MSHA members in action.

Graduate Student Scholarship Opportunity!

The Montana State Hearing Association believes strongly in supporting graduate students who are committed to serving the people of Montana. We are pleased to offer the MSHA Memorial Scholarship award in the amount of $750 for the 2018-19 school year.  Two awards will be given. Learn more under Student  > Scholarships or access and download the application here: 2018 MSHA Scholarship Application

MSHA and Better Hearing and Speech Month

It’s May, and we are so happy the weather has finally turned around in Montana! MSHA is excited to offer a $10 reduction in membership fees beginning now and lasting until end of June in recognition of May as Better Hearing and Speech Month. Please sign up now and take advantage of the benefits of being a MSHA member as well as

  • Multiple opportunities each year to earn Continuing Education Units (CEUs)
  • Discounted registration fees at Fall Convention and Summer Institute
  • Our Web Site ( with information for members, students and consumers that is frequently updated
  • A quarterly newsletter, The Communicator, covering professional activities and information needed by audiologists and speech-language pathologists
  • A committee structure that monitors virtually every aspect of the professions and offers numerous opportunities for participation.
  • Bi-monthly webinars, please email if you have a speaker or topic you’d like to hear about
  • Online payment options for conferences and membership
  • Liaison with the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association

Go to:

March Update from MSHA President

What’s Been Happening . . . . . . . . . . . ?

  • The MSHA Board has already held two meetings this year (January 20th (electronic meeting) and March 3rd (in person in Billings and electronic meeting). The newly expanded Board (17 members) has allowed MSHA to have a larger member representation at these meetings. Our next meeting will be an electronic meeting on May 5th.  I want to thank all of the MSHA Board and MSHA Members for your enthusiasm, volunteer hours, expertise and dedication to your professions.
  • As with previous face to face meetings, I am continuing to seek feedback on an Assistant Licensure Bill sponsored by MSHA during the 2019 Legislative Session.
  • The MSHA Straw Poll and Opinion Survey are supportive of MSHA moving forward with a positions paper in support of Audiology and Speech – Language Pathology Assistants. You will see the information on the MSHA website prior to the MT Board of Speech-Language Pathologists & Audiologists receiving an update and a request for support at their next meeting on June 4th.
  • We need member comments and questions regarding the Assistant Licensure Process. Please talk to your colleagues and supervisors as more information is provided on the MSHA website.  The in-depth look at the Opinion Survey results will be posted on the website and sent out in an email blast when ready.
  • New fee schedules for exhibitors and advertising were approved and will be posted on the website.
  • At the February 21st meeting of the MT Board of Speech-Language Pathologists and Audiologists, I presented the MSHA Organization Award which was announced at the MSHA 2018 Fall Conference. The finances of the Board are stable at this time and they do not see any change to the most recent Licensure fee charge.
  • The American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA) is awarding the Montana Speech Language & Hearing Association a $1,100 state association partial grant for our association’s assistant licensure bill project. Based on our proposal, ASHA recommends this funding be used towards travel and survey support. This grant is funded under ASHA’s Strategic Pathway to Excellence.
  • “Creating Communication Connections” is the theme and title of our MSHA Fall Conference, October 18-20 at the newly remodeled Radisson Colonial Hotel in Helena.
  • The state’s regional directors now have email addresses of most current MSHA members and addresses of most licensed professionals in the state. Please contact them is you have not heard from them in the coming months.  You will find their contact information on the website.
  • MSHA is in process of updating their website.
  • Lezlie and Kathleen will attend the Council of State Association President’s Meeting in St. Louis May 17-19.
  • Congratulations to Christina Hanson for graduating from the ASHA Leadership Development program. You will hear more on her project development in coming months.
  • I recently attended an extremely helpful and educational Telepractice Webinar which was well attended and will be repeated soon by MSHA members. I want to thank Diane and Rachel for their contributions to MSHA and the clients who benefit.
  • April 26 is the deadline for submissions for the MSHA May newsletter. Please send advertising or newsletter information to

Congratulations MT Licensure Board!


October 12, 2017

Lucy Richards and the entire Montana Board of Speech-Language Pathologists and Audiologists were instrumental prior to and during the process of passage of HB 347 (Limited Speech-Language Pathologist License). MSHA wants to thank Lucy and the Board for their commitment, professionalism and many hours of dedication. In addition MSHA members consistently attend Board Meetings and are welcomed and provide information as well as provide feedback and suggestions.  The Board has been open to communication and working with the MSHA members.

Lucy Richards and the Board have provided timely and helpful updates on the website, there is now a quarterly newsletter. FAQs appear on the website as do approved CE coursework. Questions left on the phone or via email are answered in a timely manner.

Lucy has paperwork prepared in advance for the board to perform their duties in a cost effective and timely manner.  Budgets were available and many needed revisions to rules were completed this year in part to the administrator’s organization prior to each meeting where discussion was orderly and easily understood by audience members who frequently included our members and graduate students.

The Board worked to determine a reduction in cost for initial renewal licenses. Lucy

Richards will be attending the first day of the MSHA Fall conference in Missoula and be available to answer questions at an exhibitor table.

I enthusiastically support this MSHA Organization Award for Lucy Richards and the entire Montana Board of Speech-Language Pathologists and Audiologists. We look forward to working with them in the future and during the next Montana Legislative Session in 2019.


Lezlie Pearce-Hopper, M.S., CCC-SLP

2018 President

Montana Speech Language and Hearing Association (MSHA)

Montana Telepractice Turns 5: Webinar March 13, 2018

MSHA is committed to bringing educational opportunities! Keep your calendar available for a webinar on Tuesday March 13, 2018 to participate in Montana Telepractice Turns 5 by Rachel Stansberry and Diane Simpson. Attend and find out about what’s changed and where we’re going in Telepractice. Resources and recommendations will be provided! More details to come!

FEES Course Coming this June!

Check out this continuing education opportunity!

FEES® Training – Great Falls, Montana – June 9-10, 2018 (0118-002)

Carolina Speech Pathology has a comprehensive Two Day FEES® Training Course “Fiberoptic Endoscopic Evaluation of Swallowing: A Procedure for Evaluating Oropharyngeal Dysphagia” coming to Great Falls, Montana June 9-10 2018. Get registered now!

This course will be taught by Kristin Sears-Kopp, M.A., CCC-SLP and Selena Reece, M.S., CCC-SLP, BCS-S. These energetic instructors have competed thousands of FEES across a variety of settings and have been deemed competent in supervision and training in FEES by board certified Otolaryngologists.

Thanks to Bridget Loomis, SLP for organizing this opportunity!

Did you see the latest Law? ASHA’s blog on OTC Hearing Aids legislation

Be informed! Check out this ASHA blog! Now That President Trump Signed It Into Law

MSHA Monday: We’ll be posting a blog each Monday…stay tuned.

This summer, MSHA plans to post a blog every Monday. Our goal is to share and compile information that will be useful to your practice. If you’d like to guest blog on any therapy topic, let us know. Our schedule for June is June 5-Books for Therapy, June 12 Board Update, June 19-Sensory Boxes and June 26 Implementing AAC.

“If you know me, you know I love stories.  I read stories, I listen to podcasts that tell stories and I use stories in therapy to work on every aspect of language.  Each year I add to my list of stories that are good for developing specific skills.  While I have favorites for working on pronouns and past tense verbs, I thought I’d offer a list of books that I use most frequently for narrative and expository development.   I’m a big fan of the Story Grammar Marker. I use it to help me to focus on specific stages of narrative development. The icons really help build memory for the key story components and kids love to hold the actual story braid. If you aren’t familiar with this tool, check out this site. I’m a random abstract person, so these are in no particular order

  • Waiting is Not Easy by Mo Willems. Well, really anything by Mo Willems is great because the story elements of character and setting are so obvious that it is then easy to teach the temporal sequence and/or perspective taking. Elephant and Piggie have so many great adventures and their emotions are easy to read. I try to use at least one a month. If you haven’t discovered these books, do it. Right now.
  • High Wire Henry by Mary Calhoun.  Henry is another go to character for me and I use at least one of his stories each school year.  He typically has one problem in each book and this offers a great opportunity to teach the critical thinking triangle for the kick off, emotional response and plan that then leads him through the temporal sequence to a solution.  There is also opportunity for a two person perspective between Henry and The Man of the family.  Enjoy.
  • Titch by Pat Hutchins.  The original Titch is great for character and setting. Once again, the pictures support the elements of the story. The subsequent stories, Titch and Daisy, You’ll Soon Grow into them Titch and Tidy Titch,  offer a complete episode that is simple enough for  my kindergartens to retell.


  •  For those students who are into non fiction, these books by Gail Gibbons are perfect. They can be read and discussed in a twenty minute session and they offer great practice for expository structures. This one is good for a List as well as Problem/Solution.   There are also books about Hurricanes, Sea Turtles, The Moon, Frogs, From Seed to Plant and the Reason for Seasons.


  •  Finally, for the past three years, I’ve been using more classic comic books.  Calvin and Hobbes are great for teaching emotional vocabulary, critical thinking triangle and problem/solution.  After seeing the movie, Life Animated, I am even more committed to using a child’s interests to teach what he/she needs to learn.  I have one student with ASD who has taught me how to make this happen with this book in particular.


Our first Summer Blog  is from Rachel Stansberry. Rachel works as an SLP in rural schools in Central Montana. She is a past MSHA board member and a current member of the licensure board. If you have books you love, write them up. We’ll post your list along with this one. Email it to MSHA’s web manager,  Emily at 


January Webinar: School Aged Children who Stutter: Establishing Attainable Goals

MSHA hosted it’s first webinar of 2017 on Wednesday January 25 Rita Thurman, M.S., CCC-BCS-FD a Stuttering specialist who lives part time time in Bozeman packed a lot of great information into two hours. She did an excellent job of incorporating current research into goal selection. She also gave great examples of three main goals.

  1. The child should be an effective communicator.
  2. The child is comfortable with his/her present level of communication.
  3. The child effectively handles teasing and bullying.

The group discussed use of fluency shaping and stuttering modification as well of different approaches to breath work. We were fortunate to have Steven Moats from the University of Montana who is also a stuttering specialist in the group. Both he and Ms. Thurman shared examples of how they use Mindfulness in their sessions.

She share the following resources.

Stuttering Organizations and Resources

1.  National Stuttering Association

2.  Specialty Board on Fluency Disorders

3.  The Stuttering Home Page

4.  Division 4 ASHA–Fluency and Fluency Disorders (Perspectives on Fluency and Fluency Ds)

5.  StutterTalk: Podcasts on

6.  DPI Module on Perry Flynn’s website:

7.  Stuttering Therapy Resources, Inc  J. Scott Yaruss and Nine Reardon Reeves

8.  International Stuttering Awareness Day:  October 2016


If you missed this webinar, stay tuned for the next one!  MSHA’s goal is to offer 6 this year.  MSHA CEUs are available for each session.



January President’s Message: A call for State Clinical Achievement Award Nominations

Hello all.  Happy January!  I hope you are all warm and well.

It’s time again to make a call for nominations for the ASHA State Clinical Achievement Award and the Lewis DiCarlo Award. Last year, Catherine Off won the State Clinical Achievement award. In 2015,  Jenn Closson won. In 2014,  Diane Simpson received this award and from all the state winners she went on to win the Lewis DiCarlo Award.  Montana has been fortunate to put forth such excellent candidates!

If there is a clinician in your area who you think does outstanding work or has made significant contributions to the field of SLP or Audiology please send me an email with that person’s name and a brief description of his/her work.  I’d LOVE to see some rural nominees or heck, maybe even an audiologist (yes, I dream BIG).

You can find more information here.  These were the 2016 requirements, but it will give you the idea!

Ok, so let’s hear it.  We have many, many talented folks in our state.  Thanks for your participation.  Stay warm and safe, y’all.  See you soon.



MSHA President


Catherine Drescher, Au.D.

Doctor of Audiology

Director of The Hearing Center

Rocky Mountain ENT

700 W. Kent

Missoula, MT 59801