National Day At Your State Capitol Day (NDAYSCD) - University of Texas at Dallas
Recently, the Student Academy of Audiology (SAA) Chapter at the University of Texas at Dallas’s Student Academy advocated for hearing healthcare by sending seven of their members on a road trip to Austin, Texas as part of the chapter’s first-ever participation in National Day at Your State Capitol Day (NDAYSCD). The students were guided by Matt Lyon, Government Liaison of the Texas Academy of Audiology, as well as a Texas Legislative Associates lobbyist, Brad Shields. Throughout the day, the gentlemen hosted meetings, arranged time with legislators, and coordinated a presentation by the Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation.
During their time with the legislators, the University of Texas at Dallas Chapter was able to talk about their position on bills that have recently been introduced to Texas legislation. These bills included an insurance mandate covering hearing aids/cochlear implants for children (HB 490), a bill to abolish state licensure for audiologists and speech-language pathologists (HB 1486), a bill requiring American Sign Language proficiency for children with a mild hearing loss in at least one ear (HB 3253), and a bill to change the administration of state licensure to the Physical Therapy/Occupational Therapy Board (HB 3852).
To be able to talk face to face with local representatives was described by the chapter as a “formative exposure to advocacy” and “served as a unique real-world learning experience” while the act of discussing their personal positions of the bills with the representatives and advocating for hearing healthcare was described as an “empowering moment”, allowing the chapter to get a closer look into how advocacy at the state level works and how it impacts the profession of audiology.
For more information about NDAYSCD, please visit the SAA website here.