A Ten Step Process for Resolving Ethical Issues
In the publication Ethics and IDEA, A Guide for Speech-Language Pathologists and Audiologists Who Provide Services Under IDEA (ASHA 2003), the authors provide a ten step process for addressing ethical issues in the schools:
- Identify the problem as you see it.
- Get the story straight - gather relevant data. (Federal, state, and local regultations, professional practice documents, ASHA Code of Ethics)
- Ask yourself if the problem is a regulatory issue or a process issue related to regulatory requirements.
- Compare the issue to a specific rule in ASHA's Code of Ethics. Determine if rules the Code of Ethics apply to your problem and can help develop a course of action for you to pursue.
- Identify who has the power and control in the situation.
- Identify what is in your control and what is not.
- Identify your resources. These can be a supervisor, special education director, or colleague. Ask yourself if you need more information, clarification, or ideas from others who have had a similar problem.
- Make a list of possible actions and their positive and negative consequences.
- Make a plan that you can defend professionally and ethically and that meets the requirements of the regulations.
- Take action and evaluate your plan as you proceed. Determine next steps.
In addition to the above, this publication provides definitions of basic terms associated with ethics and IDEA and a selection of instructional vignettes that typify some of the experiences and ethical challenges that can confront speech-language pathologists and audiologists in their practice. Included in the appendices are web resources, selected articles and references. This item is available from
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