ASHA

ASHA Leader: Beyond Word-for-Word Interpreting

This month, I was honored to write a cover article for the ASHA Leader. It covered one of my great passions: working with interpreters in clinical settings.

“Just say what I’m saying, word for word!” It’s common for interpreters to hear this from clinicians. But this statement can have different meanings.

The most obvious meaning would be to simply repeat, in the same language, every word spoken in precisely the same order. As applied in Spanish, for example, “I am Phil,” might be said, “Yo estoy Felipe.”

But that’s likely not what is being requested. It’s more likely that the clinician aims to have the message content conveyed effectively in the target language. For example, in Spanish, “I am Phil” might be the more conversationally appropriate “Soy Felipe.”

This article is a part of the work I've been doing the past two years, starting with my poster at ASHA Connect and the subsequent seminar at the ASHA Convention in Philadelphia in 2016.

In this month's ASHA, there's another excellent article diving into more detail about making sure your services are accessible to all. You can read that article here.

Presented

It's hard to believe that nearly a month has passed since the ASHA Connect conference. It may have passed in a blur, but I've taken and applied so much of what I learned there. An excellent experience from start to finish. Also, this happened:

This was my first time to present, and doing a poster was a wonderful experience all around. It's such a nice way to meet with people, and I learned as much from people who stopped by as I hope they did from me.

★ ASHA Health Care & Business Institute

Greetings from Phoenix, Arizona! I’m attending ASHA’s Health Care & Business Institute, which is a three-day conference covering a variety of clinical and, as the name suggests, business topics. My last convention was in Chicago in 2013 for the large annual ASHA Convention.

I did things differently for this convention than I have for my past conventions:

  1. I took the entire day off to allow for travel. I used to work most of the day and then travel, which always left me tired right out of the gate. Having the whole day off meant I could fly in sooner, and then had time to wander and explore the area a bit before going to check in for the conference.
  2. Being here early also meant I was able to be present for the opening reception. It was lightly attended (I was also there early), but already I’ve had the chance to meet new people and have thoughtful and interesting conversations.
  3. I packed much lighter. This was somewhat easier given both that it’s summer and that it’s Phoenix, but I was careful to pack only what I would need.
  4. While I brought my laptop, I don’t plan on using it to take notes during sessions. I may tweet information from time to time from my phone, but having recently been reading and listening to stories about the big difference between writing notes vs typing them (namely that we tend to transcribe when typing rather than actually processing what we’re hearing in order to write meaningful notes), I decided to bring along a notebook and pen and see if I can tell a difference.

The biggest difference between the ASHA Convention and this one so far is both size and scope. It’s definitely a more intimate setting, and there are far fewer sessions from which to select. However, I appreciate the focus and the various learning “tracks” (there are five themes and one session per theme for each time slot) for helping me decide what I want to learn about. As I’ve been learning to navigate the worlds of home health and outpatient care, there are many things I’m eager to learn.

If you’re interested in following any tweets I might be writing, I’ll be writing them @ProjectSLP and using the hashtag #HCBI15. And if you were curious, I brought my camera along so I could enjoy my hobby while also in an exciting and educational frame of mind. Above are pictured some shots of the Phoenix Convention Center.

★ On Improving the ASHA CE Registry

Last night I wrote a tweet regarding the ASHA Continuing Education Registry that seemed to resonate a lot with other folks across Twitter. ASHA had linked to an Instagram photo that encouraged members to join the CE Registry, and I replied that while I liked it, I felt it should already be included in the cost of annual dues (rather than the additional $25/year it currently costs each member).

I have paid the annual fee for the continuing education registry ever since earning my CCCs. I find it convenient and helpful, as it puts all my continuing education in one place. I could easily do so myself with a simple table or spreadsheet on my computer, but having it as part of my ASHA profile is helpful because when ASHA wants to verify my CEUs, it’s a snap to do so because they’re already in their own system. I don’t have to pull out my file, or scans, or any other information to verify that I earned my CEUs. Also, when my state organization wants to audit my CEUs, it’s simple to log in to ASHA, print out my transcript, and send it along.

I’m lucky enough to be in a position where I have been able to afford the annual $25 fee for the past few years. I have no idea if that will always be the case, and for many folks, the additional fee on top of the annual membership fee is just not feasible for them. This is especially true when additional costs for continuing education itself, as well as state licensure, are considered.

In my concurrent career as a certified sign language interpreter, the certifying body has a means to track CEUs as part of the annual cost of membership. It’s easy to see why: having all members be able to track CEUs as part of the online dashboard is helpful for us to keep track of continuing education. On the flip side, it’s also easier for the organization itself to keep track of our its members CEUs. It saves them time and resources and simplifies the bookkeeping on their end. It’s a win-win, so it’s worth it to incorporate it into the cost of membership.

A bonus to including CE registry cost into annual membership would be that more members may consider joining a Special Interest Group rather than trying to decide between the two (SIG membership is $35 per year, but you get my drift; costs for SIGs could benefit from a pricing structure change, too, but that’s another discussion for another day). Fundamentally, I think all members would benefit from having access to the CE registry as a part of the basic cost of membership, and ASHA and the professions at large would benefit from increased SIG membership and the resources and professional discussion that can be gained from them.