2020 ASHA Public Policy Agenda
The 2020 Public Policy Agenda is designed for ASHA members, lawmakers, policymakers, decision makers, and consumers. This resource identifies the top public policy priorities for the professions of audiology and speech-language pathology in the areas of health care and schools, as well as issues impacting professional practice and workforce, and patients, clients, and students.
The 2020 Public Policy Agenda reflects ASHA’s ongoing commitment to patients, clients, and students; evidence-based practice and outcomes; the highest standards of professional ethics; a diverse professional workforce; and nondiscrimination across the full range of dimensions of diversity, including but not limited to age, disability, ethnicity, gender identity, national origin, race, religion, sex, sexual orientation, military service, and veteran status.
Audiologists and speech-language pathologists provide critical evidence-based services to students with disabilities. These services foster effective communication skills and enhance educational performance. It is essential to ensure that all students have access to appropriately resourced audiology and speech-language pathology services, and that all parents and caregivers have the ability to make informed decisions about the education of their children.
Health Care Priorities
Audiologists and speech-language pathologists provide medically necessary services to maximize health and functional outcomes and to enhance quality of life. It is essential that public and private payers comprehensively cover, and equitably reimburse, audiology and speech-language pathology services.
Professional Practice and Workforce Priorities
Audiologists and speech-language pathologists are the leading professionals distinctively trained to assess, treat, and manage speech, language, cognitive, hearing, balance, voice, and feeding/swallowing disorders. It is essential that licensure and certification requirements for the professions are preserved, that the professions’ defined scopes of practice are protected, that workforce shortages are mitigated, and that a robust, diverse graduate and undergraduate student populations are supported.
Patient, Client, and Student Priorities
Each patient, client, and student has unique clinical needs. It is essential that public policies are structured to support individual needs and that public policies ensure equitable and timely access to evidence-based services.
Resources for Getting Involved
As a member of ASHA, you have a very important voice. The professional perspectives and personal stories you bring to public policy issues have a powerful impact on our collective ability to advance the professions. By working together, we can most effectively educate, inform, and persuade lawmakers, policymakers, and other decision makers to take action that benefits not only our professions but also the patients, clients, and students we serve.
Questions? Contact Jeffrey P. Regan, Director of Government Affairs and Public Policy, at