Local education agencies (LEAs) and cooperative educational service agencies (CESAs) have utilized many recruitment and retention strategies to address the shortage of speech and language pathologists (SLPs). The department has provided targeted assistance and corrective action to LEAs since 2003. Despite these efforts the personnel shortage continues to grow and create significant challenges for school districts trying to fill speech and language pathology vacancies and in their ability to provide speech and language services to students with disabilities.
To address the shortage of speech and language pathologists, the department convened a work team to develop the content standards for a new license for support personnel to assist in the delivery of speech and language services to children with disabilities under the direction and supervision of a Masters level Speech and Language Pathologist.
On Friday, February 17, 2012, this work team met to develop the educational competencies (content standards) for this new license which tentatively was being called a Speech and Language Teacher. During this meeting, the work team discussed other names for this new license, i.e. Speech and Language Technician (SLT) or Speech and Language Pathology Assistant (SLPA). While final decisions have not yet been made, we will refer to the new license as a Speech and Language Technician (SLT). The content standards define the specific training that will be required for the SLT.
The purpose of creating a new SLT license is to support not supplant the services provided by the masters level DPI licensed SLP. This new category does not alter or lower the standard to the current requirements of a masters level SLP. The intent is to add a new category of support personnel to increase the availability, frequency, and efficiency of SLP services. The SLT will have a limited and well defined scope of practice. LEAs cannot utilize support personnel in speech and language without a DPI licensed SLP. The rule will place a strict limit on the number of SLTs can be supervised by an SLP.
The work group identified additional areas to be addressed as this process moves forward which include the identification of the clinical and supervision requirements for the SLT. This work team meeting was the first step in the process.
A plan for evaluation and monitoring of the program will also be implemented.
- The work team will identify the knowledge and skills needed by a beginning speech and language technician.
- The work team will create the first draft of content guidelines for the licensure program.
Framing Power Point
Participant Directions and Activities
Work Team Directory