ArSHA, the Arizona Speech-Language-Hearing Association, supports changes that specifically identify the highest qualified professionals eligible to conduct evaluations in the schools for eligibility. For hearing and speech-language impairment, we support the change that Arizona Department of Education (ADE) is proposing in their list of qualified providers, specifying "an individual holding a master’s or doctoral degree in audiology” and “licensed and certified speech-language pathologist" to clarify the generic term “qualified professional” used in the current rules package.
On October 23, 2017, the Arizona State Board of Education (SBE) passed rules package R-2-401, stating that verification of certain disabilities could be completed by “qualified professionals” (see page 5, beginning with line 10, of the adopted document http://www.azed.gov/specialeducation/files/2017/12/R7-2-401-As-Adopted-by-the-Board_Engrossed.pdf)
SBE directed the ADE to develop a list of qualified professionals eligible to conduct the appropriate evaluations. On December 4, 2017 SBE preliminarily passed the proposed qualified professionals list (http://www.azed.gov/specialeducation/files/2017/12/Qualified-Professionals-AZTAS-12-4-17-Preliminary.pdf).
ArSHA supports the language ‘Qualified Professionals List’ because it specifically identifies the highest qualified professionals to conduct eligibility evaluations. This clarification is in line with the IDEA 2004 law and benefits the children of Arizona.
Send your comments to ADE on the ‘Qualified Professionals List’ by no later than Monday, January 8, 2018, by emailing them to ESSInbox@azed.gov.
Fe Murray, EdD, CCC-SLP