Published on August 9th, 20130
Promoting Our Professions
By Judy Meintzer, MSLP, R.SLP, S-LP(C), SAC PresidentThis article has been republished from the Summer 2013 issue of Communiqué. Please note that this article was originally published when Speech-Language and Audiology Canada (SAC) was called the Canadian Association of Speech-Language Pathologists and Audiologists (CASLPA).
Opening Message: Communiqué, Summer 2013
My term as President began just over a year ago. As I pause to reflect on the past year I am amazed at how much progress CASLPA has made in its strategic directions in a very short period of time. The excellent teamwork from our committed Board, members and staff has helped us to get through these “crazy-busy” times with smiles on our faces.
I’m particularly excited about the preliminary work our association is undergoing to raise the profile of the professions. As you may be aware, Promotion is the number two goal of our strategic plan. For as long as I can remember — and I’ve been around the profession for more years than I wish to admit — I have believed that we need to promote the important work we do to improve people’s quality of life. Unfortunately, our work continues to be under-recognized; and as a result, we continue to work in under-staffed programs and the people who would benefit from our services struggle to gain access. Many people, including our health and education colleagues still have a very narrow view of our contribution to medical and educational teams.
Yet, it excites me to think that CASLPA’s branding strategy will encourage people to think of us as more than just the nice people who ‘test hearing’ and ‘fix lisps’! Soon people will be able to:
- Understand and easily explain the value of what we do.
- Immediately have an idea of what we do, the value we provide and the issues we can help with.
- Know who to call for a speech, language, swallowing, hearing or balance problem.
CASLPA is taking a very comprehensive approach to branding. We are collecting the information we need from our stakeholders, members and the public. The thoroughness of this research and information gathering phase is a key step in this branding process. The more we know, the more successful this project will be.
I have also been very enthused by your positive response to the changes we have made to the CASLPA professional development strategy and professional liability insurance program. The CASLPA team is serious about listening to member input, looking at what we are doing and asking important questions like ‘Why?’, ‘Is there a better way?’ and ‘How can we be more relevant for members?’
I continued to feel honoured to work with the CASLPA Board, members and staff during these exciting times. There has never been a more important time to tell non-members about what CASLPA could be doing for them— CASLPA can only represent and serve our professions with a strong membership and ongoing support.
Judy Meintzer, MSLP, R.SLP, S-LP(C)