Communication Disorders Foundation of Virginia


HISTORY: The Foundation began in 1985 as a committee of the Speech-Language-Hearing Association of Virginia (SHAV) with the purpose of raising and awarding scholarship funds for graduate studies in the field of communication disorders. A year later, it was established as an independent foundation with a Board of Trustees and 501(c) (3) status. 

PROJECTS: 1) A fundraising auction as part of the annual SHAV Conference; (2) A student poster competition as part of the annual SHAV Conference program; (3) An annual scholarship competition to select and award student funding (e.g., Rita Purcell-Robertson Scholar, David Narburgh Scholar; (4) The honoring of professionals in speech-language pathology and audiology (e.g., Martha Mullins-Callender Award, Friend of the Foundation acknowledgement), and (5) The dissemination of news, activities, and available access through routine submissions to the SHAV-A-GRAM and maintenance of a CDF website.

The Elusive CDF of VA                                                    

The Communication Disorders Foundation of Virginia is one of those things in life that seems so very familiar to many of us attending the SHAV conference each year, but when asked to describe what it is, are not able to rattle off too many details about it.  If you are one of those people in CDF “limbo-land”, take heart – you are not alone!!  Even some people very involved in certain aspects of the CDF such as the annual auction, know only that piece of this very multifaceted organization.  The irony of this is, we are COMMUNICATION specialists – we need to do a better job of communicating what the CDF of VA is all about and how much each of you and your unique contribution is needed to accomplish our mission.

The promo facts remain the same – the CDF of VA came into existence as a committee of SHAV in 1985.  The following year it became an independent, non-profit organization with its own board of trustees.  Its mission is to recognize our graduate students and professionals in the field of communication sciences and disorders within the Commonwealth of VA through scholarships and awards.  Okay, that seems pretty straightforward, right?  Got it!!  Historically, it is about now that many of you nod off, glaze over or skim the rest of the article “knowing” what it is going to say.  But wait … there is so much more!

Although the CDF has been added to the annual membership renewal form for SHAV for voluntary contributions, much like the ASHA Foundation many years before, we do not have annual dues or a membership pool from which to draw.  Any funds raised and projects undertaken are carried out by the CDF Board of Trustees.  As awesome as that Board has been over the years and hopefully continues to be, our vision of how to best support our colleagues and our fledgling students is limited by our being a group of only eleven people. We need your input with such things as determining if a materials store at the annual auction where expensive tests and material kits can be sold at deep discounts with the proceeds to benefit the Foundation is practical, sustainable and something your colleagues might find helpful.  We need your expertise devising more ways to help our students and young professionals pay for a semester of books, increasing continuing education costs or basic materials for new or on-going professional practice.  We have discussed how we might provide small financial awards to help fund such things but we need your assistance in constructing a fair mechanism for doing so, as well as creative fund-raising beyond the annual auction in order to support it.

In your spare minute each day, do you think great thoughts about ways the Foundation can augment the day-to-day experience of your colleagues and students?  Probably not, but there are ways you can impact our efforts with such things as involvement with our website, joining the Board of Trustees, nominating a colleague for an award or assisting a student navigating the application process for a scholarship, communicating ideas and devoting time and energy devising ways to raise funds that can support those we promised to serve, just to name a few.

Over the years, the CDF of VA has awarded over 60 scholarships to deserving graduate students.  The Foundation has bestowed the Martha Mullins-Callender Award on 19 of your colleagues and the Friends of the Foundation Award to 12 individuals, civic groups and businesses.  All of this has been possible because of you, our colleagues, our students and the many businesses and organizations who have supported the Foundation these 29 years.  We are hoping that as we move forward that you will want to know more about what the Foundation does in all those months we aren’t together at the conference, in addition to what the auction supports, and will check us out at the CDF of VA website at http://www.cdfvirginia.orgThe Communication Disorders Foundation of Virginia is going to be 29 years old at the 2015 SHAV Annual Conference.  Come to our birthday party bearing a gift … you!!

                                                                                                                                                      — Patti Peters            Contact: