Recap from the ASHA SEALs December Teleconference

Published in the January 2024 ISHA Voice

By Karen Kockler and Julie O’Brien-Smith

Karen is the ASHA Seal for Illinois, and Julie serves as the ASHA Co-SEAL for Illinois.

ISHA representatives are collaborating with the Speaking 4 Children (S4C) Coalition to follow-up with legislators after testimonial requests at the subject matter hearing in July.  Members of the S4C coalition are reviewing grants that may be available to address shortages (e.g. funding for faculty and for students).  In addition to ISBE’s announcement of an elimination of the primary education test (the edTPA) until 2025, we are advocating to replace ISBE’s content area test with the Praxis, primarily due to two critical issues: the timing of taking the test being required prior to external practicum experiences, and concerns related to the content of the test.

ISHA’s Executive Board is addressing language in our Practice Act with regards to optional pathways for SLPA licensure, especially the options for those with bachelor’s degrees.  One of the requirements is 100 hours in “supervised clinical fieldwork experience”, which, at this time, is not offered within undergraduate programs in Illinois. Language and rules must clarify/revise these options in the Practice Act, and provide rules for how the hours can be obtained outside of an undergraduate degree program.

Some SLPs continue to report frustration with BCBAs working in schools.  For example, the BCBAs insist on writing communication goals for students.  In Illinois, there is a law that prohibits BCBAs from encroaching on our roles as indicated in our Practice Act. (225 ILCS 6/) Behavior Analyst Licensing Act (Public Act 102-953), Section 20 (e) states:

(e) No licensed behavior analyst or licensed assistant behavior analyst shall engage in the practice of speech-language pathology or the practice of audiology, as defined in the Illinois Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology Practice Act, unless licensed to do so under that Act.

(Source: P.A. 102-953, eff. 5-27-22.)

A new guide from ISBE coming: Julie and Karen have been asked by ISBE’s special education department to help co-author a new ISBE guidebook for school-based SLPs, SLPAs, Audiologists, Audiology Assistants, and Hearing Itinerants.  Our goal is to have this ready for ISBE review/approval this next spring.  Stay tuned!