ASL Database, 07/06/17

Researchers from Boston University, Tufts University and San Diego State University have published a database of nearly 1,000 signs of American Sign Language. It is available at The signs are searchable by English translations, alternate translations, frequency ratings, iconicity ratings, lexical properties, and other categories. The database can be downloaded or searched online. Their hope is that this database will be used to enhance the amount of language that deaf and hard of hearing children are exposed to.

The current issue of Bostonia describes this project at

Free App, 04/27/2017

Former ASHA president Kate Gottfred and her team at LEAP Learning have released the Beginning With Babble App. This free app was designed to help close the language and literacy gap and strengthen interaction between families and children. Parents or caregivers can enter a child’s name and age and receive tips via their smart phone. Beginning With Babble is a finalist in the HRSA Word Gap challenge and LEAP is trying to get 1,000 downloads before May 1st.
Simply search the App or Play store or copy and paste one of the links below to download it today!
Even if you don’t have young children, you can still download and enter the name of a favorite pet, friend, or neighbor to see how it works and show others.
Please share this message with all of your SLPs contacts, early intervention providers, and any parent groups. Together we can support this great free resource and help families build language skills in young children.

2017 ASHA Issue Briefs

From The Allied Health Governing Board of Speech Pathologists

1. NH has adopted a Code of Ethics based on the latest ASHA Code of Ethics. This is available through Speech-Language Pathology Governing Board.
If ethical questions arise, please refer parents, administrators or colleagues to this document. Questions about interpretation should be directed to the office of the Governing Board of Speech-Language Pathology. Contact Tina Kelley at (603) 271-8389 or


Spe 501.01 Definitions. The following terms shall have the following meanings:
(a) “American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA)” means the national professional organization of speech-language pathologists and audiologists.
(b) “Certificate of Clinical Competence (CCC)” means the professional credential issued by the Council for Clinical Certification of ASHA on the basis of successful completion of specified academic requirements, specified practicum requirements, an examination, and specified post-graduate professional experience.
Source. #9407, eff 3-7-09; ss by #11137, eff 7-9-16

Spe 502.01 Scope. The ethical standards in Spe 503 shall apply to:
(a) Licensees of the governing board of speech-language pathologists, whether or not they hold the certificate of clinical competence; and
(b) Individuals certified by the board as speech-language assistants.
Source. #9407, eff 3-7-09; ss by #11137, eff 7-9-16

Spe 503.01 Ethical Standards for Speech-Language Pathologists and Speech-Language Assistants. The ethical standards for speech-language pathologists and speech-language assistants shall be the ASHA code of ethics effective March 1, 2016 with the modifications described in Spe 503.02, available as noted in Appendix II at no cost.
Source. #9407, eff 3-7-09; ss by #11137, eff 7-9-16
Spe 503.02 Modifications of the ASHA Code of Ethics. Modifications to the ASHA code of ethics shall be as follows:
(a) The exclusion of the preamble to the ASHA code of ethics;
(b) Change “Individuals who hold the Certificate of Clinical Competence” to “Individuals” throughout the document.
(c) The exclusion of B under Principle of Ethics II; and
(d) The exclusion of F., P., S. and T. under Principle of Ethics IV.
Source. #9407, eff 3-7-09; ss by #11137, eff 7-9-16

ASHA Code of Ethics

2. The regular monthly meetings of the Governing Board of Speech-Language Pathology are open to the public. Anyone can attend and observe these meetings.There are occasional closed sessions and these will be announced in advance.

3. Speech-language pathologists, speech-language assistants and members of the public who have questions or concerns are encouraged to ask to be placed on an upcoming meeting agenda in order for their questions or concerns to be discussed.

Here is what you can do to advocate for speech-language pathology treatment re: ABA Therapy

The United States Department of Education (ED) issued a guidance letter clarifying the roles of providers and the importance of coordinated delivery of services for children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). The letter noted that school and early intervention programs should not rely on a single treatment method for children with ASD, such as ABA, and should include speech-language pathologists and other professionals in all decisions regarding evaluation and treatment. This follows extensive advocacy efforts from ASHA on behalf of members and state leaders concerned about the lack of consistent procedures pursuant to IDEA in the assessment and treatment of children with ASD.

There is a similar trend in health care to utilize only ABA specialists to provide care for children with ASD. Singling out ABA services in legislation, such as in mandates and payer policies, as the only treatment for individuals with developmental disabilities, including those with ASD, does not provide the full complement of appropriate treatments, and limits consumer choice. Legislators, payers, and policy makers at local, state, and federal levels should work to ensure that all therapies, not just ABA services, are included for coverage. CMS issued guidance on this topic in July 2014 stating, “While much of the current national discussion focuses on one particular treatment modality called Applied Behavioral Analysis (ABA), there are other recognized and emerging treatment modalities for children with ASD.” Clearly, CMS supports the full complement of services for individuals with autism, as does the U.S. Department of Education.

While this direct guidance is important for ASHA members and consumers, it is only helpful if all of us endeavor to get the “word out” to decision makers at the state level, in school districts, Part C early intervention programs, Medicaid programs, legislatures, and health plans. So please review the letter and share it with decision makers in your work setting.

Actions to Take
In Schools and Early Intervention…
· Offer in-service training to staff; include how SLPs evaluate and treat children with ASD
· Suggest to your supervisor ways that SLPs and ABA service providers can collaborate on treatment
· Communicate with Part C Coordinators and lead agencies about the CMS policy and the ED letter

In the Community…
· Speak with parent groups and local community disability organizations about the importance of a comprehensive evaluation and treatment program (IFSP/IEP), what services speech-language pathology services provide to children with ASD, and how services can be coordinated to provide maximum benefit for children
· Communicate with pediatricians and primary care physicians about the role SLPs play in treating individuals with ASD, and how ED and CMS guidance supports that role

In health and private settings…
· Communicate with local Medicaid and department of health representatives about the CMS policy and ED letter
· Communicate with health plan representatives and regulators about how the CMS policy and ED letter can and should influence payer policies

State legislators and regulators…
· Meet with legislators to discuss how the CMS policy and ED letter can influence state and payer policies
· Communicate with state insurance regulators about ACA Marketplace exchange plans that require habilitation services, such as speech-language treatment, and how individuals with ASD, who make up a subset of the population with developmental disabilities, may need habilitative services, as well as behavioral treatments, such as ABA

Talking Points
· SLPs are uniquely qualified to provide assessment and treatment of communication disorders for children with ASD, including social communication disorders
· Under IDEA Part B, a Free and Appropriate Public Education (FAPE) must be available to all students with disabilities under the law; allowing ABA therapists to dictate services is a violation of the law
· IDEA requires that decisions about services must be made by a full complement of appropriate qualified providers following a comprehensive evaluation
· IDEA’s IEP and IFSP processes are designed to ensure that an appropriate program is developed to meet the unique individual needs of a child with a disability, and that services are identified based on the unique needs of the child by a team
· An ABA therapist may serve on the team, but is not the sole decision maker and cannot restrict access to services by other team members, such as SLPs
· No one treatment (including ABA) is appropriate for all individuals with ASD or other developmental disabilities
· Regarding Medicaid coverage, CMS recognizes that there are other treatments for children with ASD besides ABA, and that CMS, too, supports the full complement of appropriate services

A Message from Our President

NHSLHA is the New Hampshire association that represents audiologists, speech-language pathologists, speech, language and hearing scientists, support personnel, and students and advocates on behalf of those individuals that we serve. The American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA) is the national professional, scientific, and credentialing association for 182,000 members and affiliates who are audiologists; speech-language pathologists; speech, language, and hearing scientists; audiology and speech-language pathology support personnel; and students.

NHSLHA is working collaboratively with ASHA to advocate for appropriate coverage of audiology and speech-language pathology services as essential health benefits under health plans subject to the requirements of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010 (ACA).

NHSLHA recommends ASHA’s Essential Coverage: Rehabilitative and Habilitative Services and Devices in explaining the role of audiologists and speech-language pathologists in providing services to clients who require rehabilitative and habilitative services.

NHSLHA and ASHA are committed to working with stakeholders to ensure consumers have access to medically necessary audiology and speech-language pathology services required by the rehabilitative and habilitative services and devised category of the ACA.

For questions or more information, please contact Anne Doyle, at , or Daneen Grooms, ASHA’s director of health reform analysis and advocacy, at or 301-296-5651.

Thank you,

Anne Doyle MA CCC-SLP
NHSLHA President


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