The city of Jackson may very well have been the most well spoken city in the state this week, as over 500 speech-language pathologists and audiologists gathered here from across the state for an annual conference.
The Mississippi Speech-Language-Hearing Association (MSHA) held a 3-day annual conference at the Hilton in Jackson, which started on Monday. MSHA serves speech-language pathologists and audiologists in the state of Mississippi through professional development, collective resources and networking.
Dr. Rebecca Lowe, an audiologist at the University of Mississippi in Oxford, enjoyed the opportunity to hear from national leading experts in speech-language pathology and audiology. "The information presented was current, relevant and applicable," said Lowe. "The conference was also an extremely valuable time for networking with professionals … from across the state of Mississippi."
Karen Price, a speech-language pathologist in Foxworth agrees with Lowe and says, "The MSHA conference is one of the best networking resources I am able to be part of."
During this multiday conference, speech-language pathologists, audiologists, educators and school administrators gained valuable information that they can take back to their hometowns and utilize across Mississippi. Topics included Medicare and healthcare services, hearing testing in infants and young children, cochlear implants, telepractice, technology in speech-language pathology and the written language disorder of dyslexia, just to name a few.
"MSHA is a vital tool for speech-language pathologists and audiologists across the state," said Dr. Maureen Martin, director of the DuBard School for Language Disorders at The University of Southern Mississippi in Hattiesburg and 2013 president of MSHA. "This conference allows us to come together once a year to learn from professionals as well as each other so we can continue to grow our service to individuals with language and hearing disabilities across the state."
The Annual Continuing Education Conference is held in Jackson each year – a boost to the local economy as well as a highlight of the city for non-residents.
Georgene Falcone-Johnson, a speech-language pathologist with Biloxi Public Schools, knows that a conference is much more than just the educational topics presented. "When you get together with colleagues that speak the same language, much is shared, understood, and built upon," said Falcone-Johnson. "We leave Jackson each year knowing that we've made a contribution to the children of Mississippi."
Camille Williams, a speech-language pathologist in Gulfport, Miss, concludes, "MSHA broadens our professional perspective from the local level we serve daily to the statewide and national issues that affect the profession, while offering opportunities to give back to a profession that is our livelihood and rescues so many who are communicatively impaired."
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