Special Interest Groups: New Opportunities for Professional Growth and Recognition for Associates

Associates Insights - 275Imagine a wealth of professional information at your fingertips...the advice and perspectives of leading researchers and clinicians who share your interests just an e-mail away...exclusive savings on professional development hours and convention short courses when you need them...welcome to ASHA's Special Interest Groups, now open to Associates!

What is a Special Interest Group?

Special Interest Groups (SIGs) are exclusive professional communities set up within the ASHA membership that focus on a specific topic in speech, language, hearing, and related areas. The topics are numerous, significant, and invariably cutting edge, including School-Based Issues (SIG 16), Telepractice (SIG 18), Hearing and Hearing Disorders in Childhood (SIG 9), Neurogenic Communication Disorders (SIG 2), Craniofacial and Velopharyngeal Disorders (SIG 5), and Augmentative and Alternative Communication (SIG 12).

Do you work in the schools? There's a SIG devoted to school-based issues and others focused on children. Do you work in a health care environment? Several SIGs address issues such as balance and swallowing. Are you an audiology assistant? Audiology topics are of concern to a number of SIGs!

There are now 18 of them, they've been around for over two decades, and they are flourishing. Learn about the particular SIGs at their Special Interest Group webpages.

Why should I join a Special Interest Group?

Researchers, clinicians, and students find that the Special Interest Groups provide unparalleled opportunities for professional growth and recognition, 24/7. Here's what you get:

  • Stay on top of your field through reading Perspectives. The celebrated online periodical exclusively for the Special Interest Groups, Perspectives bridges the gap between theory and evidence based practice and each issue offers cutting-edge research, practical information, a variety of viewpoints, useful reviews and overviews, and discussion in the discipline of communication sciences and disorders. Each Special Interest Group publishes its own Perspectives that showcases its particular topic. When you join a SIG, you receive access to the Perspectives for all 18 of them—that's 200 new articles each year and over 2,500 archived articles, a wealth of vital professional information, at your fingertips!
  • Network, share, and learn through an exclusive online community. When you join a SIG, you enjoy exclusive, 24/7 access to a vibrant online community of peers in that group. Collaborate, ask for advice, or share insights and experiences—it's up to you! You can also share documents and other resources through a private resource library. Each evening a digest of the day's postings is sent to your e-mail.
  • Save money! SIG affiliates enjoy a variety of exclusive savings. You can earn low-cost professional development hours for state licensure requirements through online self-study of your SIG's Perspectives for just $5 per exam (online self-study of other Perspectives are at the member rate). You can also receive special discounts on select Short Courses at the ASHA Convention and on registration fees for ASHA's Health Care and Schools conferences. The fee for SIG affiliation soon pays for itself!

How do I join a SIG?

You have three choices:

  1. Call the ASHA Action Center at 1-800-498-2071, Monday–Friday, 8:30 a.m.–5:00 p.m. ET
  2. Complete the online application form.
  3. If your affiliation is up for renewal in 2012, the most convenient and recommended way to join a SIG is to sign up when you renew your Associate affiliation online.

ASHA Special Interest Groups help you be recognized and grow as a professional. A key attribute for professionals is an ongoing dedication to improving the knowledge, skills, and abilities required to work in the professions chosen. Joining a Special Interest Group is a tangible way to demonstrate your professionalism and your willingness to grow.

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