National Day At Your State Capitol (NDAYSC)
The SAA Public Outreach Committee is challenging you to take advocacy to the next level in your own states and allow your voices to be heard where it matters most - upon the ears of your state's legislators. Official kick-off date for 2019 is Friday, March 1!
How can you get started, you ask? It's easy! We've already done some of the work for you. First, you'll need to find your SAA chapter on the NDAYSC Information Sheet. Listed next to your chapter name, you'll find detailed information on how to make a reservation at your state's capitol. In most cases, reservations can be made via telephone; however, in some state’s reservations are made online.
We highly encourage inter-chapter collaboration for this event. Not only will this make the likelihood of getting a reservation higher, but it will also strengthen the voice of the audiology community within that state. Plus, preparation work can be divided amongst the chapters involved. We hope you will consider inviting faculty members and professionals from your local community to join you as their professional experience and knowledge as licensed professionals adds weight to the conversation at hand as well.
Interested in collaborating with your state academy/organization? Please contact the SAA Public Outreach Committee Chair, Alexander Morris, with any interest, plans, or questions regarding NDAYSC. Send the name of your school, any past experiences with NDAYSC and any questions you may have.
What's this about preparation work? It may be beneficial for you to put together information sheets to hand out to legislators or design posters or displays featuring pertinent information regarding a specific piece of legislation that is currently most impacting your state. You may also want to meet as a group to talk about the focus of conversations you’ll likely have with the legislators. Here are some ideas for resources you can use.
- Congress.gov provides up-to-date information about all legislation. Type “audiology” or the specific name of the bill you’re interested in learning more about into the search bar and it will provide a summary of each legislation, information about the legislation’s status, and even information about the likelihood of the legislation becoming public law.
- “Planning a Successful Lobby Day” provides some great ideas, particularly the timeline and checklist piece on pages 3 and 4. We are all educating those who represent us.
- Checkout the American Academy of Audiology website, specifically the Advocacy page. Here you can find up-to-date resources.
We know this event can be highly successful because the SAA community is passionate and always ready for the next challenge. If you are feeling overwhelmed, the SAA Public Outreach Committee is here to help and support you with whatever you need to make this a successful and empowering experience for your SAA chapter. Remember, to advocate is to educate. Let your passion for this wonderful profession be the drive behind your conversations with your state legislators. As you’ll come to find out, just simply disclosing what audiology is and further, what an audiologist does, will be more enlightening to the legislators than you know.
Should you have any questions or concerns as you begin to make reservations at your local state capitol, need inspiration, or any additional resources, please don’t hesitate to contact Alex.
NOTE: Reservations tend to fill rather quickly, as many groups tend to take advantage of this opportunity. Additionally, some states have shortened sessions this year, which reduces the amount of potential reservations available. That said, it is HIGHLY recommended that your chapter book a reservation ASAP to ensure that you have a date/ slot secured.