The secession

Photograph of Dr. Robert W. West

Dr. West in his office, circa 1920s

"We were a group of brash young people who wanted to start something."

- Robert West, 1966

After Robert West returned from the second conference on speech disorders held at the University of Iowa during the summer of 1925, he assembled a group of scholars and students interested in speech correction in his home. The discussion revolved around the advantages of breaking away from the National Association of Teachers of Speech, of which many were members, and forming an independent society based on the scientific aspects of speech. Specific plans for organizing the new society were formulated and by the end of the meeting several hours later, it was decided that a formal petition be presented to NATS at their next convention to grant a charter to the new group as a daughter organization which would be related to and meet with the parent association, but elect its own officers and plan its own meetings. In addition, membership in the society would be extended to heads of city and state speech correction programs. It was also agreed upon that if their petition was denied by NATS, the group would hold a rump session and organize the new society completely separate from that association.

When the next NATS convention convened in New York City in December 1925, Robert West put forth their petition. After a lengthy discussion, it was decided that it be referred to the NATS Advisory Council the following year. This did not sit well with the would-be founders and a rump session was called.



The secession