3 Takeaways from ASHA 2023

January 5, 2024By: Samantha Torres, M.S., CCC-SLP

The American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA) just celebrated one of the largest conventions that brings together audiologists and speech-language pathologists nationwide. This year’s ASHA conference took place in the beautiful city of Boston, Massachusetts. The annual convention offers more than 2,500 sessions eligible for continuing education credit covering the latest research and techniques in communication sciences and disorders. VocoVision had a booth in the exhibitor hall, that was accompanied by some of our outstanding VocoVision team members and two speech pathologists including myself from our clinical team.

This year’s theme was “Igniting Innovation” which is about finding the “I” in Innovation. ASHA celebrated how each of us is creative in a unique way and how that translates to innovation. While there were many takeaways from this year’s convention, in this blog, I will highlight the top 3 and why I encourage you to attend next year’s convention in Seattle, Washington to ignite your innovation!

Telepractice Innovations

SLPs have become very familiar with telepractice over the past few years, and from what I discovered at ASHA, some are interested in taking virtual practices one step further. At the conference, I had the opportunity to attend a special session that opened a conversation about AI (artificial intelligence) and AR (augmented reality) in hopes of transforming traditional interventions into dynamic experiences.

This session spoke about combining AR technology with therapy where students can view digital content overlayed in the real world. This technology offers digital information, such as 3D models, animations, audio, and other multimedia elements onto the view of the real world.

The speakers encouraged more training and education on this topic for SLPs and audiologists as well as the implications of this technology use in therapy. This is a great area to explore if you are looking for ways to innovate your current telepractice services.

Interstate Compact (ASLPIC)

The Interstate Compact (ASPLIC) was another topic discussed at ASHA. Perhaps you’ve heard of the Interstate Compact for speech-language pathologists and audiologists, but what is it? The ASLP-IC is a legislatively enacted interstate agreement to facilitate the practice of audiologists and SLPs across participating states. The participating states continue to have jurisdiction over practice within their borders.

Currently, the ASLP-IC has been enacted in 30 states and it’s anticipated that applications for compact privileges will open in late 2024 or early 2025. You can find current information here.

Poster Sessions

Angela Dykes, a speech pathologist, and member of our VocoVision clinical team, joined the convention virtually this year. She was impressed by a poster session she viewed about remote evaluations with minimally speaking students.   The results of the study indicated that using real pictures vs drawings/sketches elicited a more natural language sample. They also looked at touchscreen responses vs paper and pointing. This resulted in better performance and lower rates of data loss for remote assessment.  Angela also shared the importance of staying ahead of the latest research, methodologies, and technologies in the ever-evolving field of speech and language pathology. 

Final Thoughts

As the field continues to grow, it is vital to remain current with advancements within our discipline. The ASHA annual convention is a great way to network, expand our knowledge, and start with a refreshed mindset. Come say hello to VocoVision at ASHA 2024 in Seattle, Washington! Stay up to date on convention details here.

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