the visibility of speech-language pathology and audiology services and professions within the services network for older individuals.

Affiliate Benefits and SIG Programs

Perspectives of the ASHA Special Interest Groups

Perspectives of the ASHA Special Interest Groups is the SIG's online publication. SIG 15's continuously-built issue contributes 3 self-study CE activities a year.

Online Chats

SIGs sponsor live online chats. These events feature topic experts who answer questions from the audience. All ASHA and NSSLHA members may attend. Live online chats are not eligible for CEUs. Archived chats can be accessed online.

Continuing Education

  • The SIG sponsors a Short Course and a seminar at the annual ASHA Convention.
  • Perspectives contains continuing education articles. Readers may earn ASHA continuing education credit by completing self-study questions related to those articles. SIG affiliates may complete the self-study for a $5 processing fee.
  • Short Course: SIG affiliates are eligible for a 50% discount on select Short Courses at the ASHA Convention.


SIG affiliates have the opportunity to identify others with interest in gerontology:

  • SIG 15 has an online community where affiliates can discuss topics related to gerontology.
  • SIG 15 hold an annual affiliate meeting at the ASHA Convention.

Representation Within ASHA

  • The SIG 15 Coordinator represents the Gerontology Special Interest Group within the ASHA Board of Special Interest Group Coordinators.
  • The Coordinating Committee responds to ASHA requests for input regarding policy, guidelines, committees, and other issues.
  • Affiliates have the opportunity to provide input to the SIG leadership and ASHA.

Specific study and professional issues and activities will be determined by the SIG 15 affiliates and Coordinating Committee.

Coordinating Committee Members

2014–2016 Coordinator: Janet Schreck, Johns Hopkins University
2014–2016 Associate Coordinator: Mary Beth Mason-Baughman, Edinboro University of Pennsylvania
2014–2016 Perspectives Editor: Renee Kinder, Evergreen Rehabilitation
2014–2016 Professional Development Manager: Nancy B. Brandenburger, Peret & Moy Therapy Associates
2015–2017 Member-At-Large: Pamela A. Smith, Bloomsburg University of Pennsylvania
2016–2018 Member-At-Large: Michelle L. Tristani, RehabCare-Kindred Healthcare/Alzheimer's Association/St. Elizabeth's Medical Center
Ex Officio: Gennith Johnson, Associate Director, Health Care Services in Speech-Language Pathology, ASHA

Additional SIG Volunteers

2016–2018 Perspectives Associate Editor: George A. Voyzey, Child Development Services, State of Maine

Editorial Review Committee

Renee B. Kinder, Editor
George A. Voyzey, Associate Editor
Ed M. Bice
Melissa A. Bosserman
Cathleen M. Carney-Thomas
Mary L. Casper
Elizabeth K. Ebensteiner
Sarah Jade Freeman
Ruth Renee Hannibal
Heather A. F. Jeng
Natalie B. Lee
Mary Beth Mason-Baughman
Christie L. Miller
Patricia Maureen Mirando
Raksha Mudar
Brenda Nuckton
Pamela A. Smith
Megan A. Weathers
Rayanne J. Woodruff
Tina Slider Young
Gennith M. Johnson, Ex Officio
Nancy B. Brandenburger, PDM

Professional Development Committee

Nancy B. Brandenburger, Professional Development Manager
Linda G. Hampton
Renee B. Kinder, Editor
George A. Voyzey, Associate Editor
Gennith M. Johnson, Ex Officio 

Staff Liaison for Communications

Frank Wisswell, Production Editor, ASHA

Board Liaisons

Robert C. Fifer, 2016–2018 Vice President for Audiology Practice
Sandra Laing Gillam, 2015–2017 Vice President for Speech-Language Pathology Practice

ASHA Corporate Partners