Introduction to Conventions
“It was agreed that for the present we should meet at the same time and place as the National Association of Teachers of Speech, altho as we increased in numbers, we would need to plan to hold our convention at a different location than the national speech society.”
-Minutes of the first meeting, New York City, December 1925
Many of the charter members of ASHA were also members of the National Association of Teachers of Speech (NATS). This organization was characterized by several early ASHA leaders as an artistic speech organization attracting teachers of drama, debate, and public speaking rather than an organization focused on speech correction. Before the 1925 NATS convention, a group of future ASHA officers, led by Dr. Robert West and Dr. Sara Stinchfield Hawk, decided to break from the group and form their own organization. While attending the convention that year, they met separately and founded a new organization, the American Academy of Speech Correction. The first official convention for the new group was held the following year in Chicago, although the founders referred to their initial meeting in 1925 as the first convention.