From the Editor...
When this letter comes out, it will be right around the time that federal taxes are due. For some of us, we may find out we owe the government money. Others may be more fortunate and will actually get some money back. Either way, if you are like me, actually completing the forms for your tax return is a taxing situation in and of itself. It certainly is not a situation to which I look forward each year. In fact, I must admit that in the last several years, I have used the services of an accountant to help me with the process. With his help, this taxing situation has been alleviated considerably.
When I talk with colleagues in the discipline, another taxing situation I hear about is obtaining continuing education experiences. In these most difficult economic times, some feel that they are more restricted in attending long-distance continuing education events. Others feel that not all continuing education activities are pertinent to their work settings. Like my accountant, I believe that the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA) journals program has great potential to lessen this somewhat taxing situation. Let me explain.
First, as you can see by looking at the Table of Contents for this particular issue, at least one of the articles has been flagged as a continuing education activity (in this case, there is an entire forum). This means that you can actually read the flagged article(s) in the comfort of your own home (or elsewhere) and on your own time, take the short quiz, and earn continuing education units that are directly applicable to maintaining your certification. Thus, the burden of seeking a continuing education activity is considerably lessened. Additionally, the article(s) serving as a continuing education activity was chosen because I thought it represented a topic of high interest to many of the journal's readers. Thus, concerns about applicability are minimized. Of course, this also means that if the article(s) is not of interest to you, you can blame me.
Now, some colleagues have told me that they do not get a hard copy of the journal, so they do not always remember to look for the continuing education opportunities provided. For the record, starting next year, no one will receive hard copies of the journals; all ASHA journals will be solely online. However, there is an easy solution to this notion of forgetting to check the latest issue of the journal: eTOC alerts. eTOC alerts are a free service that provides anyone who registers with his or her e-mail address a notification when the new issue of the journal goes online. eTOC alerts include the complete table of contents for the new issue and links to the abstracts and actual articles. To register for eTOC alerts for this journal, simply go to http://lshss.asha.org/subscriptions/etoc.dtl(you can register for the other ASHA journals' eTOCs at their sites as well). I highly recommend registering for this service. I use it for all of the journals I read, and I never need to worry about when a new issue might be published.
Finally, I want to alert you to one other new feature of the ASHA journals program that I believe fits nicely with this theme of making continuing education less taxing. All ASHA journals, including Language, Speech, and Hearing Services in Schools (LSHSS), now provide what is called Papers in Press (see http://lshss.asha.org/papbyrecent.dtl for LSHSS papers). Papers in Press are manuscripts that have undergone the strenuous peer-review process and have been accepted for publication in the journal but have not yet gone through the complete copyediting and formatting process. Although these downloadable papers may be missing a comma here or a capital there, they still provide the important information you are seeking about current issues and topics. Most importantly, you now will have access to this information several months before final publication.
Because you are reading this issue of LSHSS, it is obvious to me that you recognize the importance of continuing your education. However, I recognize that in our everyday, busy lives, it can be taxing to remember that we actually need to complete specific activities to demonstrate that we are continuing that education. Take advantage of the breaks offered by this journal and all of the ASHA journals. The return will be great!