The American Academy of Private Practice in Speech Pathology and Audiology began originally in the early 1960’s. It came about because a number of private practitioners, who were experienced clinicians, felt that they did not get enough information at an advanced level to enhance their professional capabilities at ASHA conferences. A list of the founding members can be found in the Academy by-laws Article VIII Section 1, followed by the list of charter members. These were the members who founded Speech Pathologist and Audiologists in Private Practice (SPAPP) in San Francisco in November 1964. Meetings of SPAPP were, subsequently, held twice a year at major cities throughout the United States.
This organization continued successfully with expanded goals. Then, in February 1969, it incorporated as the American Academy of Private Practice in Speech Pathology and Audiology (AAPPSPA) and is a national non-profit organization.
In the beginning the by-laws stated that to be eligible to become full member, one must have a Ph.D. A dispensation from the Executive Board was required to enable an individual with a master’s degree to join. In those early years, the membership application required the inclusion of a picture of the applicant. To become a full member of the Academy one was required to attend a minimum of two spring conferences and be interviewed by the membership committee in order to be accepted. First, the picture and then the interview requirements were dropped in the early 1980’s.
Our by-laws were amended in 1987 to eliminate the doctoral requirements since 50% of the membership by that time were master’s degree holders. The requirement of a minimum two-year attendance at spring conferences before becoming a full member was also dropped.
Spring Conferences used to be held not only on either coast and where it is warm, as it is currently the usual case, but at varying locations throughout the United States. The choice of location was then more dependent on who could be talked into chairing the conference. A partially complete list of conference sites is appended to this report.
Honors of the association have been awarded frequently, but not every year and, almost exclusively to members who have contributed above and beyond the amount that is generally considered admirable for any member. Honorary memberships and special awards have been presented to non-members who have made outstanding contributions to the Academy.
In the early stages of the Academy, the arrangement for Board meetings was that the Board and their spouses met for dinner before the meeting. When the Board adjourned to the room in which the meeting was held, the door might as well have been locked. It was not. However, no one was allowed to enter the room and the meetings frequently ran until 2:00 in the morning. As we became more efficient, Board meetings were held starting with dinner, or sometimes breakfast and the meeting began with the start of the meal. Members and guests were allowed to attend those meetings but initially were not allowed any voice at all. As the organization evolved, so did the Board meetings. The meeting at ASHA is now usually held in a member’s room following the Open House and the meeting at the Spring Conference is held at dinner.
Non-Board members are allowed to attend the dinner meetings, provided they have made reservations and paid for dinner in advance. They are allowed to make comments at the end of the meeting, as time permits.
On August 14, 1996, a website was established with La Rita Mason as the founding webmonitor.
Founding member Wallace Goates and his wife bought a piece of Indian jewelry during one of their travels. The piece symbolized mankind on its journey through the Maze of Life. "Wally" presented the piece to the Academy when it was formed, and from that time forward, the "Maze of Life" logo has been synonymous with the Academy.