American Speech-Language-Hearing Association

Raise Your (Collective) Voice!

by Steve Ritch

Associates Insights - 275A hit song by pop artist Pink—Raise Your Glass!—serves as an anthem for people who are different or marginalized by the larger society. This song is a rallying cry for individuals to celebrate the differences and unique talents that they bring to the collective table. Raising your glass is a euphemism for saluting yourself and staying strong when the odds (or people in charge) may be against you.

I think of the Associates Program as doing the same thing for support personnel in the field of communication sciences and disorders (CSD). Through the Associates Program, audiology assistants and SLPAs finally have an effective, collective voice—but only if that voice is used!

Too often, I get feedback from audiology assistants and SLPAs who feel they do not get the respect or recognition they deserve. If that is true, then you need to speak up. Take advantage of the world of opportunities for communicating your thoughts that ASHA affiliation provides. Make your collective voice clear and strong!

This is it! Today is the day! Renew you annual dues, submit ideas via the Associates Insights e-newsletter, follow the ASHA Associates Twitter group, join the ASHA Associates Community discussions, or write articles for The ASHA Leader. Encourage your SLPA and audiology assistant colleagues to become ASHA Associates, if they haven't already applied. In short, increasing your personal level of participation and growing the number of Associates will help make the program a vital, active part of ASHA!

If the Associates Program goes away, you may not get the chance to exercise your collective voice again. Don't you deserve a chance to be heard? Isn't communication your right too?

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