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Long Island University (LIU), New York

Under the leadership of their advisor, George Pagano, students with Long Island University (LIU), New York set a goal to increase the number of signatories to the Universal Declaration of Communication Rights to 10,000. The group reached their goal and share how they did so below. 

What made your chapter get involved promoting the Universal Declaration of Communication Rights?

The LIU-Brooklyn chapter of the National Student Speech Language Hearing Association (NSSLHA) Chapter received the impetus for promoting the Universal Declaration of Communication Rights from our advisor, Professor George Pagano. He attended the 30th World Congress of the International Association of Logopedics and Phoniatrics (IALP) in Dublin, Ireland, this past August and learned of the Declaration and the ICP’s global mission for communication as a basic human right. Professor Pagano was inspired to have our chapter adopt this cause and set a goal of reaching the 10,000 signatory mark. 

What were some of the ways your chapter used to encourage people to sign the Declaration?

We had members go to all the Speech Pathology classes discussing the declaration and the role of the ICP. We posted an explanation of the declaration and a link to sign on our Facebook page. We set up tables outside our department and clinic with written information and laptops for people to sign. Professor Pagano also spoke to faculty, staff, and students at multiple times during meetings and lectures throughout the semester.

How would you describe the response your chapter received from signatory prospects? What types of people did they approach? Did they have to do a lot of explaining and convincing or were those approached readily responsive and supportive?    

Our chapter was very pleased with the responses we received from signatory prospects. We did not have one person who refused and everyone who signed commended us for promoting this worthy cause. Signatory prospects were readily supportive and relayed to us that they would spread the word to family and friends.

Now that 10,000 signatories have been achieved, does your chapter have a new goal? What is it? How does your chapter plan to achieve it?

We were so glad to reach our goal of helping the ICP achieve 10,000 signatories. We plan to continue our mission of raising awareness and signatory prospects. Our goal is to obtain 1,000 signatures throughout the next year. Our plan is to expand campus-wide initiatives and to reach out to other NSSLHA chapters. We just posted a blog on the NSSLHA community page of our success. We hope to encourage and inspire other chapters to join us in this meaningful mission.

What advice or guidance do you have generally for anyone who would like to recruit multiple signatories to the Declaration?

Share personal stories of how essential communication is and how we as professionals working with individuals with communication disorders can improve quality of life for those with communication disorders. Additionally, social media such as Facebook can be a powerful tool in recruiting multiple signatories to the Declaration.