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Alabama SLP Assistants

Definition of a SLPA

“Speech‐Language Pathology Assistant,” or any variation, synonym or coinage of the term is defined as an individual who meets minimum qualifications established by the Board, which are less than those established by Alabama Code §34‐28A‐21 as necessary for licensing as a speech‐language pathologist; does not act independently; and works under the direction and supervision of a speech‐language pathologist.

Services that may be performed by a SLPA

Under supervision of a licensed Speech‐Language Pathologist or Audiologist, Assistants may:

    • Conduct speech-language-hearing screenings;
    • Implement documented treatment plans or protocols as prescribed by the supervising clinician;
    • Document as prescribed by the supervision clinician patient/client progress;
    • Assist during assessment;
    • Assist with informal documentation, prepare charts, record graphs, or otherwise display data;
    • Perform checks and maintenance of equipment; and
    • Participate in research projects, in-service training, and public relations programs.

Services specifically excluded from SLPA scope of practice

Assistants will not:

    • Evaluate speech, language, or hearing;
    • Interpret measurements of speech, language, or hearing;
    • Make recommendations regarding treatment or management of clients counsel;
    • Sign test reports and other documents regarding the practice of speech-language pathology and/or audiology.

SLP supervision on SLPAs

The assistant must be under the direct supervision of a licensee. Supervision requires the physical presence of the licensee in the same facility at all times when the assistant is carrying out assigned clinical responsibilities. The licensed supervisor must document direct observation of at least ten percent (10%) of all clinical services provided by the assistant.

Responsibilities of the SLP during Supervision

A licensee who supervises a speech‐ language pathology assistant or an audiology assistant shall be responsible for the direction of all clinical services provided by said assistant and shall be responsible to the client for the performance of these services.

The licensee shall be responsible for the legal, ethical, and moral professional behavior relating to the approved work each assistant is conducting under the licensee’s supervision.

Plan for a SLPA

Registration for a speech‐language pathology assistant or an audiology assistant will be considered after a specific work plan has been reviewed and approved by the Board to include:

    • The place(s) in which the assistant will work,
    • A description of the activities to be performed by the assistant,
    • A description of the amount and circumstances of supervision to be given to the assistant, and
    • A description of the training the assistant is to receive in preparation for the performance of the planned activities.

If changes are desired in the approved supervisory plan, a new application must be filed. An additional registration fee is not required to make changes in the Plan.

Ratio of SLPs to SLPAs

Each speech‐language supervising assistants will accept no more than the equivalent of two (2) full‐time assistants concurrently.

Required title/designation

The applicant, if registered to assist the licensed speech‐language pathologist and/or audiologist, may use only the titles, “speech pathology assistant”, "audiology assistant", or “speech‐language pathology and audiology assistant”, depending upon the area(s) in which the assistant is registered to assist with the Board.

Reference

Ala. Admin. Code r. 870‐X‐1‐.01

Ala. Admin. Code r. 870‐X‐2‐.06

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