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Spring 2021 Newsletter

16 Mar 2021 8:50 AM | NCSB Executive Office (Administrator)

Spring 2021

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PRESIDENT’S CORNER

BY: Gregg Thornton

Greetings to everyone receiving our spring NCSB newsletter. As the New Year is well upon us, I have been both reflective and optimistic. As 2020 came to an end, there was certainly much to reflect on due to the unprecedented global pandemic. On behalf of the NCSB board of directors, I hope everyone, including your families, friends, and colleagues, have been safe and doing well. With distribution of a vaccine underway, there is much optimism that things will soon be returning to normal. Like the majority of our member state licensure boards, NCSB had to quickly adapt due to the pandemic’s adverse impact. Due to travel restrictions, stay-at-home orders, social distancing and other safeguards to prevent the spread of the virus, the board of directors canceled all in-person meetings, as of February 2020. Since then, we have met virtually three times to ensure we continue to fulfill our organization’s mission. In the spring of 2020, we sent information and resources about COVID-19 to our members, and we would like to thank everyone who responded to our survey. Information and resources related to our country’s response and preparedness to the pandemic were posted on our website. We hope this information has been a good resource if you are looking to see how other governmental agencies and licensure boards are responding to the pandemic.

During the midst of the pandemic, the interstate compact, e.g., ASLP-IC, was passed by six states during 2020. At the request of a few member states, NCSB submitted written testimony to legislators in support of the bill. During the mid-summer of 2020, we informed our members of the difficult decision to cancel our 33rd annual pre-conference and conference that was scheduled to occur in October in Santa Fe, NM. This was the first time in NCSB’s forty-two year history that a conference was not held. A few presenters graciously agreed to develop virtual content which was posted on the NCSB website and made available to our member states. I would like to thank Sherry Sancibrian and Katie Brice from Texas for their co-presentation entitled, “Challenges and Lessons Learned from COVID-19.” I would also like to thank Jayme Pultro who serves on the board of directors, for her presentation entitled, “Less Talk, More Action: Cultural Competence for Audiology & Speech-Language Pathology Licensure Boards.” We have received enthusiastic appreciation for these virtual presentations that were made available only to our members and without a registration fee. We invite our members to view them during one of your upcoming board meetings. The presentations can be accessed from the members-only link on the NCSB website after logging in with your member account credentials. If you need assistance with accessing the presentations, please feel free to contact the NCSB office at (205) 823-6106 or via e-mail at info@ncsb.info

We are very hopeful that we will be able to hold an in-person conference this year. The board of directors will be meeting virtually in early March to discuss the annual conference scheduled at the Williamsburg Woodlands Hotel in Williamsburg, VA from October 7-9, 2021. We will bring you more detailed information during the summer, including whether the pre-conference board member training and conference will be an in-person event. We will continue to monitor guidelines and travel restrictions from appropriate entities and make a determination based on this information. For the time being, please save these dates on your calendar. I would like to especially thank Doreen Oyadomari for her hard work in negotiating with the conference hotels in Santa Fe and Williamsburg and avoiding any cancelation fees during these challenging times.

Please join me in welcoming our new board of director members: Tammy Brown (OH), Amy Goldman (PA), Kerrilyn Phillips (LA), and Glenn Waguespack (LA). Amy Goldman will serve as NCSB President-Elect and Conference Chair during 2021. I would also like to take this opportunity to thank Rachel Thompson (WY) for her service during her tenure on the Board.

I would like to once again invite all of you to share your stories with NCSB this year. Now, more than ever, we want to hear from you. How has your licensure board responded to the COVID-19 pandemic? Are you engaged in any initiatives related to cultural sensitivity, diversity, or inclusiveness? We would be thrilled to hear about and share your story in a future newsletter. We look forward to remaining productively engaged with you in 2021. Please do not hesitate to contact us if there is anything you need or to share information about a topic or issue you feel we should address.

On behalf of the board of directors, I would like to wish everyone a healthy and productive 2021. We hope for an end to the pandemic this year so that we may greet each other in person in Williamsburg.

Warmest regards!
Gregg

MISSION
The mission of the NCSB is to promote consumer protection by supporting regulatory boards in speech-language pathology and audiology in fulfilling statutory, professional and ethical obligations.

VISION
The vision of NCSB is to be the pre-eminent resource regarding licensure for the professions of speech-language pathology and audiology
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INSIDE THIS ISSUE

PRESIDENTS CORNER - See above

CANCELATION OF 33RD ANNUAL CONFERENCE - See Below

34TH ANNUAL NCSB CONFERENCE, Williamsburg, VA, Oct 7-9, 2021

2022 CONFERENCE AT DRURY HOTEL IN SANTA FE, NEW MEXICO

INTERSTATE LICENSING COMPACT IN AUDIOLOGY AND SPEECH-LANGUAGE PATHOLOGY

NCSB AND ITS ROLE IN THE DEVELOPMENT OF A LICENSURE COMPACT FOR AUDIOLOGY AND SPEECH-LANGUAGE PATHOLOGY

NCSB SOLICITS NOMINATIONS FOR AWARDS

CURRENT ISSUES FACING LICENSURE BOARDS

NCSB WELCOMES NEWLY ELECTED BOARD MEMBERS

POSTER SESSION AT ASHA

SPOTLIGHT ON LICENSURE BOARDS

MEMBERSHIP IN NCSB

JOIN NCSB ON FACEBOOK

NCSB BOARD OF DIRECTORS

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CANCELATION OF 33RD ANNUAL CONFERENCE
(Scheduled for Santa Fe, New Mexico)

As you are already aware, it was necessary to cancel the annual conference because of issues related to the pandemic. The meeting was scheduled to be held in Santa Fe, and since this has become a popular destination, NCSB hopes to hold its 2022 conference in Santa Fe. At the time of the cancelation, the Board of Directors had met virtually and had developed a tentative agenda. The meeting was scheduled to begin on Thursday with its annual Pre-Conference Training. Included in this training was a presentation on statutory authority followed by mock board proceedings and examples of ethical situations that may come before a licensure Board.

Much of the conference was scheduled to focus on the formation of Audiology and Speech-Language Pathology licensure compacts with presentations by representatives of the Council of State Governments as well as round table discussions led by NCSB Board members. There was to be a session on audiology assistants and one on certification updates. The ever-popular State Information Exchange was developed for licensure Boards to share both and positive and negative feedback on issues faced by their respective Boards. In response to questions received by NCSB, there was to be a session on clinical simulation, one on cultural competency, and one on issues related to online universities. Many of these issues are still very relevant, and it is hoped that some will be on the agenda for the 34th conference in Williamsburg.

HOTEL INFORMATION FOR WILLIAMSBURG

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2022 CONFERENCE AT DRURY HOTEL IN SANTA FE, NEW MEXICO

Drury Plaza Hotel in Santa Fe
828 Paseo de Peralta
Santa Fe, New Mexico 87501
Phone: 505-424-2175
www.druryhotels.com

Additional information to be provided in future versions of the newsletter.

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34TH ANNUAL NCSB CONFERENCE, Williamsburg, VA, Oct 7-9, 2021

Board Training & Conference Dates: Thursday, Oct 7 to Saturday Oct. 9, 2021.

The Hotel: Williamsburg Woodlands Hotel & Suites, which is part of the Colonial Williamsburg Hotels.

View more details here.

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INTERSTATE LICENSING COMPACT IN AUDIOLOGY AND SPEECH-LANGUAGE PATHOLOGY

Note: Some of the background information regarding the role of NCSB in the development of a licensure compact for the professions was included in previous editions of Licensure. The background information is being repeated along with an update on the current status of legislation related to the formation of a licensure compact.

AS OF THIS WRITING, SIX (6) STATES HAVE PASSED LEGISLATION RELATED TO THE FORMATION OF THE ASLP-IC. TEN STATES ARE NECESSARY BEFORE THE COMPACT CAN BE INITIATED. THE SIX STATES ARE WEST VIRGINIA, WYOMING, UTAH, OKLAHOMA, NORTH CAROLINA, AND LOUISIANA!!!!

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NCSB AND ITS ROLE IN THE DEVELOPMENT OF A LICENSURE COMPACT FOR AUDIOLOGY AND SPEECH-LANGUAGE PATHOLOGY

The Council of State Governments (CSG) worked collaboratively with its Advisory Committee and its Drafting Team to produce a Draft Licensure Compact for Audiology and Speech-Language Pathology. A diverse group of audiologists, speech-language pathologists, board administrators, legislators, board attorneys, representatives from professional associations, and a member from the Department of Defense have drafted a document that was initially presented at the Fall Conference of the National Council of State Boards of Examiners for Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology (NCSB) in October 2018. The draft has since been revised based on input from stakeholders and is currently being utilized for states that wish to introduce legislation related to the formation of a compact.

Highlights of the revised language and proposed sections are as follows:

  • Section 1. Purpose
    The purpose of the Licensure Compact is to facilitate interstate practice of audiology and speech-language pathology with the goal of improving public access to audiology and speech-language pathology services. The practice of audiology and speech-language pathology occurs in the state where the patient/client is located at the time of the patient/client encounter. The Compact preserves the regulatory authority of states to protect public health and safety through the current system of state licensure.
  • Section 2. Definitions
  • Section 3. State Participation in the Compact
  • Section 4. Compact Privilege
  • Section 5. Compact Privilege to Practice Telehealth
  • Section 6. Active Duty Military Personnel or Their Spouses
  • Section 7. Adverse Actions
  • Section 8. Establishment of the Audiology and Speech-Language Pathology Compact Commission
  • Section 9. Data System
  • Section 10. Rulemaking
  • Section 11. Date of Implementation of the Interstate Commission for Audiology and Speech-Language pathology Practice and Associated Rules, Withdrawal, and Amendment
  • Section 12. Construction and Severability
  • Section 13. Binding Impact of Compact and Other Laws

A number of questions have been posed regarding the purpose and formation of a licensing compact for audiology and speech-language pathology. Following are some of these questions:

What is a Compact?
An interstate compact is a contract between two or more states. It carries the force of statutory law and allows states to perform a certain action, observe a certain standard, or cooperate in a critical policy area Compacts establish a formal, legal relationship among states to address common problems or promote a common agenda; they create independent, multistate governmental authorities that can address issues more effectively than a state agency acting independently, or when no state has the authority to act unilaterally; and they establish uniform guidelines, standards, or procedure for agencies in the compact’s member states.

Facts About the ASLP-IC

  • Cooperative agreement enacted into law by participating states
  • Becomes operational only when 10 states enact ASLP-IC INTO LAW
  • Is an occupational licensure compact that addressed increased demand to provide/receive audiology and speech-language pathology services
  • Ensures that participating states communicate and exchange information including verification of licensure and disciplinary sanctions
  • Requires audiologists and speech-language pathologists who wish to practice under the ASLP-IC to obtain a privilege to practice in participating states
  • Is similar to occupational licensing compacts enacted for nursing, medicine, physical therapy, psychology, and emergency medical services
  • Allows military personnel and spouses to more easily maintain their profession when relocating

Benefits Specific to Audiologists and Speech-Language Pathologists

  • Allows licensed audiologists and speech-language pathologists to obtain a privilege to practice across state lines without having to incur expenses associated with becoming licensed in additional ASLP-IC member states
  • Permits audiologists and speech-language pathologists to provide services to underserved or geographically isolated populations through telepractice
  • Facilitates continuity of care when patients/clients relocate or travel to another compact state
  • Facilitates licensing process for military personnel and spouses

An Interstate Compact DOES NOT

  • Alter the scope of practice - Compact members must adhere to the scope of practice of the member state - it is not a waiver of sovereign immunity
  • Relieve the licensee of disciplinary action specific to violations in the area where practice occurs - if a violation of the practice act and/or rules and regulations occurs, discipline can be enacted by both the home state and the remote state
  • Allow an individual to practice in a state with standards dissimilar to those of the home state - only states with similar standards may enter into an interstate compact

IT IS HOPED THAT ADDITIONAL STATES WILL INTRODUCE LEGISLATION FOR THE FORMATION OF AN INTERSTATE COMPACT. MORE INFORMATION CAN BE OBTAINED BY CONTACTING KERRI PHILLIPS THROUGH THE NCSB WEBSITE.

Where Do I Go for Additional Information?

  • The National Center for Intestate Compacts has information on its website (www.csg.org) or Dan Logsdon, Director of CSG can be reached at (859) 244-8226.

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NCSB SOLICITS NOMINATIONS FOR AWARDS

Each year at its Corporate Business meeting, NCSB recognizes individuals who have made outstanding contributions to the professions through involvement with licensure. Two awards have been established to honor individuals, and these include Honors of the Association and the Special Recognition Award. Briefly, Honors of the Association is intended to recognize an individual for his/her exemplary contributions to NCSB, to a licensing board in the state, or to an individual employed by an organization or other entity that addresses regulatory concerns for the professions. The Special Recognition Award is given to individuals who have demonstrated exemplary commitment and contributions in the area of regulation at the state level. Criteria for these awards and detailed nomination procedures can be found at www.ncsb.info/ncsb-awards. NCSB encourages member boards to respond to the Call for Nominations for these two awards. Recipients will be recognized at the Business Meeting Friday, October 8, 2021.

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CURRENT ISSUES FACING LICENSURE BOARDS

The following scenarios relate to questions posed to some licensure Boards. Although there are no “quick” answers, it is hoped that these scenarios will stimulate thinking among members and result in some possible resolutions. If your state has faced similar issues, or if you have a workable solution, please send your responses to a member of the NCSB Board of Directors.

  • Scenario #1 - A state faces a national disaster, and the home of a 10 year-old boy is destroyed. He goes to live with his grandparents in a neighboring state. His local school system continues to provide educational instruction virtually, but since licensure for public school employees is required in both the home state and the neighboring state, the child cannot continue to receive speech therapy unless his speech-language pathologist obtains a license in the neighboring state.
  • Scenario #2 - A speech-language pathologist in another country possesses the qualifications for licensure in that country but does not work and has not applied for a license. She wants to provide speech-language pathology services to her cousin in a US state and applies for a license in that state. The issue is whether an unlicensed person in another country can provide remote SLP services in the United States if she holds a license in the state in question.
  • Scenario #3 - Many hearing aid companies have advanced technology that allows for remote programming of their hearing aids. A patient is fitted with hearing aids in one state but lives a great distance from the audiologist. The question is whether that audiologist can provide follow-up by providing remote programming, even if the patient lives in another state.
  • Scenario #4 - A student in a graduate training program wants to obtain practicum hours in a facility that is located in another state. No supervisor is available at the facility; however, the licensed SLP supervisor in the university program has offered to provide the supervision through telepractice. Assume that telepractice is not the issue since the other state has provisions that allow for telehealth registration; rather, the supervisor is licensed in the state where the university is located and not in the state where the facility is located.

Please share your experiences with these issues along with some possible solutions. If your Board, has faced similar problems, please share those also.

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NCSB WELCOMES NEWLY ELECTED BOARD MEMBERS

During the last election, Amy Goldman (PA) was elected as President-Elect and Program Chair. She is a former member of the NCSB Board of Directors where she served as Secretary for a number of years. Amy recently retired as technical assistance specialist with the National Assistive Technology Center where she provided support to state assistive technology program in the Eastern US. She is Chair of the Pennsylvania Board of Examiners in Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology, serving her third non-consecutive term.

Re-elected to the NCSB Board of Directors was Kerrilyn Phillips. Kerri is a two-time Past President of NCSB and currently serves as the MA Program Director in the School of Communication at Louisiana Tech University. She is the NCSB liaison to the Council of State Governments and has been instrumental in drafting legislation for the development of the Audiology and Speech-Language Pathology interstate licensing compact.

Also re-elected to another three-year term on the NCSB Board of Directors is Glenn Waguespack. Glenn, a private practice audiologist in Shreveport, Louisiana, is the current Chair of the Louisiana licensure board and is a two-time Past President of NCSB. He currently serves as NCSB Editor and co-presents on ethics and board disciplinary proceedings at the NCSB board training each year.

A new member of the NCSB Board of Directors is Tammy Brown from Ohio. Tammy is an audiologist at Miami University of Ohio and also serves on the staff at Christ Hospital. After serving since 2012 on the Ohio Board of Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology, she was appointed by the Ohio Governor in 2018 to serve on the newly consolidated Ohio Speech and Hearing Professionals Board. She currently serves as President of that Board.

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POSTER SESSION AT ASHA

NCSB, in keeping with its past tradition, submitted a poster to be considered for presentation at its annual conference in San Diego. The title of the poster was “Professional Licensing During a Pandemic: Issues, Responses, and Implications for the Future”. The intent of NCSB in this poster session was to provide a national perspective of how speech-language pathology and audiology boards responded to COVID-19, both initially and long-term. Demographic information and other data obtained through a study and survey of state licensure boards would be used to describe emergency changes to regulations with particular emphasis on areas of commonality as well as differences among states.

The poster was accepted, but shortly after it was announced that the annual ASHA conference would not be held. The Board of Directors will discuss the possibility of another submission for the Washington, D.C. meeting.

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Spotlight on Licensure Boards

Each edition of the newsletter provides a spotlight on a regulatory Board. The information may contain information about the members of the Board, how to file a complaint, and other pertinent information for audiologists and speech-language pathologists living in that state. State boards are encouraged to submit information about their Board, particularly if there is legislation in process or if there have been any recent changes to the law and/or the rules. This edition shines the spotlight on West Virginia.

The West Virginia Board of Examiners was created by the legislature in 1992 with the first biennial renewal accomplished in December 1994. Public school employees are exempt from licensure; however, licensure is required in all settings. Currently, the legislature is considering a bill to allow telepractice by out-of-state licensees by means of registration. Contact any Board member in West Virginia for an update on this legislation.

The membership of the Board is comprised by two audiologists, Michael Zagarella, and Vernon Mullins. There are also two speech-language pathologists, Vickie Pullins and Erin Browning. Joe Richards serves as the citizen member. The Board Executive Director is Patty Nesbit. Terms are for 3 years or until the successors have been appointed by the governor. At present there are two members who have served for 21 years, one member who has served for 10 years, and two members who have served for 7 years. The WV Board averages 6-7 meetings per year.

Renewals occur every two years with a renewal fee of $175.00. In order to renew, 20 continuing education hours are required. The Board currently performs a CE audit of 15% of the renewals during the first quarter of the year following the renewal.

As of this date, the Board has issued licenses to 1199 individuals. Of those there are 163 audiologists and 978 speech-language pathologists. Additionally, there are 51 provisional licensees. One audiology assistant is licensed, and that individual works in a private audiology practice. There are 6 speech-language pathology assistants, and all of those work solely in the public school system. There are other assistants working in the schools, but since licensure is not required for public school employees, the exact number is difficult to determine.

It should be noted that West Virginia was the first state to pass ASLP-IC legislation, and the legislation was supported by the majority of the Board. For additional information, log on to the website www.wvspeechandaudiology.com or email the Board at wvbeslpa@wv.gov. Phone number is (304) 473-4289.

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MEMBERSHIP IN NCSB

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JOIN NCSB ON FACEBOOK

 

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NCSB BOARD OF DIRECTORS

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