Hidden Treasures From Mailing Lists
By Judith Maginnis Kuster
Mailing lists (sometimes referred to as "listservs" because many lists are hosted on computer programs called listservs) can be valuable resources on professional topics. But many don't realize the archives of past discussion may also be available, and keyword searchable. These archives can contain treasures worth searching for, which won't be uncovered using a search engine like Google.
Last summer, an important "voice" in the stuttering community was silenced when Marty Jezer passed away. Marty, who had a severe stutter, was one of the most reasoned voices in the stuttering community. I am delighted that I have an autographed copy of his book, Stuttering: A Life Bound Up in Words, and several of his writings on the Stuttering Home Page (www.stutteringhomepage.com). But there are additional words from Marty that are preserved on the Internet in the archives of mailing lists dedicated to stuttering, especially stutt-l (https://listserv.temple.edu/archives/stutt-l.html) and stutt-x (http://lists.asu.edu/archives/stutt-x.html). As long as the archives are available, Marty's words will be available to those who know how to find them.
Many listserv archives are only available to members, but joining these groups is not difficult--see Kuster's List of Lists, www.mnsu.edu/comdis/kuster2/discussion/discussion.html, to discover some discussion forums relevant to speech-language pathology and audiology, and information on how to subscribe.
Messages are also archived on many Yahoo groups mailing lists. There is a "search feature" to help you find appropriate mailing lists as well as another search feature for individual lists to help find specific topics that have been discussed. Additional important features to explore are the files, links, and databases that list members have loaded on several groups' home pages. Most are accessible only to members, but joining is usually not difficult ("usually" because some of the yahoogroups are restrictive). A few Yahoo mailing lists along with sample materials found in their "files" are provided below.
- SLPstalk@yahoogroups.com is "a support network for speech-language pathologists. . . . to share therapy goals, objectives and ideas" (http://health.groups.yahoo.com/group/SLPtalk)
--files of boardmaker materials
--an article on a method for correcting a lateral lisp
--a vowel sound for phonological awareness group activity
--a chart of visual and verbal cues for treatment
- Phonlogicaltherapy@yahoogroups.com explores "issues related to developmental phonological disorders, childhood apraxia of speech, and other childhood speech sound disorders, and their clinical management" (http://health.groups.yahoo.com/group/phonologicaltherapy)
--therapy materials including word and minimal pairs lists
--IPA charts and fonts
--an annotated bibliography of books and movies about people with communication impairment
--informational PowerPoint presentations
- SLPscommunicate@yahoogroups.com--members discuss "therapy and intervention issues for children and adults with developmental disabilities" (http://health.groups.yahoo.com/group/SLPscommunicate)
--PECS and Boardmaker files
--handouts for parents
- Cluttering@yahoogroups.com provides a support forum and information about the fluency disorder of cluttering (http://groups.yahoo.com/group/cluttering)
--audio samples of cluttering behaviors
--links to materials about cluttering on the Internet
- Stutteringchat@yahoogroups.com is the largest discussion forum about stuttering on the Internet (http://health.groups.yahoo.com/group/stutteringchat)
--links to inspirational people who stutter
--a table of famous people who stutter
- ABINews2U@yahoogroups.com is designed "to inform, educate, and enlighten others about TBI (Traumatic Brain Injury) or ABI (Acquired Brain Injury)" (http://health.groups.yahoo.com/group/ABINews2U/)
--extensive listing of on-line, board games and other games to build skills.
--TBI survival guide
- Traumatic_Brain_Injury@yahoogroups.com is "dedicated to helping people learn about the major milestones on the road to recovery and providing assistance with resources. . . " (http://health.groups.yahoo.com/group/Traumatic_Brain_Injury/)
--58-page "Brain Facts: A primer on the brain and nervous system"
--coping with substance abuse after TBI
Judith Kuster is in the department of speech, hearing, and rehabilitation services at Minnesota State University, Mankato. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org. All of Kuster's Internet columns are on ASHA's Web site in HTML format with active links (www.asha.org/about/publications/leader-online/archives/news.htm), although URLs change and there is no guarantee that links from previous articles are still functional.
Kuster, JM, Hidden Treasures from Mailing Lists, ASHA Leader, May 2, 2006, p. 36.