In 1959 The American Speech and Hearing Association had just approved
the formation of the Legislative Assembly with members being selected
by state associations. Missouri did not have a state association
at that time. Dr. Charlotte Wells, Department Chair: Speech Pathology
and Audiology, University of Missouri, Columbia, felt that our state
needed to have a say in matters of policy in the newly approved
assembly and called for an organizational meeting in Columbia, Missouri
on October 10, 1959. Dr. Wells was elected chairman of the meeting.
Sixty-five persons attended the all day meeting which resulted in
a vote to form the Missouri Speech and Hearing Association. A constitution
was approved with officers and delegates to the ASHA Legislative
The first officers were:
President: Dr Thelma Trombly, University of Missouri, Columbia
Vice President: Dr. Frank Wilson, Saint Louis County Special
Secretary: Charles Schiefer, League for the Hard of Hearing
Treasurer: Dr. Lin Welch, Central Missouri State Teachers College
ASHA Delegate: Dr. Bob Goldstein
Letters of the formation of MSHA and membership applications were
mailed out for those wishing to join. Charter membership was given
to those joining before September, 1960. After that date new members
must first be ASHA members to join MSHA.
Membership fluctuated in the first 6 years: 105, 106, 170, 122,
189, 201 respectively.
Membership in MSHA for the past six years beginning with 2004 has
been: 1,159, 1,237, 1,301, 1,354, 1,264, and 1,300 respectively.
MSHA’s first life member was Margaret Curtis in 1972.
In 1959 the annual dues were $2.00. Today the dues for active membership
Within the first year (March, 1961) the MSHA newsletter was published
by Editor, Dr. Robert Huskey, Special School District. The newsletters
were typed on mimeograph paper using a typewriter with copies printed
on a mimeograph machine. Included was the President’s message,
articles by various members about therapy, review of new materials
and equipment, treatment programs for clients, and various reports
from the MSHA executive council. The “Letters to the Editor”
column began in 1962. Past issues of the MSHA newsletter are housed
in the MSHA archives. Later the publication name was changed to
There were hopes in those first years to publish a journal. The
Journal of the Missouri Speech and Hearing Association first appeared
in 1962. It contained articles from members in areas of interest
as well as research studies and reports on therapy techniques. The
journal was published continuously until 1983 when financial circumstances
resulted in discontinuation. The MSHA newsletter format changed
to accommodate this loss by including avenues to share similar information.
Copies of the MSHA Journal are housed in the MSHA archives.
The MSHAnews, a quarterly publication,
currently contains a section on “research” for submissions
of research articles on various topics.
Past Awards and Past Presidents
The MSHA web site lists all Past Presidents with year(s) of service
and all Honors and Awards presented by the association by date.
This information can be located through the following links:
MSHA Honors and Awards
The association awards include:
MSHA Honors of the Association
MSHA Outstanding Clinician, Graduate Student, and Special Education
Friends of MSHA
MSHA Minority Student Leadership Program Scholarships
MSHA Student Research Awards
MSHA recipients of ASHA Foundation Awards
ASHA Ace awards for the previous year.
The “first annual meeting” was held on the campus of
Central Missouri Teachers College, Warrensburg, Missouri. The guest
speaker was Dr. Issac Brackett of Southern Illinois University.
The meeting lasted one day and also included member panels on various
topics; one panel discussed what “we” should be called;
the consensus at that time being “speech correctionist.”
The meetings lasted only one day until 1965 when they were expanded
to one and a half days usually held over weekends. These meetings
were held annually on university campuses or in public school districts
until the 1970’s. To allow for greater attendance and overnight
accommodations, the convention location alternated sites around
the state from Kansas City, St. Louis, Columbia, and Springfield
until around 1999. Due to the large number of attendees and the
rising costs, the annual convention was moved to more central location
in the state to Lake Ozark in 2000. The attendance at the convention
continues to grow and the increase in cost has been held within
a constant range for the past 10 years.
MSHA celebrated its 50th year in 2009. Convention attendance over
the past six years has averaged over 1,000.
MSHA business office initially was housed in members’ homes.
Due to increased demands for a business office, a part time administrative
assistant was employed and the site moved first to Columbia and
then Warrensburg. The office remained in Warrensburg until 2002
when the association contracted the management firm of Craven Management
In addition to the annual convention MSHA offers two annual one
day fall conferences: “Issue and Answers” and “Early
MSHA did employ a Lobbyist for a period of time due to the increased
legislative activity impacting the profession. Later the executive
board decided to handle their concerns through the office of the
VP for Legislative Affairs and the use of Legislative Day in February.
Legislative Day has become an annual event when members and students
meet in Jefferson City to talk with their senators and representatives
in an informal gathering.
Licensure Law passage, 1974
CEU sponsorship, 1981
Caseload reduction, 1983
Insurance Bill, 1984
Master’s degree required for SLPs, 1984
Student Scholarships, 1990’s
Close work with DESE (Department of Elementary and Secondary Education)
on various topics and guidelines related to criteria for services
began in the mid- 1990s.
Around the start of the millennium MSHA initiated a website for
members, in addition to its quarterly newsletters, as a means to
improve information access and increase the opportunity for interactive
communication between MSHA officers and the MSHA membership. The
current MSHA website details the workings of the association as
well as resource contacts for university, regional and local professional
groups, and related professional organizations for Licensure and
State Teacher Certification. The website also provides information
on continuing education and resources for students, public, and
In addition a MSHA listserv is also offered to MSHA members for
the immediate release of information. MSHA members can use the listserv
to share information through the MSHA central office. It is a tool
that can help with seeking support from other members regarding
pressing issues encountered in practice.