Update from ASHA SEAL: June 2024

Published in the June 2024 ISHA Voice

By Karen Kockler, ASHA SEAL representative for ISHA

 Much has been going on in Illinois recently!  The following is a summary of what we have focused on since our last update in March 2024.  

  • ASHA Advocate May 2024
    • Advocacy priorities highlighted.
    • Capitol Hill Day a Huge Success!
    • Committees approve a two-year telehealth extension.
    • National Speech Language Hearing Month is recognized by Congress!
    • Other Advocacy wins around the country.
  • Legislation related to those who work in schools.  [Tip:  Look for underlined sections and strikethroughs as they indicate language in legislation that has been amended.] 
    • HB5492 House Committees on Higher Ed; Elementary & Secondary Education; Administration, Licensing and Charter Schools, Subject Matter Hearing 4/23/2024:  School Support Personnel Shortage. Five Speaking for Children representatives presented the following Issues (as summarized by Representative Stuart):
      • Workload and working conditions—spiraling issues of shortages causing workload causing further spiraling down;
      • Retention issues, not following mandates re: staffing or national recommendations;
      • Some things may be more re: collective bargaining;
      • Training program challenges—pipeline issues, the need for increased university capacities;
      • Diversity issues;
      • Impact on students served;
      • Need to better inform general admin about how to use our fields more effectively.
    • HB0340 Passed both Houses.  “The notice provided to the parent or guardian prior to the meeting pursuant to subsection (g) of Section 14-8.02 shall inform the parent or guardian of the parent's or guardian's right to receive copies of all written material under this subsection (c) and shall provide the date when the written material will be delivered or made available to the parent or guardian.”
    • HB5276 Passed both Houses.  Re:  Transition Services to include consideration for and/or access to assistive technology devices.
    • HB5353 Passed both Houses.  Portability of Licenses for Military Service Members’ Spouses
    • SB3166 [Re-referred to Rules committee] Special Education Summary of Performance Form (permanent, temporary records)
    • HB3907 [Re-referred to Rules committee] Re:  Plan Time and Compensation for those who choose to give up plan time; cannot be forced to give up plan time. 
    • SB0463 Passed both Houses.  Re: Performance Education Advisory Committee for the purpose of “maintaining and improving evaluator training programs”, etc.
    • HB5344 Passed both Houses.  Amends the Behavior Analyst Licensure Act, Sections 20 and 150.  Though not amended, subsection (e) relates to speech language pathology and protects our services.
    • SB2730 [Re-referred to Assignments] Separate code for Medicaid reimbursement for Music Therapy.
    • SB3467 Passed both Houses.  SLPA requirements for licensure; amended for clarification and a mechanism for obtaining 100 hrs; most likely rules will be drafted.
  • IDFPR Response to ISHA’s e-blast regarding the requirement for IDFPR state professional licensure.

“ISHA is to be applauded for advising its members of this problem.” 

Further clarification was provided as well, summarized with the following two points:

  • First, Section 7 of the IL Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology Practice states “…in pertinent part…” that no one shall practice speech language pathology or audiology without applying for and obtaining a license, and 
  • Secondly, Section 31a(b) pertains only to those persons who plan to be advertising services.  FROM IDFPR: “This subsection may not be used as a workaround to bypass the Section 7 requirement that any person practicing speech-language pathology in any and all settings, including but not limited to school settings, must first apply for then obtain an appropriate license issued by IDFPR.  The reason given for an exemption due to holding a PEL issued by ISBE applies only to a speech-language pathologist advertising their services under §31a of the Act.  But realistically, no SLP with a PEL working in a school setting and employed by a school district is advertising their services anyway.  Section 7 is paramount.  The April 24, 2024 email blast from ISHA correctly provides ISHA members with notice they must first comply with Section 7 of the Act. There will be follow-up from IDFPR regarding this issue; what that follow-up will look like is unknown at this time.
  • Coming Soon: Information about a second SLPA Associate’s degree program in Illinois!