Kristen Powers has been selected to serve as a member of the Kentucky Speech Language Hearing Association (KSHA) advocacy network for the 2018-19 school year. Powers is an American Speech Language Hearing Association (ASHA) certified bilingual provider (Spanish language) and speech language pathologist at Audubon Elementary School.
“The network is designed to support professionals as we strengthen advocacy skills and develop an action plan that will allow us to make an impact at our workplaces, within the state association or with national professional organizations,” Powers said. “My goal is to drive change and become an advocacy leader within my community and state, as well as among professional colleagues. I want to build a lifelong network that will allow me to give back to my profession and influence policies, programs and services for school-based language pathologists.”
Powers will attend a Feb. 21 training session at the Kentucky Educational Development Corporation office in Lexington. Powers said her work and that of other school-based speech language pathologists plays an important role in giving students opportunities to learn and succeed. “Our job is to screen, evaluate and provide treatment to children exhibiting various communication disorders such as speech, language, hearing, fluency and voice/resonance disorders,” she said.
She and colleagues provide a wide spectrum of services. “We address personal, social/emotional, academic and vocational needs that have an impact on attainment of educational goals,” Powers said. “We offer assistance in addressing the linguistic and metalinguistic foundations of curriculum learning for students with disabilities, as well as other learners who are at risk for school failure, or those who struggle in school settings. We address the impact of language differences and second language acquisition on student learning and assist teachers in promoting educational growth. We support the interrelationships across the language processes of listening, speaking and reading, and contribute to the literacy achievement of students with communication disorders. We engage families in planning, decision-making and program implementation. We work closely with outside agencies, universities, various professionals in the local community, classroom teachers, reading specialists, literacy coaches, special education teachers, occupational therapists, physical therapists, school psychologists, audiologists, guidance counselors, social workers and school and district administrators in designing and implementing programs to benefit students.”
She has a master of science degree from Western Kentucky University in the field of communication disorders and a bachelor of science degree in communication sciences and disorders and Spanish from Brescia University. She has her Kentucky Board License to practice speech language pathology, the ASHA national license to practice speech language pathology, and her certificate of clinical competence from ASHA. In addition to her membership in ASHA, she is also active in the Kentucky Speech Language Hearing Association (KSHA) and the Western Kentucky Speech Language Hearing Association (WKSHLA). Powers is currently serving on the 2018 scholarship committee for KSHA and the ASHA Topic Committee on Academic and Clinical Education.