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Dr. Barbara Sonies Announces BCS-S Life Membership Status

Dr. Barbara Sonies is the founder and original coordinator of SIG 13, she is also one of the co-founders of the Dysphagia Research Society and former past president. She has served as the chief of Speech-Language Pathology at the National Institutes of Health. Her work has earned her Honors of the American Speech-Language Hearing Association as well as fellow of our esteemed association.  Finally, she is the founder of the board  certification in swallowing and swallowing disorders. Currently she serves as professor emeritus at the University of Maryland in College Park.

BCS-S Life Membership Status Policy
BCS-S Life Membership Status is awarded in recognition of previous specialty certification in swallowing and swallowing disorders. Eligible BCS-S clinicians are required to submit an application based on the standards listed below and, upon acceptance, an individual is awarded with a certificate of Life Membership Status by the ABSSD. Life Membership status indicates to consumers that the specialist has obtained a significant milestone in terms of clinical practice in the area of swallowing and swallowing disorders.

ABSSD Life Membership, Board Certified Members Requirements:

  • Have received or be eligible to receive Life Membership status from ASHA (65 years old, 25 consecutive years of ASHA membership or 35 years of cumulative ASHA membership immediately prior to attaining age 65)
  • Hold active BCS-S specialty certification at the time of application/request (for life membership)
  • Have had BCS-S for a minimum of 10 consecutive years

Prospective members for Life Membership BCS-S will be required to apply (application available here) for approval for Life Membership, BCS-S, remit the $30 fee (US Dollars), and renew every 5 years via renewal application on the AB-SSD website. 

Application Request for Life Membership will be forwarded to the Applications Committee, BCS-S for approval (confirmation of ASHA membership, confirmation of ASHA Life membership, confirmation of 10 years and current active status of BCS-S).

CEU’s (dysphagia) will continue to be required once Life Membership is granted; CEU’s required will be 1.0 per year (5.0 for renewal of life membership).

Life Members can continue clinical work, mentoring, editing, teaching, presenting at conferences, etc.

Life Members will have free access to CEU courses offered on the BCS-S website.



Please contact the AB-SSD office with any questions regarding Life Membership: