President's Message: Taking Purposeful Steps

Author: Rita Chaiken, Au.D.

A summer vacation to visit my children living in the Baltic region of Europe turned out to be a source of inspiration for this, my final AP message as ADA President. Early in my trip, I was cautioned to “take purposeful steps” as I walked through the old cities I visited. The streets were marked by uneven cobblestones, the sidewalks were cracked, and the walkways often had unexpected holes and voids. “Be sure to take purposeful steps” ultimately became the mantra of my trip. The path chosen, the length of the strides or the time taken to move were not as critical as the care and intention in reaching the destination.

The ADA community has been taking and must continue to take purposeful steps that will help further shape and impact our path. On Saturday night, November 12, during Audacity 2016, you, our members, have an opportunity to direct ADA’s future at our strategic planning meeting. We each have innovative, collaborative and inspiring ideas to share. You will have the opportunity to lay out your own vision and identify priorities that you believe are needed to achieve that vision. While we consider as a group the course we will take, each member’s aspirations for our organization are important. And, when we come together as a community, we will certainly continue to embrace the spirit that is synonymous with ADA.

So, your charge is not only to help set the goals, but also to help achieve them by participating and taking meaningful steps in moving our organization and profession forward. Not only do we need to create our plans for the future together, we also must each contribute to the successful execution of those plans to attain the goals we establish. Your actions after the convention and into 2017 must speak as loud as your words.

We have been reminded over the past year that these are extraordinary and challenging times for audiology. In the ADA spirit, we will undoubtedly be challenged to take risks to better our organization and our profession; and our roads may sometimes be uneven and difficult to maneuver. By taking “purposeful steps” we can build on our strengths and establish opportunities for even greater things to come.

A sign I came across during my travels read: “Life is like riding a bicycle. In order to keep your balance, you must keep moving.” With your continued commitment to participate, to be courageous and responsible, innovative and inspirational, we will keep ADA moving forward.