March 22, 2012

South Dakota Becomes the 49th State to Pass Licensure for Speech-Language Pathologists

Since the early 1970's, speech-language pathologists (SLPs) in South Dakota have pursued licensure to no avail. In 2009, the South Dakota Speech-Language-Hearing Association (SDSLHA) kicked off a coordinated two-year effort to win this battle once and for all. Beginning with a survey of the membership in 2009, the determination and persistence of the SDSLHA, and member SLPs finally paid off when Governor Daugaard signed S.B. 72 into law on March 16, 2012.

The new law goes into effect on July 1, 2012. It requires licensure for practice in all settings and includes licensure for speech-language pathology assistants (SLPAs). The next steps include appointing a board to promulgate rules and oversee the licensing of SLPs and SLPAs.

For more information about the South Dakota victory, please contact Janet Deppe, ASHA's director of state advocacy and state liaison to South Dakota, at or by phone at 301-296-5668.


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