The National Student Speech Language Hearing Association (NSSLHA) is a great way for Communication Sciences and Disorder (CSD) students to connect and get involved with the department.

Each year, NSSLHA chooses a non-profit organization that relates to the study of CSD to support with fundraising. This year their organization of choice is called Hands and Voices. Hands and Voices is a non-profit organization dedicated to supporting families of children who are deaf or hard of hearing.

The mission stated on the Hands and Voices website is as follows: “Hands & Voices is dedicated to supporting families with children who are DHH [deaf and hard of hearing] without a bias around communication modes or methodology. We’re a parent-driven, non-profit organization providing families with the resources, networks, and information they need to improve communication access and educational outcomes for their children. Our outreach activities, parent/professional collaboration, and advocacy efforts are focused on enabling DHH children to reach their highest potential.”

While this is one of the main focuses of NSSLHA’s fundraising effort, the money they raise goes to other causes as well. At the end of each year NSSLHA hosts a banquet for the department, including the students and faculty, to celebrate and recognize the outcomes of the year’s work. Many of the proceeds NSSLHA makes goes to putting on this annual banquet. Lastly, each year NSSLHA gives a donation to the ISU Eckelmann-Taylor Speech and Hearing Clinic.

With all this in mind, one might wonder how one group raises money to fund all these wonderful causes. Throughout the year NSSLHA hosts and takes part in several different fundraising opportunities for students, faculty, and the community. One way NSSLHA has raised money this year is through restaurant fundraisers held by the restaurant itself. Places located around campus such as Cherry Berry, Meatheads, Noodles and Company, and Insomnia Cookies host fundraisers that allow a certain percent of a night’s sales to be donated to the participating group.

NSSLHA has also raised funds by hosting more traditional events such as bake sales. They have also sold hotdogs outside of the Pub past kitchen hours, which has always resulted in a great turn out. NSSLHA has hosted a few new and exciting fundraising events this year as well. They hosted a bowling event for both faculty and students at the Illinois State’s Bowling and Billiards Center, where one fee provided the attendee bowling, pizza and beverage. This was a unique fundraising idea, because it also allowed for students to get a chance to connect with their peers and professors in a different environment.

Most recently, NSSLHA participated in a fundraising event that included two workout classes hosted by Associate Professor of Communication Sciences and Disorders Heidi Harbers. The cost of the class was $5, and gave students the opportunity to raise money while getting in a good workout, and connecting with each other outside of the classroom.

NSSLHA will continue to fundraise throughout the remainder of the semester to contribute to Hands and Voices, fund the banquet, and donate to the Eckelmann-Taylor Speech and Hearing Clinic. So next time you see a NSSLHA fundraiser taking place, remember all of the great causes it is going to, and don’t forget to support them.