Hello to All,
As the lockdown was set into place, panic set in and it seemed like the world was at a standstill. There were so many unanswered questions. Will we have enough groceries? Where do we find toilet paper? Is it safe to walk outside? As many people were transitioning to remote learning and telepractice, Morris County Speech and Hearing Association (MCSHA) was also in a state of panic. The executive board members called an emergency meeting to figure out the status of our organization. MCSHA is a local organization in Morris County, New Jersey that provides in person continuing education hours to SLPs and audiologists to help them maintain their New Jersey state license requirement as well as earn ASHA approved hours for maintenance of CCCs.
MCSHA was concerned about the health of the organization and would it survive if members could not gather for face to face meetings. The first steps were to cancel all scheduled face to face meetings and to extend paid membership an additional year until June 2021. That would allow MCSHA enough time to figure out how it could continue to help serve its members. Each volunteer board member put in countless hours researching the best method of delivering valuable continuing education hours and maintaining a connection with its members. We contacted ASHA and New Jersey Speech and Hearing Association, as well as the NJ Department of Consumer Affairs to get guidance and were pleasantly surprised to learn that "live" webinars would count towards the state requirements for in person hours. It was the happiest news we had heard in this stressful time!
The next step was to find out what our members needed so we sent an email survey to assess their needs. Doing so allowed us to see what our members needed and to let them know we were still there for them. Once we gathered all this information, we started to work hard on finding a transition plan for going to remote learning and providing members with the continuing education hours that they missed during the lockdown.
We recently provided our members with a wonderful live webinar through Social Thinking! Our main purpose is to provide quality evidence-based programs that members can apply directly to their profession. MCSHA is currently working on finding ways to provide more webinars to accommodate its members. It seems like in this time of great uncertainty, our local speech and hearing organization has found a link between our members with just a few clicks and taps. Our 133 members are the heart of this thriving organization, with some members who have been with the organization for more than 40 years! The amount of expertise, knowledge, and kindness that our members provide is a testament to this field.
MCSHA would like to thank our members for their support and dedication to this field. The impact you have on the lives of everyone around you is priceless.
Until we meet again, in person,
Farwa Husain, MS, CCC-SLP