American Speech-Language-Hearing Association

SIG Volunteer Leadership Handbook

Electronic Communications

Each Special Interest Group has a variety of venues offered through ASHA to communicate electronically with affiliates and the broader ASHA membership:

  1. An affiliates-only Online Discussion Community
  2. E-mail blasts
  3. Live Online Chats
  4. Public web pages
  5. Affiliates-only web pages
  6. Perspectives
  7. The ASHA Leader

For more information or to make a request, please refer to the Communications Package from the SIG Editorial Assistants (available to Coordinating Committee members only).

Online Communities

Each SIG must maintain an affiliates-only online community available through the Association. The SIG Coordinating Committee can disseminate information about SIG and ASHA activities, programs, etc. through this medium.

As of October 2011, the new ASHA Online Communities (eGroups) replaced the ASHA e-mail (discussion) lists and Online Discussion Forums. SIG affiliates are automatically subscribed to daily digests of activities of their respective SIG eGroup(s). All participants should adhere to the Community Guidelines and Terms of Use.

* The respective SIG ex officio will serve as the online community's staff liaison and address content-related questions/concerns.

E-mail Blasts

The new online communities provide SIG leadership and affiliates the opportunity to communicate with each other. However, on occasion, an e-mail blast may be needed to target a specific group of members or affiliates.

To request an e-mail blast, the SIG Coordinator must submit a completed e-mail blast request to the ex officio a minimum of 4 weeks prior to the requested delivery date. Upon receipt, the request will be reviewed for content and format by staff and scheduled for delivery. A test copy of the message will be available to the ex officio the day of delivery. At that time, a last review of the message will be conducted before final approval for delivery is given. The ex officio may consult the SIG Coordinator or other CC members on any outstanding issues.

Please note: HTML requests require more preparation than text-based messages due to the additional formatting of text and graphics.

Live Online Chats

ASHA will facilitate a maximum of one live online chat per SIG per year.

Chats are real-time, 2-hour web-based events facilitated by ASHA Web staff and sponsored by individual SIGs. The SIG arranges for two or three experts in a specific subtopic of the SIG topic to commit to participate in the chat and, specifically, answer questions from participants. Because these are not formal lectures, conferences, webinars, or teleseminars, they are not available for ASHA CEUs. These chats are accessible to all ASHA and NSSLHA members, at no charge, via the ASHA website. They do not have audio or video components. Each live online chat is archived online after it takes place.

To request the opportunity to sponsor a chat, the SIG Coordinating Committee must complete a request form and submit it to their ex officio. The submitted form must identify the topic and a minimum of two experts, in addition to 10 seed questions. Once the completed form has been received, the ex officio will review the submission to ensure the topic is appropriate and timely before forwarding the request to their respective Editorial Assistant who will work with the Online Collaboration Manager to schedule the event. These events must be planned months in advance with a preferred date and an alternative date identified in the request.

SIG Webpages

Each SIG maintains public and private (affiliate-only) web pages to share information about the SIG. The public pages are geared toward the broader ASHA membership and public; these pages contain general information about the SIG (mission/vision, SIG leadership, activities, etc.). The affiliates-only pages contain exclusive content for SIG affiliates (additional resources, links to the affiliate-only online community, etc.). Because access to these pages is a benefit of SIG affiliation, they are located in a secure section of the ASHA site. Individuals must use their ASHA member login information to gain access.

A SIG Coordinating Committee may request a change to the SIG's public or affiliates-only pages by submitting a request to the ex officio. Once the change has been approved by the ex officio, it will be forwarded to the SIGs Web liaison. Modifications to submissions may be required to ensure consistency with website architecture and language and formatting conventions. Staff will post non-urgent changes within 3–4 days of receipt of the request.


Each SIG is required to publish a minimum of one CE-bearing issue of Perspectives per year. SIGs wishing to expand their publication will need to plan at least 18 months in advance to ensure adequate resources are available to accommodate the new editorial calendar. Planning should take place during face-to-face meetings and on conference calls; Editorial Assistants can be available to participate during these discussions. A maximum of four issues with a 22,000-word limit per issue is permitted including CE content and non-CE content (i.e., Coordinator's Column).

Affiliates are automatically signed up to receive e-mail alerts when each new issue of their SIG's Perspectives is published. Anyone can sign up for e-mail alerts for other SIGs with which they are not affiliated.

All SIG affiliates have access to the content of all issues of Perspectives, regardless of their affiliation with a particular SIG(s). However, for self-study purposes, affiliates pay a nominal fee to earn CEUs for their respective SIG's Perspectives; otherwise, the fee is the same as that charged for ASHA members, regardless of SIG affiliation.


Topics should be planned by the Coordinating Committee 2–3 years in advance.

Editors should assign articles 6–12 months prior to publishing.

The final version of content should be submitted to the National Office at least 60 days before the first day of the publication month

View a sample Perspectives timeline [PDF] for a March issue.

Review Process

Each issue of Perspectives is reviewed by N.O. staff and the SIG's ex officio to ensure content is current and consistent with Association policies and practices.

Once the steps in the timeline listed above have been completed, the SIG Editorial Assistants are responsible for editing Perspectives, sending queries to the respective editor, and sending the CE files to ASHA Professional Development.

The ex officio is responsible for reviewing articles and issues dealing with the work of the Association.

See Staff Contacts by SIG.

Continuing Education

The SIGs provide their affiliates with a number of CE opportunities, including self-study of Perspectives.

ASHA Professional Development

ASHA Professional Development (APD) is the ASHA Approved CE Provider for Perspectives. Each SIG is responsible for the development of Perspectives content that meets CE requirements. APD is responsible for registering each issue as a CE product/activity, publishing and processing exams, and reporting results of CE Participants to the CE Registry. APD will convey summary reports to the appropriate SIG Editor.

Affiliates of a SIG will pay only $5 per issue/exam to participate in the CE self-study of the SIG(s) to which they belong. Pricing for these issues for non-affiliates will be consistent with pricing for other ASHA products.

Issues are available for CE self-study for a 3-year period. Affiliates may earn CEUs at the affiliate rate for any issue/activity open during the time they are affiliates of that SIG, regardless of when the issue was published.

The ASHA Leader

The newly redesigned ASHA Leader will showcase the SIGs in more prominent, recurring ways, including

  • A column titled "SIGnatures," that will contain abstracts and links to particularly notable current Perspectives articles. SIGnatures will also feature solicited articles from SIGs that offer further insight and analysis of theme topics appearing in The Leader.
  • An online column titled "SIG Spotlight," that profiles a SIG and also includes news briefs from all SIGs
  • SIG content experts in The Leader's active pool of reviewers of proposals and articles

Electronic Committee Work

Electronic venues are also available for committee use.

  1. Online Community
  2. Collaboration sites

Online Community

In addition to the online communities for affiliates, a community has been established for SIG Editors and CE Content Managers. This site is private; to access content, individuals must receive special permission from the Web staff.

SIG Editors and CE Content Managers

This community is intended for communications/discussions pertinent to the development of Perspectives and CE content. The following individuals have access to this community:

  • SIG Editors and Associate/Assistant Editors
  • SIG Continuing Education Content Managers
  • SIG-affiliated staff (including the SIG team, SIG communications staff, ASHA Professional Development staff, Director of Publications)

* The Perspectives team will serve as the liaisons for this community.

Collaboration Sites

New collaboration sites have been created for use by SIG leadership as they carry out the work of the SIGs. These sites allow committee members to hold discussions and collaborate on documents in a shared workspace. For assistance accessing and navigating the site(s), please refer to the Quick-Start guide.

Board of SIG Coordinators and Associate Coordinators

This site is for the communication and information sharing of the BSIGC (i.e., meeting/conference call schedules, meeting minutes). The following individuals have access to the BSIGC site:

  • BSIGC Chair
  • Monitoring Vice Presidents
    • Vice President for Audiology Practice
    • Vice President for Speech-Language Pathology Practice
  • NSSLHA Representative
  • SIG Coordinators and Associate Coordinators (although Associate Coordinators are not members of the BSIGC, they have access to this collaboration site in the event they must act on behalf of the Coordinator)
  • SIG-affiliated staff (including the SIG team, Editorial Assistants, SIG ex officios, and support staff)

All SIG Coordinating Committees

This site is available for information and work that is conducted across SIGs (i.e., membership reports, nomination/election announcements). The following individuals have access to this site:

  • BSIGC members
  • SIG Coordinating Committee members
  • select SIG communication volunteers*, including Associate Editors, if identified, and CE Content Managers
  • SIG-affiliated staff (including the SIG team, Editorial Assistants, SIG ex officios, and support staff)

Individual Coordinating Committees

Each SIG Coordinating Committee has a site where they can work on documents/projects and share information among the committee members (i.e., schedule of meetings/conference calls, meeting minutes, working documents). Access to the respective sites is given to:

  • SIG Coordinating Committee members
  • select SIG communication volunteers*, including the Associate Editor, if identified, and CE Content Manager
  • SIG-affiliated staff (including the SIG team; and the respective Editorial Assistant, ex-officio, and support staff)
  • BSIGC Chair and Monitoring Vice Presidents

*Although these individuals are not official members of the Coordinating Committee, they have access to the site(s) to assist in the discussion/collaboration of matters pertaining to Perspectives and other CE content.

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