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ISHA History

1879: Edgar Werner, an early clinician who became interested in the field because of his own stuttering problem, edited and published what may have been the first professional journal in America emphasizing speech disorders. The Voice was issued from 1879-1892.

1914: One of the first graduate programs in the field was established at the University of Wisconsin.

1925: American Academy of Speech Correction formed and later became ASHA. It originally had 25 members, 15 women and 10 men. It was organized by physicians, scholars, and public school administrators, with commitment to keeping their organization small and selective. They aimed to maintain high educational standards; minimal criterion for membership was a master’s degree. This disallowed those whom they considered quacks from practicing.

1937: The "Indiana Speech Correction Association" (ISCA) was established on March 13. Dr. M.D. Steer was president. ISCA had 20 members.

1938: ISCA holds its first Spring Convention at Purdue. 91 individuals attended and paid $0.50 for lunch. Attended each brought a school-aged child with a communication disorder, and members demonstrated various techniques of speech correction.

1939-1941: Jane Shower was president of ISCA. The 1939 Spring Conference was held at Indiana University; speeches were mimeographed and distributed to members. This was the first publication of ISCA. In 1940, a committee was formed to develop licensure for Teachers of Speech Correction.

1941-1942: Robert Milsen was elected ISCA President. Membership dues were $1.00. Indiana had 24 Teachers of Speech Correction whom were certified to work in the public schools.

1942-1944: ISCA President was Gordon E. Peterson. There were no meetings held due to war time travel restrictions. ISCA had 45 members and $31 in its treasury.

1943: Speech Correction and Hearing Therapy licenses were adopted by the Indiana Board of Education (IDOE). ISCA helped to define the requirements for these licenses.

1946: The topic for ISCA Spring Conference was Rehabilitation of Veterans with Handicap. First Constitution of the Association was developed. ISCA's name was changed to "The Indiana Speech & Hearing Therapy Association" (ISHTA). Hearing was added to reflect Teachers of Lipreading that were members.

1947: Dr. Charles Van Riper was a speaker at the first two-day Spring Conference. Dues were raised to $2.00.

1950: ISHTA had 53 members. Dr. M.D. Steer, a founder of ISCA, was elected as President of ASHA. The first Directory of ISHTA members was published.

1952-1953: ISHTA had 120 members. ISCA's 15th anniversary occurred. A committee was formed to work on manageable caseload sizes in school settings.

1958: Rule 2-1 (IDOE Licensing) recommended caseload sizes of 75-125 with groups not to exceed 5 students. Each pupil had to receive at least 50 minutes of therapy services per week.

1959: The organization changed its name to the "Indiana Speech and Hearing Association" (ISHA).

1962: ISHA celebrated its 20th anniversary and had 276 members. Spring Convention was held at Indiana University Medical Center. ISHA began awarding pins for 25 years of membership.

1969: ISHA had members meet their lifetime membership criteria, and ISHA became incorporated.

1970: ISHA became a not-for-profit organization. ISHA began discussions of paraprofessionals and a committee is formed to examine the shortage of SLPs.

1972: ISHA began publishing the "License Plate," a newsletter for legislative updates.

1975: There were 422 licensed SLPs and 27 audiologists in the state.

1977: ISHA had 868 members.

1976-1979: ISHA had 600 members and developed PR materials with 2 puppets, Willie Talkright and Dizzy Hearwell.

1978: ISHA funded 20 billboards placed on major highways to promote hearing conservation.

1980: ISHA adds “Language” into organization’s name (ISHLA).

1981: ISHA has 915 members.

1983: ISHA's first Central Office was established in Greenwood. The office manager was Mrs. Sharon Freed.

1984: ISHA was officially recognized by ASHA as a state association.

1987: ISHA celebrated its 50th anniversary. 18 past presidents attended Spring Convention including its first president, Dr. M.D. Steer, Lt. Governor John Mutz, ASHA President Patricia Cole, and Indianapolis Mayor William Huchut. Discussions also began regarding the need to hire a lobbyist.

1988: ISHA’s Spring Convention offers ASHA CEUs for the first time. ISHA also produced 5 30-second public service announcements and produced a public information videotape.

1989: The first Winter Conference is held.

1990: ISHA developed a phone tree to use for contacting legislators about current legislation. ISHA also worked with the DOE in addressing school shortages of SLPs. DOE introduced temporary certificates for bachelor-level students to work in school settings. ISHA began first discussions of paraprofessionals as means to meet students’ needs in the schools.

1992: Central Office moves to Noblesville and Practical Solutions (Steve & Barb Ingram) is the first professional Central Office.

1993: ISHA established recruitment Ad Hoc committee and membership soared to 1170.

1994: ISHA began its first contract with Legislative Monitoring Services, Krieg, DeVault, Alexander, & Capehart (Lisa Murray).

1995: ICASE proposed re-structuring of school licensure patterns, attempting to include bachelor-level instructors of speech-language pathology. ISHA requested a state definition of the term “shortage” and valid/reliable date related to this "shortage."

1997: Computer sessions were held at Spring Convention for the first time. A new lobbying firm was hired, Beebe, Scherer, & Associates (Mark Scherer).

1998: ISHA's first website was launched.

1999: ISHA experienced a record attendance at Spring Convention of 1025 in Indianapolis. It also held the first open Presidents Reception. ASHA implements the SEAL program. Kay Olges is appointed as Indiana’s first SEAL  representative.

2000: SB 292 mandated accreditation for First Steps providers.

2001: ISHA scholarship fund is established. A task force is established to work on new licensure standards for school-based SLPs.

2002: Indiana Professional Licensing Board revised its rules related to paraprofessionals. The Restricted Test List is introduced by the Indiana Psychology Board. The first "Friends of ISHA" award was presented to Bud Haman. A Student Advisory Council was also established.

2003-2004: Ann Ninness was hired as Executive Director. ISHA had 1364 members.

2004-2005: A Volunteer Breakfast was hosted during Convention. The first Legislative Day was held on 1/28. The first Strategic Plan was also developed. Work began on licensure law revision with IPLA and the law became effective on 7/1/2005. A College Bowl was hosted at Convention in 2005.

2004-2006: The ISHA Political Action Committee (ISHA-PAC) was active in 2006, establishing an email system to keep members updated with legislative changes. ISHA's Code of Ethics was revised. Voting also occurred to move the Winter Conference to the fall in 2007.

2007: SB 451 (Emergency Permits) occurred. ISHA formed a task force with ICASE and IDOE to address personnel shortages. SB 320 repealed the Restricted Test List. ISHA awards 3 scholarships for the first time.

2008: ISHA awarded 10, 20, 25, and 50 year membership pins. It also established the Annual University Summit Meetings.  ISHA presented plaques and certificates to all legislators who assisted with ISHA during the 2007 session. Title 880, Administrative Rules of the Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology Board of the ILPA was updated and conformed to our state practice act, which was updated in 2005. A Medicaid task force joined other provider groups to seek an increase in Medicaid rates. Also, a First Steps task force looked at restriction of SLPs' scope of practice, encroachment, and use of a single evaluation tool to determine eligibility (AEPS). ISHA helped members understand changes under Revised Article 7.

2009: ISHA was 863 members strong. A new team structure was introduced. Diane Williams spoke at Fall Conference at the Ruth Lilly Endowment Center. A program was also set up to mentor students. ISHA assisted with HB 1311, which established a hearing aid fund. ISHA gave information to the state on the role of Developmental Therapy Communication Specialist.

2010: SB 240 gave SLPs greater flexibility to supervise SLP support personnel. SB 225 sought to broaden scope of OT practice in IN; ISHA guarded against encroachment. ICASE/ISHA task force looked at Eligibility Determination under  Article 7. ISHA Bylaws were also revised.

2011: Learning Connection was thriving. 120 SLPAs registered with IPLA. Tony Bennett revealed a state desire to give total control of teacher licensing to IDOE. SB 1 and HB 1488 resulted and ISHA responded.

Download  presentation about ISHA history from the 2008 Spring Convention

To support and empower members to provide the highest quality, life changing communication, swallowing and hearing services to the people of the State of Indiana.

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