Advocacy Update (July 8, 2019)

On Monday 7/1, Jeff Meeks (Government Affairs Chair) and Todd Baughman (ArSHA’s Lobbyist) met with representatives from the Arizona Department of Health Services and the Arizona Department of Education to address licensing and certification issues impacting Audiologists, Speech-Language Pathologists, Speech-Language Technicians, and Speech-Language Pathologist Assistants. Among the many topics discussed is what appears to be an ongoing confusion on the part of school-based practitioners and public schools regarding the need for SLPs and SLTs to possess BOTH an AZDHS license and ADE certificate. Lack of either the certificate or the license means the provider is not fully qualified to practice in Arizona schools. While this may not be a widespread problem, ArSHA and the two state agencies have received enough inquiries on the matter that there is cause for concern. In an effort to clarify, ADE will send a letter to all Special Education Directors and Human Resource Directors regarding the requirements, including resources to check both certificates and licenses online.

In addition to the discussion and collaboration on licensing and certification of school-based practitioners, it was shared that the AZDHS licensing rules for our professions are due for review. Rule-making addresses administrative processes (such as paperwork requirements) and does not address scope of practice which is defined in statute. AZDHS will be proposing very few changes and it is hoped this will be an expedited process. It is anticipated the proposed rules will be posted for public review and comment sometime around the end of this year. ArSHA will update you when they are available for comment.