Policy Matters Blog

Finding Inspiration and Energy at NASP 2022

Last week I had the great pleasure of meeting many of the Government and Professional Relations (GPR) Committee members face to face at the NASP 2022 Annual Convention in Boston. I’ve been a member of NASP’s GPR Committee for almost 2 years, and meeting face to face was wonderful, but serving as a volunteer at the advocacy booth in the Exhibit Hall was exciting and energizing. Advocacy work can get tiresome, and to be honest, I was feeling it. Between the pandemic and it just being an exhausting year, I didn’t know how much of a boost that working alongside such dedicated people would be to me. Here are some of the highlights that made me glad to have attended the convention. 

Shout out to the GPR Committee and the NASP leaders who worked last week educating the convention attendees about the Advocacy Action Center and the easy to send letters to your specific legislators on the site. It takes 1–3 minutes on the online platform to send the prewritten email letters, but you can change the text, if you like. 

I also got a great selfie with @NASPGumby that might turn into my computer background! 

One of my favorite things about NASP’s annual convention is how approachable people are. When you see names on journal articles, editorial boards, books, leadership, or trainings, it’s easy to think that they are special and unapproachable. The first people I saw and hung out with at the NASP Convention Welcome Celebration were NASP GPR Committee members. The next were my amazing students who drove from Jonesboro, Arkansas to Boston. It was a privilege to introduce them to NASP Delegates, Leadership Assembly representatives, and fellow GPR committee members. They also got to see Temple Grandin, one of the best advocates for individuals with autism spectrum disorders.  

The convention was a place that chipped away at the notion of “them” and created a space for us. As school psychologists, there are many of us working hard in school districts, state organizations, universities, and colleges to spread advocacy efforts. These efforts do have an impact. Locally, I am seeing permanent positions open for school-based school psychologists in positions that align much more with the NASP Practice Model’s integrated role. Also, local districts are seeing the knowledge base that school psychologists have and using us in training and consultation with teachers and administrators. We are seeing that especially with school safety and crisis areas. 

If you missed the booth or couldn’t join the convention in Boston or virtually this year, the Advocacy Action Center website is where you can click on any or all of the opportunities to connect with your legislators about the areas NASP is advocating for today. Check back often, because advocacy keeps on keeping on. 

So, fellow advocates, what were your experiences during the virtual or Boston convention and how are you feeling inspired? 

This blog is part of an ongoing series of posts from NASP's GPR Committee. You can find the previous post in this series here