COVID-19 UPDATES: Find news and resources for audiologists, speech-language pathologists, and the public.
Latest Updates | Telepractice Resources | Email Us

ASHA Advocate: June 2, 2022

June 2, 2022


The Top Line

The tragedy in Uvalde has pushed some in Congress to discuss several legislative proposals to curb the epidemic of gun violence. ASHA will engage in advocacy efforts that align with our position statement on gun violence in schools. The Biden Administration and Congressional leaders are also working to resurrect a large package of President Biden’s domestic policy priorities that stalled last year, although the package may be significantly trimmed in scope in order to gain the support of Senators Joe Manchin (D-WV) and Krysten Sinema (D-AZ).

House Education Hearings Highlight Recruitment of Special Educators

Last week, a hearing on “Tackling Teacher Shortages” was held by the U.S. House of Representatives Appropriations Committee’s Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education. Public witnesses testified on the critical need for support to develop a pipeline of special educators, including SLPs and educational audiologists.

The following day, Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona highlighted the importance of funding the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) for hiring special educators, such as SLPs and audiologists, to ensure student access to speech-language services and assistive technology during the House Education and Labor Committee’s hearing on the U.S. Department of Education’s proposed budget for fiscal year 2023.

Now is the time to contact your elected officials and reiterate the need to support partnerships between school districts and colleges to train and license SLPs and audiologists from within their communities to address these shortages and better serve students with disabilities. Please take action today!

Take Action

Advocating for Flexibility in Use of Federal Education Funds to Improve Workplaces

In a letter sent to U.S. Department of Education (ED) Secretary Miguel Cardona, ASHA encouraged ED to provide local school districts with additional time to spend American Rescue Plan funding on construction projects to help ensure that educators and specialized instructional support personnel, including educational audiologists and school-based SLPs, can provide services in safe and healthy workplaces.

Teacher-with-two-students

Working for You

  • There are now 47 cosponsors for H.R. 1587, the Medicare Audiologist Access and Services Act. Take action now by asking your U.S. Senators and Representative to cosponsor this critical bill.
  • ASHA submitted testimony [PDF] to the House Appropriations Committee’s subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education highlighting support for increased funding for the Early Hearing Detection and Intervention Act, IDEA, and for the creation of technical assistance centers in ED to support service delivery by school-based SLPs and educational audiologists. Take action today to support IDEA funding and technical assistance centers to support students with communication disorders, and to renew and improve newborn hearing screening programs.
  • ASHA continues to engage on state legislation to adopt the Audiology & Speech-Language Pathology Interstate Compact. Since our last update, South Carolina and Iowa have joined the ASLP-IC and Missouri’s bill is awaiting their Governor’s signature. Legislation in several states is still pending.

Spotlight!

This week we warmly recognize Seijra Toogood, M.Ed., CCC-SLP, for volunteering her time and commitment to the professions. As past president of the Speech-Language-Hearing Association of Virginia and current chair of ASHA’s Government Affairs and Public Policy Board, Seijra’s leadership in collaboratively identifying and driving our advocacy priorities is invaluable!

Seijra Toogood

ASHA Corporate Partners