February 11, 2019
The Honorable Bill Tallman
5909 Canyon Pointe Court
Albuquerque, NM 87111
RE: Senate Bill 363
Dear Senator Tallman:
On behalf of the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association, I write to express our support for SB 363, which would establish licensure legislation for speech-language pathology assistants (SLPAs).
The American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA) is the national professional, scientific, and credentialing association for 198,000 members and affiliates who are audiologists; speech-language pathologists; speech, language, and hearing scientists; audiology and speech-language pathology support personnel; and students. Over 1,400 of our members reside in New Mexico.
ASHA believes that support personnel, including SLPAs, play a critical role in addressing the needs of those with communication disorders, particularly in areas with shortages of speech-language pathologists. Twenty-five states currently regulate SLPAs and audiology assistants in school settings with eight of those requiring licensure. Forty states regulate SLPAs and audiology assistants and 14 of those states require licensure for those working outside of school settings.
ASHA supports the use of SLPAs who meet the standards specified in ASHA’s model licensure bill and who are properly supervised by licensed and ASHA certified speech-language pathologists. Regulating this profession will help ensure that consumers have access to a qualified provider.
Thank you for the opportunity to provide comments on SB 363. If you or your staff have any questions, please contact Eileen Crowe, ASHA’s director of state association relations, at email@example.com
Shari B. Robertson, PhD, CCC-SLP
2019 ASHA President
ASHA Letter PDF