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California Speech Therapy Definitions

Accountability - Being legally responsible and answerable for actions and inactions of self or others during the performance of a task by the SLPA.

Board - The California Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology and Hearing Aid Dispensers Board.

Client - Shall have the same meaning and effect as the term “patient” and “student,” when referring to services provided in a school setting, for purposes of interpreting the provisions in this Article.

Direct Supervision - On-site observation and guidance by the supervising SLP while a clinical activity is performed by the SLPA. Direct supervision performed by the supervising SLP may include, but is not limited to, the following: observation of a portion of the screening or treatment procedures performed by the SLPA, coaching the SLPA, and modeling for the assistant.

Immediate Supervision - The supervising SLP is physically present during services provided to the client by the SLPA.

Instrumental Procedures - The use of rigid and flexible endoscopes to observe the pharyngeal and laryngeal areas of the throat in order to observe, collect data, and measure the parameters of communication and swallowing as well as to guide communication and swallowing assessment and therapy.

Indirect Supervision - The supervising SLP is not at the same facility or in close proximity to the SLPA, but is available to provide supervision by electronic means. Indirect supervision activities performed by the supervising SLP may include, but are not limited to, demonstration, record review, review and evaluation of audio or video-taped sessions, interactive television, and supervisory conferences that may be conducted by telephone or electronic mail.

Medical Board - The California Medical Board of California.

Medically Fragile - A client that is acutely ill and in an unstable condition and if treated by a SLPA, immediate supervision by a SLP is required.

Person - Any individual, partnership, corporation, limited liability company, or other organization or combination thereof, except that only individuals can be licensed.

Screening - A pass-fail procedure to identify, without interpretation, clients who may require further assessment following specified screening protocols developed by the supervising SLP.

Speech-Language Pathologist - A person who practices speech-language pathology.

The Practice of Speech-Language Pathology:

    • The application of principles, methods, instrumental procedures, and noninstrumental procedures for measurement, testing, screening, evaluation, identification, prediction, and counseling related to the development and disorders of speech, voice, language, or swallowing.
    • The application of principles and methods for preventing, planning, directing, conducting, and supervising programs for habilitating, rehabilitating, ameliorating, managing, or modifying disorders of speech, voice, language, or swallowing in individuals or groups of individuals.
    • Conducting hearing screenings.
    • Performing suctioning in connection with the scope of practice, after compliance with a medical facility’s training protocols on suctioning procedures.

Speech-Language Pathology Aide - Any person meeting the minimum requirements established by the board, who works directly under the supervision of a SLP.

Speech-Language Pathology Assistant - A person who meets the academic and supervised training requirements set forth by the board and who is approved by the board to assist in the provision of speech-language pathology under the direction and supervision of a SLP who shall be responsible for the extent, kind, and quality of the services provided by the SLPA.

Speech-Language Pathology Aide - A person who:

    • Assists or facilitates while the SLP is evaluating the speech and/or language of individuals or is treating individuals with a speech-language and/or language disorder and
    • Is registered by the supervisor with the Board and the registration is approved by the Board.

Supervisor - A licensed SLP who supervises a SLPA aide or a licensed audiologist who supervises an audiology aide.

Supervision - The provision of direction and evaluation of the tasks assigned to a SLPA. Methods for providing supervision include direct supervision, immediate supervision, and indirect supervision.

Support Personnel - Individuals who, following academic and/or on-the-job training, perform tasks as prescribed, directed and supervised by a SLP. There are different levels of support personnel based on training and scope of responsibilities.

The Development and Disorders of Speech - The development and disorders of articulation, fluency, mastication and deglutition.

The Development and Disorders of Voice - The development and disorders of vocal quality and vocal production.

The Development and Disorders of Language - The development and disorders of auditory processing, auditory memory, verbal language, written language, visual processing, visual memory, cognition and communication, and non-verbal/non-oral language.


Cal. Bus. and Prof. Code § 2530.2

16 CCR § 1399.150.2

16 CCR § 1399.154

16 CCR § 1399.170

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