SLP/SLPA Practice Act Update
In July 2023, a section of the Illinois Speech Language Pathology and Audiology Practice Act was amended to include a third pathway to becoming licensed as an SLPA:
(i) an associate’s degree from a speech-language pathology assistant program that has been approved by the Department and that meets the minimum requirements set forth in Section 8.6
(ii) a bachelor's degree and has completed course work from an accredited college or university that meets the minimum requirements set forth in Section 8.6
(iii) a bachelor's degree in speech-language pathology or communication sciences and disorders from a regionally or nationally accredited institution approved by the Department, and evidence of completion of at least 100 hours of documented field work supervised by a licensed speech-language pathologist that is comparable to that completed in a speech-language pathology assistant program in this State.
Amendment goes into effect 1/1/2024.
(Source: P.A. 100-530, eff. 1-1-18.)
What This Means for Illinois SLPs and SLPAs
The impact on supervising SLPs may be significant in two ways:
1) There is greater opportunity for SLPAs to be licensed and therefore provide support and assistance to SLPs, especially in the school setting
2) The 100 hours of supervised clinical fieldwork experience is not currently required within most undergraduate programs in Communicative Sciences and Disorders in Illinois.
ISHA’s Action Steps
ISHA’s Executive Board, members of Legislative & Regulatory Affairs, and members of the School Affairs committees are aware of these changes and are taking action by working with lSHA’s lobbyist and state legislators. ISHA will be drafting language to clarify the requirements as indicated in the Practice Act and provide guidance as to how the 100 hours can/should be obtained outside an undergraduate program.
Updates will be provided, so stay tuned! If you have questions and/or concerns, please share them by sending them to email@example.com.