We are approaching the upcoming year optimistically, while still cautiously assessing the outlook for large-scale live events and travel. Some key areas of uncertainty remain, such as CDC recommendations and local and facility restrictions and requirements, so we are preparing for all eventualities as we move forward with plans for the 2021 ASHA Convention.
Based on the information we have today, and the potential for progress in the near and distant months, we are planning for a modified in-person event with a virtual component. This means that, in addition to a scaled-back (but traditional) in-person event, some presentations would be made available to registrants for online viewing through a virtual library with the ability to earn continuing education credit. If conditions improve and restrictions are eased, we have the flexibility to expand; if they don’t, we will still be able to move forward with a modified event. We will also be prepared to convert to a fully virtual event if needed.
The Call for Papers will open later this year, on February 22, to allow us extra time to modify the submission system and presenter policies to accommodate proposals for virtual sessions. The deadline to submit a proposal to present is April 6, 2021, 11:59 p.m. (Pacific Time).
Our Exhibits team and Sales team are working through options for exhibiting, advertising, and sponsorship to provide relevant and effective opportunities to our commercial partners.
We recognize that the 2021 ASHA Convention may be the first opportunity for many of you to meet in person and you're looking forward to the occasion. Please bear with us as we navigate the evolving landscape for large events this upcoming year. The format of the 2021 Convention may change, but it will not be cancelled. We are committed to being transparent and sharing updates, providing decision dates, as well as sharing the rationale behind our decisions.
Each year, our Convention Co-Chairs, in partnership with the ASHA President, develop a theme for the ASHA Convention. The theme provides a framework for the focus of the education program, our Opening General Session keynote speaker, and the entire look and feel of the event. Our 2021 theme, "Rising UNITED," is a celebration of the resilience and resourcefulness of communication sciences and disorders professionals in the face of adversity. Audiologists and speech-language pathologists, students and researchers encountered unprecedented challenges in 2020, but ultimately, through their ingenuity, found innovative solutions to service delivery, teaching and supervision, and made important advances in research. We have grown in strength and knowledge over the past year, supported by our colleagues and the professional community. The 2021 ASHA Convention will be our opportunity to celebrate our resilience—together.
We encourage you to tag your social media posts related to the ASHA Convention with the hashtags #ASHA2021 and #ASHAUNITED.
ASHA members and related professionals are invited to submit proposals to present at the ASHA Convention through the Call for Papers. The 2021 ASHA Convention Call for Papers will be open from February 22, 2021, to April 6, 2021. Notifications of acceptance/non-acceptance will be e-mailed to all authors listed on proposals no later than July 20, 2021. Please e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any questions.
With the anticipation of being able to hold in-person activities, registration and housing will open on Monday, August 2, 2021 at 10:00 a.m., Eastern time, since our traditional date for opening, August 1, falls on a Sunday this year.