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ArSHA Position Statement on Arizona Department of Education's "Qualified Professionals List" Per R7-2-401

ArSHA supports changes that identify the highest qualified professionals as providers of services to our Arizona students. We support the change that ADE is proposing in their list substituting the term "qualified professional" in R-2-401, to "an individual holding a master's or doctoral degrees in audiology" and "licensed and certified speech-language pathologist".

Rationale

On October 23, 2017, the Arizona State Board of Education (ASBE) passed State Education Rules package, R-2-401, replacing specific professionals to verify certain disabilities (including "audiologists" and "certified speech language therapists" [pg 6, line 38]), with the general term "qualified professionals".  See page 6, lines 25 and 3 of the draft version with strikethroughs of the approved package:  https://azsbe.az.gov/sites/default/files/media/R7-2-401_Oct%2023%20As%20Adopted%20by%20Board_0.pdf

On page 7, line 5-7 of the same document, the ASBE directed the Arizona Department of Education (ADE) to develop a list of qualified professionals eligible to conduct the appropriate evaluations, and to submit the proposed list to be reviewed by ASBE at their December 4, 2017 board meeting.  ADE is seeking public comments on the list of qualified professionals that they are proposing to ASBE. The public comment period on this proposed list closes Monday, November 27, 2017.

The changes that ADE is proposing to ASBE, as it pertains to our field, are bolded below:

7. For the following disabilities, the full and individual initial evaluation shall include:

b. Hearing impairment:

i. An audiological evaluation by an individual holding a master's or doctoral degree in audiology, and

ii. An evaluation of communication/language proficiency.

f. Speech/language impairment: an evaluation by a licensed and certified speech-language pathologist.

g. For students whose speech impairments appear to be limited to articulation, voice, or fluency problems, the written evaluation may be limited to:

i. An audiometric screening within the past calendar year,

ii. A review of academic history and classroom functioning,

iii. An assessment of the speech problem by a licensed and certified speech-language pathologist, or

iv. An assessment of the student's functional communication skills.

ArSHA supports the proposed language in this ADE 'Qualified Professionals List' because it upholds the highest standards, and assures that the highest qualified professionals in our field serve the students and families of Arizona. This clarification is in line with the IDEA 2004 law.

Send your comment to ADE on the 'Qualified Professionals List' by no later than Monday, November 27, by emailing them at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Fe Murray, EdD, CCC-SLP
ArSHA President




ArSHA Statewide Advocacy Networks

ArSHA has three strong state-wide networks whose sole purpose are to advocate for Arizona's speech-language pathologists and audiologists.

The State Education Advocacy Leaders (SEALs) are appointed by ASHA recognized state speech-language hearing associations to advocate on education issues. These issues may include caseload/workload, salary supplements, and maintenance of personnel standards in school settings. SEALs can be speech-language pathologists or audiologists. The State Education Advocacy Leaders were established in 1999 under ASHA's Priorities. The mission of the SEALs network is to enhance and perpetuate the advocacy, leadership, and clinical management skills of school-based ASHA members at the state and local levels to influence administrative and public policy decisions that affect the delivery of speech-language pathology and audiology services in school settings.

Do you have a school or education based question or an issue that needs to be addressed? Please email Karen LaBrozzi at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. with your question or concern.

State Advocates for Medicare Policy (StAMPs) participants are appointed by ASHA recognized state speech-language-hearing associations. They advocate for Medicare coverage and reimbursement of audiology and speech-language pathology services in their respective states. The StAMP representative participates in monthly calls through ASHA to obtain updates on Medicare-related issues pertinent to SLPs and audiologists and communicates this information to SLPs and audiologists within the state. Lisa Naylor is the StAMP for Arizona and will be providing quarterly updates to ArSHA members on the ArSHA website and is always available for questions.

The State Advocates for Reimbursement (STARs) are ASHA-member audiologists and speech-language pathologists who advocate in their states for improved health care coverage and reasonable reimbursement. Their targets are key decision-makers in private corporations, public agencies, and the local legislature. Examples are health care insurance executives, benefits administrators, state insurance department officials, and state congress members. STARs create advocacy strategies and share skills with the state speech-language-hearing associations that appoint them.

Also check out ArSHA’s Facebook page for notices of free ASHA web chats (live and replay), practice portal links, and news from the SEALs, StAMPs, and STARs.