With the socially isolating impacts of COVID-19, feeling connected to your CSD friends is hugely important—now more than ever! We’ve heard from a lot of you, asking for ways your NSSLHA chapter can connect virtually. Here are some ideas we’ve gathered from chapters who have done it successfully . . .
Don’t Miss BHSM
Like years’ past, you can’t host an info table on campus for Better Hearing and Speech Month (BHSM) this May, but you can still get creative and raise awareness about communication disorders:
- Host an online coloring contest with your clinic’s younger clients and their families using ASHA’s BHSM coloring page.
- Instead of physical posters or flyers, create infographics to share on social media.
- Partner with a musician to hold an online concert. Use it as an opportunity to educate attendees about safe listening levels.
- Tribute is offering a free trial during the COVID-19 pandemic. Use it to create a BHSM-related video as a chapter.
- Encourage chapter members to submit a Take Action letter and speak up about issues that matter most to you with your members of Congress.
Don’t let physical distance stop your chapter members from preparing for the future—keep your CSD knowledge fresh and educate members on the next steps of their careers:
- Invite hospital-based practitioners to talk with your chapter about how current events are impacting audiologists and SLPs.
- Host a CSD Trivia Night through Kahoot!
- Offer chapter members points for activities like coloring (and labeling) diagrams or completing CSD-related crossword puzzles.
- Were you supposed to go to a conference that got cancelled? It may not be quite as exciting but allow chapter members to practice their speaking skills by sharing a presentation they were supposed to give through video chat.
- Hold virtual office hours on topics like what do if you’re accepted, waitlisted, or rejected to a grad program.
To feel connected, some chapter members might want to give back to their communities:
- Use the Charity Miles app to walk for a cause—6 feet apart from others, of course. Even if you don’t have donors, the app’s sponsors will pay 25 cents per mile for your daily walk.
- Ask members to email encouraging notes to your clinic’s clients or contact a skilled nursing facility to see if they’d like chapter members to send letters and videos to residents.
- Donate your voice to VocalID’s Human Voicebank.
- Check out Zooniverse for an ever-evolving list of research projects for virtual volunteers, like classifying babies’ speech sounds!
- Support the local organizations your chapter already works with. Reach out to them directly to see if there are ways you can help, like holding an online t-shirt sale through Bonfire or campaigning for them through your chapter’s social media channels.
It doesn’t have to be all work and no play. Blow off some steam with a social event:
- Host a movie night through the Netflix Party Chrome extension.
- Show a YouTube painting tutorial and have chapter members paint along (or pencil/crayon sketch if that’s what they have available).
- Hold a “Zooking” (Zoom Cooking) competition—ask members to create a “what’s in your cupboard” meal; then, show off your dishes during a Zoom dinner party and vote for the one that looks most delish!
- Start a book club and meet monthly to talk about the book (pick something fun—no textbooks allowed!).
- Are your chapter members spread across different times zones? Post a social media challenge for them to complete on their own time. Better yet … take part in one of National NSSLHA’s!
Sharing Is Caring
For even more virtual chapter event ideas, check out the National NSSLHA website: nsslha.org/chapters/virtual-event-idea-bank. We’ll update this page frequently as we hear about other fun ideas.
And while we’ve heard some great ideas—like these—from chapters, we know it’s just the tip of the iceberg. Share what your chapter is doing and stay connected to other chapters on the NSSLHA Member Community. Together, we’re #NSSLHAstrong!