Albizu University, Puerto Rico:
2023 Chapter of the Year

Each year, NSSLHA chapters participate in the National NSSLHA Chapter Honors program—vying for gold, silver, and bronze status. We’re continuously wowed by the incredible work each chapter puts into reaching their goals . . . and this year was no exception! Check out the full list of 2023 Chapter Honors awardees.

Our Chapter of the Year award acknowledges the extraordinary efforts of one chapter from the Gold Honors category. This year, we’re proud to award the NSSLHA chapter at Albizu University, Puerto Rico, with this award!

Their chapter accomplished one of their biggest goals — to help Puerto Rico’s disadvantaged communities. Their chapter hosted a mix of supply drives, outreach activities, learned about diversity, equity, and inclusion topics, and partnered with local officials to reach their goal.

Check out what their chapter did in 2022-2023 and get ideas for your chapter’s 2023-2024 Chapter Honors application.

Community Outreach

The chapter hosted the 1st Screening Fair for the Municipality of Vieques, a small island that is part of the archipelago of Puerto Rico with a population of approximately 10,000 people. Unfortunately, because they’re a small island, they don’t necessarily have accessibility to all the services that the “large island” has. When Vieques residents need treatments or interventions, they must get on a ferry to the “big island” and vice versa. Chapter members worked with municipal staff to plan an event, where chapter members would travel by boat to the island to provide screenings and share information. To be sure they could help as many residents as possible, they offered screenings at the local center and made house calls.

The chapter also organized several drives to benefit children and families with limited resources. Both chapter students and the campus community contributed to these drives. Chapter members gathered and distributed supplies to communities and organizations in need including the El Quemado community in Mayagüez, Puerto Rico; Fundación Niñito Jesús (Baby Jesus Foundation); Jesús de Nazaret (Jesus of Nazareth), a children’s shelter. Additionally, during Autism Awareness Month, they held a t-shirt sale, and all profits were donated to the Alianza de Autismo de Puerto Rico (Autism Alliance of Puerto Rico).

Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

The Albizu University NSSLHA chapter made diversity, equity, and inclusion a priority. They took every opportunity to learn more about communities they will support as future clinicians, including interviewing Dr. Gloriana Cruz, ClinScD, CCC-SLP, on Instagram Live where they talked about voice therapy with transgender patients and appropriate inclusive language used in interventions. During another Instagram Live interview with Coral M. Rodríguez Plaud, MS, CCC-SLP, they talked about what it means to be a Puerto Rican and a bilingual Speech-Language Pathologist working with different populations in the United States.

Legislative Advocacy

The chapter volunteered at the Deaf Children’s and CODA Fun Day and Deaf vs. Hearing Game Day, an event organized by District 19 of Puerto Rico, House Representative, Jocelyne M. Rodríguez Negrón. Chapter members distributed water bottles,kept score for the game, andinteracted with members of the deaf community and their families. During the event, they also were able to learn more about Ley 238 de Puerto Rico – Carta de Derechos de la Población con Impedimentos (Puerto Rico Law 238 – Bill of Rights for the Population with Disabilities) a law that pertains to the rights of the impaired population of Puerto Rico and how the professions can service this population. Currently, communication between the deaf and hearing communities in Puerto Rico encounters great barriers that need to be addressed. Following the event, chapter members met with Rep. Rodríguez Negrón to discuss ways to remove those barriers and bring awareness to the rights and needs of the deaf community in Puerto Rico.

Congrats again to the NSSLHA chapter at Albizu University, Puerto Rico for their success!

Come to the National NSSLHA Awards and Celebration at ASHA Convention, on Thursday, November 16, 2023, from 7:00-9:00 p.m. ET at District Hall Boston to celebrate the NSSLHA chapter at Albizu University, Puerto Rico, and all of the 2022-2023 NSSLHA Honors winners. Learn more about all NSSLHA events and activities at Convention.

Leave A Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.