An Update on the ANCDS 2020 Annual Meeting

Dear Friends and Colleagues,

I hope this message finds you and your families healthy and safe.  For many of us, the last couple of weeks have brought about positive change with the lifting of some COVID-19 restrictions.  I am hopeful that our slow emergence from quarantine will be successful.

As we look forward and wait patiently to see how the next few months unfold, I am writing to follow up regarding the Annual Scientific Meeting.  The Executive Board, in conjunction with the Education and Standards and Membership Committees, has made the decision to move the Annual Meeting to a virtual format.  We feel that this is a positive decision that is in the best interest of the health and welfare of our members.

As noted in my previous message, the Annual Scientific Meeting is an important event for ANCDS.  Given its importance, I want to assure you that this was not a decision made lightly and many factors were considered.  While we may be able to travel more freely and gather in larger groups by November, we are aware that some members may not feel comfortable doing so or may have a medical concern that makes travel and gathering unsafe for them.  We are also aware that complications of the last few months may have had a financial impact on members and their families that would make the cost of attending the conference in-person difficult, if not impossible.  COVID-19 has also had a significant impact on our student members.  Many students are still waiting to find out when and how they will be able to return to school and are experiencing significant disruption to their educational plans brought on by their move off campuses across the country.  By meeting virtually, we can offer the Annual Scientific Meeting to the greatest number of people with the least amount of concern regarding health, safety, and financial hardship.

While the decision has been made to move the meeting to a virtual format the specific details are still under development.  Our invited speakers have graciously agreed to virtual presentations, so we know that the content of the meeting will be as stellar as first planned.  The ANCDS Executive Board, Education and Standards Committee, and Membership Committee will be working together in June to further develop the specifics of the meeting and we hope to announce those details in the coming weeks.

I want to be sure to highlight that the Student Fellowship Program will still take place this year, albeit virtually.  For those students who are interested in participating in the Fellowship Program in a virtual format, the application deadline has been moved back to Friday, June 26th.  Additional details about the Student Fellowship Program will be shared by the Membership Committee in the coming days.

Thank you for your patience as we work through the details for our Virtual Annual Scientific Meeting.  I look forward to sharing the exciting plans we develop.  In the meantime, please know that the Executive Board and I are thinking of you and wishing you good health.

Kathleen M. Youse, PhD, CCC-SLP, BC-ANCDS
2020 ANCDS President
[email protected]