Whether you have just completed your education, or have been a licensed speech therapist for many years, joining a national or statewide speech therapy association can have a long, lasting and positive impact on your career.
First, let's take a look at a couple of national associations.
The American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA) is the largest nationwide association for speech therapists, with more than 140,000 members and affiliates. Their ranks include hearing scientists, language scientists, speech scientists, speech-language pathologists, and audiologists.
Some of the advantages of belonging to the ASHA include having a powerful group that is advocating on the behalf of people with communicative disorders, advancing the science of communications, and helping to promote effective communication between people.
You also have the advantage of earning credentials. ASHA currently is administering four unique credentialing programs that span the full breadth of professional development:
- Academic program accreditation
- Clinical certification
- Continuing education provider
- Clinical specialty recognition
Finally, ASHA provides a substantial "one stop shop" for work setting resources, publications, practice management, practice policies, certification information, as well as e-mail newsletters and the ability to connect and communicate with your colleagues.
If you are only going to join one association, the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association is the one to be a part of.
You can visit ASHA at www.asha.org.
Don't take this to mean that you only have one option, however.
The National Student Speech Language Hearing Association is where you want to go if you are still working on your speech therapy education, whether you are an undergraduate, graduate, or doctoral student. The NSSLHA exists to serve students interested in the study of communication sciences and disorders.
Learn more at www.nsslha.org.
Also, if you plan to work in Canada, don't forgot the Canadian Association of Speech-Language Pathologists and Audiologists. They are Canada's only all-inclusive organization that represents the needs of speech-language pathologists, audiologists and support personnel.
Get more information at www.caslpa.ca.
Finally, take a look at your individual state associations. Here you can find resources for individual state laws and licensing requirements, learn about your state conventions, get job listings, connect with other therapists in your area, and so much more.
A good list of links for every state can be found here:
Joining a national and statewide speech therapy association provides a tremendous number of advantages to you. Take the time to learn more about them and join today!
Once you've explored these professional associations, bring your CV to Centra Healthcare Solutions. We have many positions for speech therapists at facilities throughout the country. If you've ever wanted to bring your skills to patients in towns and cities all over the U.S., contact us today!