2025 Award nominations will open in September 2024

NBASLH Advocate of the Year Award

The Government Affairs and Public Policy (GAPP) Committee promotes advocacy for legislative issues that impact the black individuals with communication disorders and differences as well as black professionals in audiology and speech-language pathology.

The Advocate of the Year Award recognizes the NBASLH affiliate and individual members who are most active and dynamic in achieving the goals of the Government Affairs and Public Policy Committee at the federal, state, and local levels of government. NBASLH established this award to acknowledge the important contributions that affiliate chapters and individual members make through advocating locally while encouraging other members to advocate. Through this recognition, NBASLH encourages educational growth, increased involvement at the national level and community, and legislative involvement. Winners will be announced during the NBASLH annual convention.

NBASLH Communication Excellence Award

The NBASLH Communication Excellence Award recognizes an individual in the local community of the current convention city who has had or currently has a communication challenge or impairment. The award recipient is someone who has achieved impressive goals and/or made notable contributions to humankind. Self-nominations for awards are permitted.

Such worthy accomplishments may be identified and modeled through the outstanding achievements of Mr. Bob Love, the first award recipient. Mr. Love publicly identified himself as an individual who stutters. Mr. Love’s achievements as a former athlete and humanitarian reflect an individual’s determination and strong resolve to excel in spite of very difficult odds. He earned the distinguished honor of being an outstanding professional basketball player with the Chicago Bulls and is an advocate for enhancing the social, educational and employment opportunities for young children, including those who are often intimidated by the experience of stuttering. In 1994, Mr. Love was appointed an honorary spokesperson for National Stuttering Week by the Stuttering Foundation of America.

William T. Simpkins, Jr. Service Award

The William T. Simpkins, Jr. Service Award was established as a mechanism for recognizing an individual in the organization who has distinguished himself/herself through service to NBASLH. The recipient of this award exemplifies the mission and goals of the organization through notable contributions. Self-nominations for awards are permitted.

Such worthy accomplishments may be modeled after the outstanding achievements of Mr. William T. Simpkins, for whom the award is named. William “Bill” Simpkins was a founder and charter member of NBASLH. He was appointed Associate Director of NBASLH in 1989, a position in which he served with untiring devotion until his death in 1995. Mr. Simpkins demonstrated his commitment to the organization through: continuous service and dedication serving as a member of the Board of Directors; chair of the Program Subcommittee on Fluency and Voice Disorders; and invited lecturer at the annual review course for the National Examination in Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology.

Mr. Simpkins not only represented NBASLH as one of its most distinguished officers, he also demonstrated, through his life’s work, the meaning of the NBASLH logo, “Reach out with the echo of understanding and speak out for all to hear.” Through his 42 years of dedicated service, scholarship and clinical eminence, Bill clearly exemplified the true meaning of service.

Scholar-Mentor Award

The Scholar-Mentor Award is given to an outstanding professional who has mentored Black students in speech-language pathology, audiology and/or speech/language-hearing sciences. The Scholar-Mentor Award was established to recognize those distinguished professionals who have demonstrated outstanding mentoring skills with students through research, clinical, administrative and/or academic activities. Self-nominations for awards are permitted.

M. Eugene Wiggins Leadership Award

The M. Eugene Wiggins Leadership Award acknowledges the importance of leaders and leadership development that support NBASLH’s mission of addressing the needs of Black professionals, students and individuals with communication disorders. This award recognizes individuals who have demonstrated outstanding leadership skills in carrying out the goals of the organization in the community or employment settings. Self-nominations for awards are permitted.

Mr. M. Eugene Wiggins exemplifies the commitment of the organization through his well-recognized leadership activities and skills. He is one of the co-founders of NBASLH and served as its Executive Director from 1988-2002. As a leader of the organization and clinic director at the University of the District of Columbia, he immersed himself passionately in the recruitment and training of minority students in the professions, as well as educating students regarding best clinical practices for diverse populations. His leadership qualities excelled as he obtained on-going funding to support students, developed dissemination activities addressing the needs of culturally and linguistically diverse students and professionals, served as a consultant to major professional organizations and cultivated mentor relationships. These qualities are worthy of being emulated by other professionals who hope to influence the professions as has Mr. Wiggins. His work has impacted not only African-Americans but other culturally and linguistically diverse populations, especially Hispanics. Because of his leadership, more doors are open to minorities who wish to join the professional ranks.

Clinician of the Year: Audiologist & SLP


This award includes a monetary prize that recognizes outstanding professional achievement of an NBASLH member who is a practicing speech-language pathologist or audiologist, whether in schools, medical setting, clinic, or private practice. The individual could be working full time or part time in the field. Individuals must be in good standing with their respective state licensing board. Self-nominations for awards are permitted. Individuals nominated must have 7 or more years of experience as an audiologist or as a speech-language pathologist and have demonstrated outstanding contribution in at least one of the following areas:

  • Assessment and management of speech, language, and/or hearing disorders
  • Professional contributions in the areas of speech, language, and/or hearing disorders
  • Service to local, state, and/or national professional organizations
  • Innovative program design or therapeutic methods for individuals with speech, language, and/or hearing disorders