On-going advocacy is essential to create positive change for our profession. In the last month, KSHA members acted as ambassadors of our profession and led the charge of advocacy with policy makers in Frankfort regarding the salary stipend for SLPs in the Schools. On the national level, KSHA and ASHA have identified dozens of issues that affect us as professionals and the families we serve.
Along with advocacy, we carry the role of ambassadors of speech-language pathologists and audiologists. Helping the public better understand our practice as professionals will increase our voice with the public and improve awareness of what we do. This effectively advocates for us as often the people making decisions are not fully aware of all the plates we spin.
To encourage us to increase our advocacy and ambassadorship activity, KSHA challenges you to take the 30 in 30 pledge for 2014-2015. We are asking you to commit 30 minutes every 30 days to participate in some form of advocacy or public relations work.
Right now, KSHA has just more than 1,500 members. If we do the math, it is amazing what is within our power to accomplish!
1,500 x 30 minutes = 750 hours per month, translating to 9,000 hours per year of Advocacy and Ambassadorship for Speech/Pathology and Audiology. That is amazing to me every time I read it!
During the month of May 2014, KSHA kicked off their 30 in 30 campaign for Better Hearing and Speech Month. Participation is simple.
Once you take the pledge, the types of activities you can do are really up to you. We want to honor what you are doing, so every KSHA member who takes the pledge will get a 30 in 30 ribbon to wear at the 2015 KSHA convention. Also, at convention, we’ll display a poster recognizing all members and the activities they completed during our 30 in 30 advocacy campaign.
Choose an activity that is best for you… but please DO SOMETHING! KSHA’s power is our members and our members are powerful. I ask you to join me in taking the pledge for 30 in 30 and spin those plates. I’m in. Are you?
A few examples for the next 12 months could include:
- Sending an email or calling your state representative or senator is always a good place to start.
You can talk with your school district leaders about the salary stipend of OPGES.
- Discuss the implications of the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) with other health care providers.
- Talk to your local high school during Career Day to encourage students to consider a career in Communication Disorders.
- Provide hearing screenings to the people in your office or school.
- Talk to the local PTO or parent group about Speech Pathology and Audiology Services.
- Read up on ASHA’s Advocacy programs on the ASHA website and find out how to get involved.
- Conduct an education session for First Steps providers in your area.
- Present (or assist with presenting) a session at KSHA.
- Volunteer to serve on a KSHA committee.
- Ask that your employer promote your services in the newspaper or online during May for BSHM.
- Participate in the online ASHA Community discussion forum on various topics.