Speech language pathologists (SLP) and audiologists (AuD) in the state of Illinois are fortunate to have access to our wonderful state association, the Illinois Speech-Language-Hearing Association, better known as ISHA (www.ishail.org). Each February, ISHA holds our state convention at the Donald E. Stephens convention center in Rosemont, with national speakers covering a variety of topics related to communication sciences and disorders (CSD). It provides countless continuing education (CE) hours and opportunities to connect with colleagues. The CSD department at Illinois State University has served in many different ways, from being the VP of Consumer Relations and a convention speaker (Heidi Harbers), to being a track chair who finds and coordinates the speakers (Kim Adelman, Jean Sawyer, Jennine Harvey, Scott Seeman), to serving on Representative Council (Julie Burns). Many of our students also give of their time by volunteering at the convention, which waives their registration fees!
If you’re looking for something closer to home, Illinois has at least 15 regional groups that meet regularly and provide CE opportunities. The Bloomington/Normal area is served by the Central Illinois Speech-Language-Hearing Association (CISHA). CISHA provides a minimum of three CE programs with topics chosen by the members. Contact Amy Yacucci at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information. ISHA and these regional groups wouldn’t exist if not for the many volunteers who give of their time and talents. Getting involved in your state or local organization not only serves your fellow SLPs and AuDs, but helps you become better at what you do. Attend the state convention with some colleagues, bring a friend to your local group, or volunteer on a committee and meet some incredible people. It doesn’t take a huge commitment to make a big difference, and you will never know the joy of serving in this capacity if you don’t give it a first chance!