American Speech-Language-Hearing Association
September 30, 2013

Action Alert: Protecting Student Athletes from Concussions Act Introduced in the Senate

Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) has introduced legislation, the Protecting Student Athletes from Concussions Act,  S. 1546, that would strengthen K–12 schools' procedures for preventing, detecting, and treating concussions suffered by student athletes while participating in school sports. S. 1546 will direct local education agencies (LEAs) to develop and implement a standard plan for concussion safety and management. Part of the LEA's plan must include the training of school personnel—including school-based audiologists and speech-language pathologists (SLPs)—about concussions. Where feasible, the bill encourages LEAs that are helping students recover from concussions to create a multidisciplinary concussion management team that may include audiologists and SLPs. This legislation will raise much needed awareness about the risks and dangers associated with concussions among student athletes.

Please contact your Senators today and ask that they cosponsor S. 1546.

Background

Student athletes who suffer a concussion can often experience symptoms that range from dizziness and balance issues to having cognitive (thinking) and communication problems that significantly impair their ability to live independently. ASHA-certified audiologists and speech-language pathologists (SLPs) work with students to treat symptoms related to concussions. As part of a larger school-based team, audiologists and SLPs work with the student and his/her family/caregivers, as well as teachers and coaches. The team works together to evaluate the student and develop an appropriate treatment plan.

Resources

For more information, please contact Neil Snyder, ASHA's director of federal advocacy, at 202-624-7750 or by e-mail at nsnyder@asha.org.


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