CSA Wishes YOU a Happy New Year 2020!
- Published: Saturday, 04 January 2020 02:29
- Written by Eeva Stierwalt
As we all embark on an exciting and promising new year, I think it is important to review the CSA successes of 2019 which have served to pave a smooth path for the upcoming year.
One of our biggest initiatives in 2019 was to develop and launch a support system for regional CSA support groups across the country. Thanks to the tireless efforts, the expertise and dedication of Lauren Linkie, the CSA Regional Support Group Coordinator, Anna Huynh, the CSA Volunteer Coordinator, the CSA Board of Directors, and with the tremendous help and advice of Tom Scharstein and of the National Stuttering Association, we already have active support groups in Toronto, Ottawa, Belleville, Regina, Calgary, and Edmonton with more on the way! If you are missing a support group in your area and/or would consider leading such a group, let us know! Check out our listing of support groups for more information.
Monthly Giving Challenge
We also launched a Monthly Giving Challenge. As you know, the CSA is entirely run and governed by volunteers operating on a minimal annual budget, with no government funding. So, we decided that if our members could each consider raising even a few dollars per month from friends and family as guaranteed monthly donations, it would give us enough of a foundation for our budget to support further initiatives, such as a more robust scholarship program, public outreach projects and our important new child and family initiative. Since the launch of the program last fall, we have already received $100 per month! Thank you so much! We look forward to more donations as the program continues! I also want to thank all of our donors and sponsors, who help the CSA to achieve our mission and vision.
Our annual Conference in October was the best yet! Thank you to our sponsors, Harmonize for Speech and The Stones Group for helping to make this conference such a success! We had record attendance, an excellent Keynote Speaker, David Stones, and we also streamed John Gomez’s award winning documentary, When I Stutter, which was a huge success! We’ve already started planning for our Conference in 2020!!!
Leading us into 2020 and the future and thanks to the guidance and expertise of David Stones and colleague Gail Tolley, another exciting development in 2019 was the launch of our new 5 year Strategic Plan, called STEPPS (Strategies To Ensure The Potential of People Who Stutter). The main initiatives of STEPPS 2019 - 2023 are:
- Continue to encourage and facilitate the formation of support groups across Canada, and to support those that already exist within the parameters of current resources.
- Develop a child-specific support initiative, with focus on schools, SLPs in schools and information/education for teachers.
- Focus on the best ways to raise much needed revenue in support of CSA programs/services
- Assess stakeholder interest in expanding the conference concept, i.e. nationally or increasing conference length
- Strengthen and reinforce the CSA mandate/role with SLPs across Canada
So, you can see that, though we had a very busy, productive and successful 2019, we’ve really got our work cut out for us in 2020! In addition to the initiatives above, we are also planning future documentary screenings of When I Stutter and also of My Beautiful Stutter.
On behalf of the CSA Board of Directors and our volunteers, I wish you all a very healthy, prosperous, successful and productive new year! The CSA cherishes YOU and we hope that our initiatives reach and support each and every one of you in 2020.
Eeva Stierwalt is the National Coordinator and Chair of the Canadian Stuttering Association