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10/13/10

WIKIPEDIA Article on ASHA Heavily Edited: 95% Deleted

(NOTE: see update at the end of this post)
At 12:58 on September 27, 2010, someone edited the Wikipedia article on ASHA, eliminating 95% of what I had written. You can see how much was eliminated by going to this webpage.
Below is the Wiki article as it appeared before it was altered. Interestingly, the article - heavily edited - now reads exactly as it did before my contributions. In other words, anything in the article that made ASHA look bad was deleted.
I am presently trying to trace the IP address to find out who did this.

American Speech–Language–Hearing Association
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The American Speech–Language–Hearing Association (ASHA) is a professional association for speech–language pathologists, audiologists, and speech, language, and hearing scientists in the United States and internationally. The association has approximately 140,00 members. Male membership in ASHA has been steadily declining, dropping from 8.5% in 1996 to 5.9% in 2009.
The stated mission of the American Speech–Language–Hearing Association is to promote the interests of and provide the highest quality services for professionals in audiology, speech–language pathology, and speech and hearing science, and to advocate for people with communication disabilities. The association's national office is located at Gude Drive and Research Boulevard in Rockville, Maryland. Arlene Pietranton is currently serving as the association's executive director.
ASHA's 2008 tax returns listed total assets of $93,966,900. This included $26,372,809 from membership dues, $4,253,311 from its annual convention, and $2,420,369 from continuing education. ASHA Finances. According to ASHA's 2008 tax returns, the association, which employs 306 individuals, spent $738,239 on travel expenses in 2008. ASHA Travel Expenses
ASHA was founded in 1925 as the American Academy of Speech Correction. It originally consisted of a handful of researchers who had become interested in the subject of speech disorders Early History of ASHA. Growth was slow. By 1936, it had only 90 paid members. Until the early 1940's, there was division and tension in the Academy between those who wanted to keep the organization scholarly and focused on research, and those who wanted to train speech correctionists for the school system. When the arrogant and difficult G. Oscar Russell was replaced by the beloved Wendell Johnson as editor of the organization's journal in 1942, the organization took on a new, more attractive tone. The next three decades were a golden age for the organization as a group of young gifted men became attracted to the new field. Many of these early pioneers (Charles Van Riper, Wendell Johnson, etc.) had been afflicted with speech disorders themselves and were passionate about helping those with similar problems. By combining Russell's earlier emphasis on scholarly research with practical clinical skills they had taught themselves and each other, they were able to develop the first training programs for speech therapists. The vast majority of clinical skills that speech-language pathologists use today to treat articulation and fluency disorders are based on the methods created by these early pioneers. Indeed, there have been few dramatic breakthroughs in the treatment of articulation errors and stuttering since then; progress in treating these speech disorders has largely stalled despite the numerical and financial growth of the organization. One possible reason for the lack of progress in treating stuttering and articulation errors may be that the basic methods developed by these pioneers were effective and efficient to begin with, leaving little room for future advances. Recent attempts to compensate for the lack of significant progress in the field by widening the scope of practice of speech therapists have led to negative or mixed results. As the majority of speech therapists are employed in the school system, the study and treatment of swallowing disorders is irrelevant to most of their practices. Another attempt to extend the field's scope of practice by making speech correctionists/therapists into speech-language-pathologists led to confusion and misunderstanding both in and out of the field as reading and language arts teachers were already addressing problems very similar or identical to the ones that speech-language pathologists were suddenly promoting themselves as qualified to address. The paradoxical result of this was that many school-based speech-language pathologists soon found themselves overwhelmed by large and often unmanageable caseloads as schools assigned students with literacy problems to them, leaving less time for the correction of speech disorders - the reason why speech correctionist training programs were developed decades earlier. It remains to be seen whether future attempts to widen the field's scope of practice into areas traditionally not associated with speech therapists will be successful or merely end up further diluting the identity and distinctiveness of a field whose clear and unique mission in an earlier era led its success.
Controversies
ASHA has come under criticism for, among other things, the high salaries of its executive director and board members, its use of racial/ethnic preferences for a convention gift package giveaway, having a gay policy agenda that raises questions about ASHA's supposed political neutrality and its sensitivity to the moral, ethical, and religious sensibilities of some members, the high cost of membership and maintaining certification, and concerns that it might not be enforcing its own code of ethics ASHA Watch.
Salaries According to 2008 tax returns, ASHA, an organization consisting of only 306 employees, spent $23,832,092 on "salaries, other compensation, employee benefits." In 2008, ASHA's executive director received total compensation of $456,241. Other ASHA executives received total compensations ranging from $187,157 to $395,901.ASHA Salaries
Use Of Racial/Ethnic Preferences On March 30, 2010, an ASHA email announced a convention giveaway which would include a "complimentary ASHA 2010 convention registration," "up to five nights of lodging," and a "meal stipend." The announcement stated that, "All students are eligible to apply; however, preference will be given to students from racial/ethnic minority backgrounds that have historically been underrepresented in the Association." (Italics added) Racial/Ethnic Preferences
Gay Policy Agenda Under the advocacy issues that ASHA lists for monitoring ASHA Policy Agenda, ASHA includes "Support the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA) Legislation". ENDA is H.R. 2981, S.1584. It's purpose is “to provide a comprehensive Federal prohibition of employment discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity." ASHA Gay Policy Agenda ASHA members who object to ENDA on religious, ethical, or cultural grounds may have little knowledge of ASHA's stand on this issue. In the spring and summer of 2010, after consulting with legal experts in the area of religious liberty, bloggers made two requests that ASHA provide an accommodation for ASHA members who have conscientious objections to ASHA's gay policy agenda. On both occasions, ASHA denied this request.
Ethics Controversy In 2010, such well-respected fluency figures as Barry Guitar, Peter Ramig, and Stuttering Foundation of America president Jane Fraser signed a petition on the StutterTalk website urging ASHA to enforce its own code of ethics Stuttertalk. The controversy centered on ASHA and advertisers of speech and language products. Among other things, the StutterTalk site urged ASHA to: "Put ethics and ethical considerations before financial considerations, to Initiate ethical investigations on its own and to fully accept its role in enforcing the Code of Ethics, to Carefully screen and take notice of the actions of donors and companies ASHA does business with, and Take its own Code of Ethics seriously." Leys Geddes, the chair of the British Stammering Association, released the following statement in response to the controversy: "'It is both brave and sad that two SLPs, and ASHA members, must ask for support from the outside world to fight against a refusal by their own professional body to uphold such a straightforward ethical issue." ASHA Ethics Controversy
Controversial Revision Not Mentioned On March 1, 2010, ASHA's latest revision of its code of ethics went into effect. Its revision included transsexuals and cross-dressers in its ethics code. Not a single word about this controversial revision was mentioned that month in ASHA's official periodical, The ASHA Leader Controversial Revision Not Mentioned. The absence of any mention of this revision in ASHA's official publication that month led to ASHA Watch bloggers questioning 1) ASHA's commitment to transparency, 2) Its accountability to its members, 3) The depth and breadth of ASHA's support (the revision was approved by ASHA's board) for a pro-gay agenda that some members find distracting/irrelevant to the association's mission and/or morally offensive ), 4) The degree to which the goals and priorities of ASHA's board accurately reflect the goals and priorities of the membership, and 5) How many association resources (salaried time, association office equipment, personnel, etc.) had been used to make this revision (possibly making members unknowing and involuntary contributors to a cause they may oppose and object to on conscientious grounds).
In March 2010, in an effort to make ASHA more accountable and transparent to its members, and concerned that ASHA's preoccupation with political correctness and divisive social and cultural issues was distracting it from its mission, an independent watchdog site was created: ASHA Watch.

[edit]
External links
    ▪    Association Web site
ASHA Watch - ASHA Watchdog Site

UPDATE: While I found the IP address of the person who edited the article, I was not able to identify them. I redid the Wiki entry and restored it to my original article.

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