Saturday, April 27, 2013

The other 97%


What would happen if only 3% of the U.S. population voted for president?  

I wonder why, then, it's OK with  SLPs that only about three percent of the ASHA membership chooses to vote for its President and Board of Directors?

Notes from the ASHA board
That's right! 
 97% of us don't vote.

I find that number incomprehensible since membership in ASHA is by no means free.  It's expensive, and the requirements to get your CCCs are sometimes brutal.  I work with college students who are completely obsessed with the task of joining our elite certification club--yet once they are in, most cruise through year by year without voting for the people who run the ship. 

I'd like to see this situation change.
ASHA is our guiding organization.
ASHA is our resource for best practice.
ASHA is what I turn to when to get some questions answered.  ASHA leaders can make a difference and provide opportunities.

To do my part, I voted. This year, I actually know one of the candidates for President-Elect, Dr. Judith Page from my alma mater, the University of Kentucky.  

One of the big issues affecting the SLPs in schools is caseload size.  I shared our concerns with her and asked her to write some words.  I loved what she wrote!

---------------------------full text of response--------------------

 Dear Ruth,
You may not know that I started my career in the public schools and have continued to be involved in school services as a coordinator of our student teaching program and as a team member in Kentucky’s Teacher Internship program. I am a schools person at heart and the thing that has amazed me over the years is how the role of school SLPs has changed. Recent years have brought dramatic changes to the education environment, resulting in growing pressure on clinicians. Inflated caseloads are only the tip of the iceberg. More severely involved students, the need for curriculum-based instruction, involvement in literacy, paperwork and compliance tasks associated with IDEA and 3rd party billing, increasing needs to serve culturally diverse students, and expectations for alternate service delivery models (e.g. collaboration, consultation, RTI, transition planning, AAC, etc.) have all certainly changed workload demands. Unfortunately, our traditional caseload service delivery model does not work in this changed environment. What is needed are work assignment models that recognize the full range of services school SLPs provide – including both direct services to students and indirect services that support IEPs and RTI. In response to this need, ASHA established an ad hoc committee several years ago that developed a Workload Analysis Approach to better analyze work expectations and quantify the largely invisible workload responsibilities that extend far beyond caseload numbers. While some progress has been made in getting this approach adopted, there is still much to be done, with the 2012 School Survey reporting only 21% of respondents using a workload analysis approach. If we want to better meet the needs of our students through appropriate work allocation, we need to find ways to encourage more state and local administrators to consider making the change from caseload to workload analysis. If I am elected ASHA president I would like to be involved in that effort.

Judy Page


You can read about all of the candidates for several offices here. Watch interview videos too!

Then, if you are a member of ASHA, click HERE to vote. You can obviously guess who I voted for.   I hope you vote for someone too.

1 comment:

  1. Part of the problem may be that ASHA does not make it clear when voting is happening, or who are the candidates.

    I get about 5 emails a week from ASHA, and the vast majority of them are advertising continuing ed courses which I don't want, so I've gotten used to ignoring them. Your blog is the first place where it was clearly stated what was happening, and the only place I could find the link to actually vote.

    Thanks for providing the link! You're way more useful than ASHA usually is. Ever thought of running for an ASHA position?


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