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

March 23, 2012

Since the early 1970s, 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 2-year effort to win this battle once and for all. The determination and persistence of SDSLHA and member SLPs—beginning with a survey of the membership in 2009—finally paid off when Governor Daugaard signed S.B. 72 into law on March 16, 2012.

The new law goes into effect July 1, 2012. It requires licensure for practice in all settings and includes licensure requirements for speech-language pathology assistants (SLPAs). The next steps include appointing a board that will 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; Becky Cermak, SDSLHA president, at; or Jennifer Schultz, licensing committee chair, at

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