- 1. Policy and Procedure Manual for State Association
The President-Elect has worked with the Past President as well as other MSHA members around the state who have been involved in MSHA for several decades, for the long term perspective of policy and procedures. The purpose of the discussions have been to identify and develop a Policy and Procedures Manual for the Mississippi Speech and Hearing Association. In addition, I have reviewed the Chapter Incorporation Papers, the By-laws and any other significant documents that I could locate via our website or independent correspondence from people’s files. A Policy and Procedures outline was presented at the Executive Board meeting earlier this week for discussion and suggestions. The timeline is to have this document ready for Executive Board review in June, prior to the July conference call.
- 2. Independent Licensure
The President-Elect has talked with various MSHA members, and other SLPs and Audiologists around the country concerning the purpose and timing of developing a proposal for an independent licensing board for SLP/Audiologists in Mississippi. I am scheduled to meet with Theresa Rodgers next week in Washington during Advisory Council meeting on this topic, as well as some individuals from GRPP.
- 3. Additional areas of need were identified by various MSHA members for discussion at the Executive Board meeting to determine if subcommittees could be formed to develop information. The following are being submitted to the Executive Board for consideration:
- a. Development of a business institute to offer as a course for members.
- b. Development of a package for Better Hearing and Speech Month based on the ASHA BHSM information, to highlight the availability of these resources to MSHA members.
- c. A Career Awareness section on the web
- d. A current Public Information Exhibit
- e. Development of a consumer coalition of speech-language pathologists and audiologists along with consumers (various disability subgroups in Mississippi serving individuals with communication disorders) to identify ways of working together more effectively.
- f. MSHA PSAs….30 seconds each
- g. An online ethics course for SLPs and Audiologists to take for a fee…could be used for students, etc. CEUs.
- h. In addition, the following ideas were suggested in terms of developing new legislation, or at least bringing to the lobby group’s attention:
- 1. A bill to address pre-season cognitive communication assessment of all high school athletes engaged in contact sports.
- 2. A bill directed toward insurance coverage of speech, language, and hearing disorders through private insurance.
- 3. A bill directed at the exemption from liability for speech-language pathologists and audiologists who are volunteering professional services.
- 4. Loan repayment for graduate education of speech-language pathologists and audiologists employed in the public schools and doctoral faculty who teach in a CSD program in a Mississippi college or university
In addition, I would like to make a report for the ASHA Advocacy Council…to list and discuss the legislation that we are looking at and our plans for the AC meeting next week (after MSHA).
Carolyn Wiles Higdon