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Rhode Island SLP Scope of Practice

What is the definition of speech-language pathology?

"Speech-language pathology" means the application of principles, methods, and procedures for prevention, identification, evaluation, consultation, habilitation, rehabilitation, instruction, and research related to the development and disorders of human communication. Disorders are defined to include any and all conditions, whether of organic or non-organic origin, that impede the normal process of human communication in individuals or groups of individuals who have or are suspected of having these conditions, including, but not limited to, disorders and related disorders of:

    • Speech: articulation, fluency, voice (including respiration, phonation and resonance);
    • Language (involving the parameters of phonology, morphology, syntax, semantics, and pragmatics; and including disorders of receptive and expressive communication in oral, written, graphic, and manual modalities);
    • Oral, pharyngeal, laryngeal, cervical esophageal, and related functions (e.g., dysphasia, including disorders of swallowing and oral function for feeding; oro-facial myofunctional disorders);
    • Cognitive aspects of communication (including communication disability and other functional disabilities associated with cognitive impairment); and
    • Social aspects of communication (including challenging behavior, ineffective social skills, lack of communication opportunities).

How is the practice of speech language pathology defined in Rhode Island?

"Practice of speech-language pathology" means rendering or offering to render any service in speech-language pathology including prevention, identification, evaluation, consultation, habilitation, rehabilitation; determining the need for augmentative communication systems, dispensing and selling these systems, and providing training in the use of these systems; and planning, directing, conducting, or supervising programs that render or offer to render any service in speech-language pathology.

What is included in the practice of speech-language pathology?

The practice of speech-language pathology may include nondiagnostic pure-tone air conduction screening, screening tympanometry, and acoustic reflex screening, limited to a pass or fail determination, for the purpose of performing a speech and language evaluation or for the initial identification of individuals with other disorders of communication.

The practice of speech-language pathology also may include aural rehabilitation, which is defined as services and procedures for facilitating adequate receptive and expressive communication in individuals with hearing impairment.

What is specifically excluded from the practice?


Are there any special trainings or requirements?



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