Eastern New Mexico University’s NSSLHA chapter visited the state capitol in January in honor of the New Mexico Speech and Hearing Association Day. The Chase photo: Adrienne Bratcher
According to the U.S. Department of Health, about 8% of children ages 3-17 have some kind of speech, language, voice or swallowing disorder. For the National Student Speech Language and Hearing Association, that 8% s too much.
NSSLHA is the only national student organization for those studying communication sciences and disorders. The organization includes over 12,000 members, and Eastern New Mexico University is proud to be home to 40 of those members, even if they are distance learners attending the meetings through Zoom.
NSSLHA started nationally in 1972, giving students access to journals, scholarly articles, and other references to help them get started in their careers. ENMU’s chapter started in years following and is currently functioning under advisor Adrienne Bratcher.
The goal for students in NSSLHA is to raise and create awareness about speech hearing and language disorders, as well as serving the community through local chapters. May is Speech, Language, and Hearing Month, and members of the organization spend the month posting information throughout the community and on campus. The ENMU chapter operates a speech and hearing outreach on campus, and students can help clinically through Roosevelt General Hospital.
Students also have the opportunity to be involved at the state level with the New Mexico Speech and Hearing Association. Students from the ENMU chapter were able to attend NMSHA Day in January in Santa Fe.
“One of our students was recognized in the House, and one of our students was recognized in the Senate,” said Bratcher. She also said Eastern usually has the highest participation rate at NMSHA Day out of the campuses involved, including New Mexico State University as well as the University of New Mexico.
Students can join NSSLHA at ENMU during a period in both the fall and the spring. Meetings include discussion of community service as well as fundraisers, and are held monthly.