Monthly Archives: May 2015

ASHA Board of Governors Abandons School Office

Clearly, the Board of Directors of the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association has neglected if not abandoned the office of School Services.


In 1925 a small group of speech professors aggressively captured the profession of school “speech correction” to gain stature and control on their campuses. They took everything and gave back little.
In the civil rights era of the 1960s the U. S. Department of Education pumped money into universities to increase the supply of school speech-language pathologists. ASHA in a public relations move organized a “school office” to show interest in education.

Window looking out.

Window looking out.

In 1975 IDEA caught ASHA administrators flat-footed. The bright spot was the intelligent leadership of Dr. Kathleen Whitmire, Director of School Services. She left ASHA and the Office of School Services declined.

When I returned to the schools in the 1990s, school practice was out-of date, and SLPs were beset with IDEA challenges. I wondered why school issues stood for years without effective solutions.

My review indicated the ASHA Board of Directors was failing to serve majority school members with vision, analysis, tenacity and long-term solutions.  I could not establish that the school office had any status and influence whatsoever. Nor did the school office play a role in the accreditation of graduate programs for SLPs. The BOD was preoccupied by ASHA administrative minutiae.


The BOD should eliminate the School Services office. It is a white elephant of another era. It’s doubtful BOD can fix it. The office should be a major force in up-dating school practice but it is not.

John M. Panagos