Forum: Specialty Recognition Specialty recognition for AAC is an important area concerning all ASHA members, and particularly Division 12. Our specialty recognition committee is taking another look at the issues and plan to report their findings to the membership later this year. As they go about their task I would like to ... Forum
Forum  |   May 01, 1999
Forum: Specialty Recognition
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Krista M. Wilkinson
    Shriver Center for Mental Retardation
Article Information
Augmentative & Alternative Communication / Forum
Forum   |   May 01, 1999
Forum: Specialty Recognition
SIG 12 Perspectives on Augmentative and Alternative Communication, May 1999, Vol. 8, 13. doi:10.1044/aac8.2.13
SIG 12 Perspectives on Augmentative and Alternative Communication, May 1999, Vol. 8, 13. doi:10.1044/aac8.2.13
Specialty recognition for AAC is an important area concerning all ASHA members, and particularly Division 12. Our specialty recognition committee is taking another look at the issues and plan to report their findings to the membership later this year. As they go about their task I would like to comment on how specialty recognition might relate to changes occurring in ASHA more broadly. For instance, it was recently announced that AAC will not be assigned a separate review committee with individual listings in the 1999 ASHA Convention. Instead, it will be subsumed under one of the other topic areas.*  This change should be of interest to all Division 12 members. On the surface, the change is a potential setback to recognition of the unique role of augmented language services for individuals with disabilities. However, perhaps this merging of AAC could provide an opportunity for division members to integrate issues of augmented language and to educate broader audiences during our conference presentations. This very tension between the need to balance recognition of a specialized area and the need to demonstrate relevance to broad audiences is at the crux of specialty recognition. The impact of specialty recognition on the status of AAC within ASHA is therefore of primary concern. Would the status of AAC be enhanced by the increased quality of services expected to result from specialized expertise? Or is there a chance that AAC would become marginalized, viewed as a subdiscipline that other speech and language providers need not explore in any detail? Whatever we choose, we must evaluate whether the policy can be made to work to the benefit of all involved members, including individual speech-language pathologists, researchers in related areas, the division as a whole, ASHA as a professional organization, and ultimately the consumers who might benefit from AAC services.
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