Home Advocacy Audiologists and SLPs Share Inspirations and Practical Tools at Convention

Audiologists and SLPs Share Inspirations and Practical Tools at Convention

by Shelley D. Hutchins

If you couldn’t make it to Los Angeles last week for the 2017 ASHA Convention—or even if you just didn’t get to all of the sessions you flagged—Leader editors did go. And we gathered more than 200 article and blog ideas to share with you over coming months. If you don’t want to wait that long, take a peek at some of the intriguing ideas we captured from your colleagues in our #ASHA17 daily blog posts.

We kicked off the convening of over 14,000 audiologists, speech-language pathologists, hearing and speech scientists, and communications sciences and disorders students on Thursday by asking attendees what parts of the opening session inspired them.

Goldie Hawn

This is ASHA Convention “number 24 or 25” for Stuart Settle. He’s an SLP working in a skilled nursing facility outside of Atlanta. His background, however, is in research, so he appreciated ASHA President Gail Richard’s attention to research in her remarks. She emphasized staying connected to research in everyday practice.

Keynoter Goldie Hawn also impressed him with her pursuit of brain science and her focus on helping children understand how their brains work.

Find out what other attendees learned and hoped to learn. 

On the final day of convention, we discovered what tips, tools and approaches members heard from presenters that they can put into practice immediately. Enjoy a few highlights below—then see if you can resist reading all eight in the full post.

Pamela Storey, a private practitioner from Jamestown, Rhode Island, and Hilton Head Island, South Carolina, plans to change up her branding thanks to the personal branding exercise she completed in the Empowerment Zone: “I’m going to reframe the way I describe my services—to reframe my brag—by explaining that my career has been filled with helping Title I schools and providing therapy to underserved populations.”

Educational audiologist Sandee Saurman works for the Ventura County (California) Office of Education. She will start teaching students to use whole-body listening to improve listening in the classroom: “The student with hearing loss will place his feet flat on the floor, sit up straight in the chair and face the speaker.”

Ann Lehn, an SLP working for Flagstaff Northland Rural Therapy Association who serves as a clinical supervisor for North Arizona University, has probably already bought a dental mirror to use in treating her clients with cleft palates, so she can better see their hard palates.

ipad winner emily dubas with leader staff

From left to right: Leader content editor/producer, Shelley D. Hutchins, Leader editor-in-chief Bridget Murray Law, iPad winner Emily Dubas, and Leader managing editor, Carol Polovoy.

During our three jam-packed days in LA, we also talked to hundreds of attendees who stopped by our Leader Ideas Lounge. We wanted to know what challenges, hot topics, innovations or personal stories you want to read about or write for us in upcoming issues and blogs. Attendees received a chance to win a free iPad in exchange for their thoughts. (Congratulations to winner Emily Dubas, whose blog post on how to keep patients in cognitive rehab motivated to do homework between sessions and after discharge will appear soon.)

Other ideas we heard include a professor who started a social interaction group network for students with autism spectrum disorder; a school-based SLP who incorporates STEM education into treatment; and an early-intervention SLP who wants to share advice on adapting treatment to meet the unique needs of each family.

Some offered questions, so that we can identify experts who can answer them. One audiologist, for example, wants to know how to best address the crisis of professional capacity to support families that choose listening and spoken language for their child who is deaf or hard of hearing.

Some members also want to share how personal experiences inform their professional lives. An SLP diagnosed with Parkinson disease was forced into an unexpected career change, but found opportunity in the challenge. Another with a flooded home from Hurricane Harvey and a pregnancy loss came to convention anyway, and was inspired by Goldie Hawn’s keynote message.

Learn what other ideas interest your peers—and we always welcome proposals for Leader articles or applications for guest bloggers at any time.

Shelley D. Hutchins is content editor/producer for the ASHA Leader. shutchins@asha.org

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