President’s Message Spring 2018

President’s Message April 2018

Greetings NMSHA members:

I hope that your Spring has sprung with joyful enthusiasm as the warm days begin!  Enjoy the beautiful weather and sites of New Mexico during these Spring months.   Here are the current NMSHA updates for April 2018:

Audiology Updates

An all day conference on Hearing Loss Technology has been announced by the Advisory Committee for Hearing Loss Awareness. Sponsored by the Governor’s Commission on Disability and the Commission for Deaf and Hard of Hearing, the conference is intended to raise awareness of hearing loss and of the technology available to help address it. The conference will take place on May 9 at the Albuquerque Sheraton Uptown.  Please refer to the attached flyer for information on presentations and registration.  NMSHA will have a table at the conference so drop by and see us! Conference registration is now open and more information, including the complete conference booklet and a link to the registration site is available at or by calling Steve Frazier at 505-401-4195.

Audiology Assistants:

As you are all aware the New Mexico Regulation and Licensing Division (rld) Speech Pathology, Audiology and Hearing Aid Dispensing Practices Board is introducing a bill for licensing SLP assistants in the state of New Mexico.  In addition to recommending licensure for SLP Assistants, the board is researching licensing Audiology Assistants as well.  The board has formulated a sub-committee to look into Audiologist Assistant licensure and is requesting direction from NMSHA on this issue.  If you are an audiologist and interested in becoming a member of the rld subcommittee regarding audiology assistants in our state please contact me.  We are hoping to get a NMSHA representative to the committee in place by this coming July.

Looking to hire? Searching for a Job?

Spring and Summer often represents the seasons for job openings and new employment opportunities throughout our state.  If you are looking to hire, NMSHA will post your job announcement on our website for a nominal fee of $35.  If you are recent to graduate and/or looking for a new or different job, be sure to check out job offerings at>jobs.

Update on NMSHA Member Benefits

A new benefit that NMSHA is offering members is discounts to Speech or  You may already be familiar with the myriad of CEU course offerings and information that Speech Pathology has to offer.  NMSHA members receive a $10 discount off of the annual membership.  To access the discount code, log onto the NMSHA website with your user name and save!


May is Better Speech and Hearing Month!

In honor of Better Speech and Hearing Month (BSHM) NMSHA encourages agencies and professionals from around our state to celebrate the profession and the quality services that we provide individuals with speech-language and hearing disabilities. ASHA offers products information and ideas for BSHM for you to consider including information on bilingual speech-language development, stroke, autism and hearing loss.  Here’s the link:

Clinic Topics

One of the benefits that NMSHA is offering to our members is updated information on clinic topics of relevance to Speech-Language Pathologists and Audiologists around our state.  This month we offer information on “Clear Speech.”  I solicited this information for my colleague and friend, Dr. Amy Neel, from the University of New Mexico.  Thanks Dr. Neel!

Clear Speech Improves Intelligibility in Dysarthria
Amy T. Neel, Ph.D., CCC-SLP
Department of Speech and Hearing Sciences
University of New Mexico

Recent research has demonstrated that clear speech, a speaking style adopted by speakers to maximize intelligibility for communication partners (Smiljanic and Bradlow, 2009), has promise as a treatment for individuals with dysarthria.  Initially, clear speech was studied as a form of communication designed to enhance communication with individuals with hearing impairment.  Picheny and his colleagues (Picheny et al., 1985, Picheny et al., 1986) showed that listeners with hearing impairment understood clearly enunciated speech better than ordinary conversational speech.  Characteristics of clear speech include reduced speaking rate implemented through longer speech sound duration and the inclusion of more pauses at grammatical junctures.  Speakers using clear speech usually produce consonants more carefully, releasing final consonants, and reduce vowels to schwa less frequently.  Clear speech often features increased fundamental frequency (or pitch) of the voice, larger pitch range, and a modest increase in vocal loudness (Uchanski, 2005).

The use of clear speech has been studied in individuals with several types of dysarthria.  Tjaden and her associates (Tjaden, et al., 2014; Tjaden et al., 2013; Lam &Tjaden, 2013; ), have shown that people with mild dysarthria related to Parkinson disease and multiple sclerosis are more intelligible when using clear speech techniques.  Park et al. (2016) described their intense speech therapy program “Be Clear,” showing that individuals with non-progressive dysarthria due to TBI and CVA spoke more intelligibly using clear speech techniques.  Clear speech may also be useful for clients with accented English (Behrman, 2017).

Although clear speech has not been studied as extensively studied as loud speech, another speaking style modification that can enhance intelligibility (e.g., LSVT and SPEAK OUT!), clinicians have been using “over-articulation” techniques for decades.  By teaching a relatively simple and natural strategy, speech-language pathologists may evoke a number of changes in speech that contribute to better speech intelligibility for clients with speech disorders and differences.

Useful References for Clear Speech

Behrman, A. (2017). A clear speech approach to accent management. American journal of speech-language pathology, 26(4), 1178-1192.

Lam, J., & Tjaden, K. (2013). Intelligibility of clear speech: Effect of instruction. Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research56(5), 1429-1440.

Park, S., Theodoros, D., Finch, E., & Cardell, E. (2016). Be clear: A new intensive speech treatment for adults with nonprogressive dysarthria. American Journal of Speech-Language Pathology, 25(1), 97-110.

Picheny, M. A., Durlach, N. I., & Braida, L. D. (1986). Speaking clearly for the hard of hearing II: Acoustic characteristics of clear and conversational speech. Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, 29(4), 434-446.

Picheny, M. A., Durlach, N. I., & Braida, L. D. (1985). Speaking clearly for the hard of hearing I: Intelligibility differences between clear and conversational speech. Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, 28(1), 96-103.

Smiljanić, R., & Bradlow, A. R. (2009). Speaking and hearing clearly: Talker and listener factors in speaking style changes. Language and linguistics compass, 3(1), 236-264.

Tjaden, K., Richards, E., Kuo, C., Wilding, G., & Sussman, J. (2013). Acoustic and perceptual consequences of clear and loud speech. Folia Phoniatrica et Logopaedica65(4), 214-220.

Tjaden, K., Sussman, J. E., & Wilding, G. E. (2014). Impact of clear, loud, and slow speech on scaled intelligibility and speech severity in Parkinson’s disease and multiple sclerosis. Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research57(3), 779-792.

Uchanski, R. M. (2005). Clear speech. The handbook of speech perception, 207-235.

Build your professional connections by joining Linked In. NMSHA is now a member!

Until next month….







Leave a Reply