Frequently Asked Questions
Why restructure Michigan audiology groups?
The Michigan Academy of Audiology (MAA), Michigan Educational Audiology Association (MEAA) and Michigan Speech-Hearing-Language Association (MSHA) worked together to obtain audiology licensure in 2005. Each of these membership organizations were interested in continuing to collaborate. The Michigan Audiology Coalition (MAC) was formed as a joint venture to organize and provide an annual continuing education conference. The 10th annual MAC on M.A.C. conference will take place in 2015. These are two examples of the benefits of combining efforts and resources to better our profession. By formally restructuring into a single organization, the hope is to use resources efficiently to support the continued growth of audiology in Michigan.
How have decisions about the restructure been decided?
A steering committee was formed with representatives from MAA, MSHA, and MAC. MEAA was not represented as this group officially dissolved in 2008. The 12 member committee met on 10 occasions over a two year period. An attorney was retained to assist in decision-making related to the legal merger of corporations. The Steering Committee presented their formal recommendations to the leadership of each of the organizations.
Which organizations are involved in the restructure?
Legally, MAA and MAC function as two corporations with separate tax IDs. On January 1, 2016, the corporations will be merged and the new organization will be known as the Michigan Audiology Coalition. A transitional board will lead the organization and will be made up of members of each corporation: 9 members of the MAA Executive Board and 7 members of the MAC Board of Directors. The transitional board will be in place until May 31, 2018.
How is MSHA going to change?
The Transitional Board has been in frequent contact with MSHA’s Executive Board who have been supportive of the restructure. A letter was submitted to MSHA requesting specific changes to their bylaws. These changes do not align with ASHA’s bylaws, thereby putting their affiliation with ASHA at risk. Michigan is the first state to make such a request. In response, ASHA’s Board of Directors has appointed a subcommittee to carefully and deliberately review their policies regarding state affiliation. It is anticipated that the ramifications of these changes will have a nation-wide impact. Until ASHA has time to complete this review, MSHA will not make immediate changes to their bylaws. The Transitional Board will continue to work closely with MSHA in hopes of maintaining a positive working relationship while also advocating for the bylaw changes requested.
Will the restructure cause the annual conference to change?
It has been of utmost importance to maintain a high quality conference for audiologists. The role of the conference planning committee is outlined with great detail in the new bylaws. You will notice one big change in 2016 - which is not related to the restructure! The annual conference has outgrown the space at the East Lansing Marriott and will be moving to the Lansing Radisson.
What will the merger mean for me as a Michigan audiologist?
The goal of the restructure is to provide audiologists with a single, unified organization to receive and obtain information about issues important to audiology. In the coming year, we look forward to exploring how to best represent audiologists across practice types and develop a strategic plan to set goals and monitor progress.
When can I join?
You are welcome to join anytime! Officially, your membership will begin January 1, 2016. The first year membership cycle will run from January 1, 2016 – May 31, 2017. Subsequent membership years will run June 1 to May 31.
Check out mi-hearing.org or contact a member of the Transitional Board:
Lori Van Riper