Monthly Archives: July 2014

ASHA Studies Mission in 2012 Update

In 2012 we began to examine how the ASHA Board of Directors views the mission of the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association with reference to curriculum development for school speech-language pathology students and employees. Here was the first post:


The Board of Directors of the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association has announced for its August 2012 meeting interest in soliciting input on the Mission of the Association:

The current mission:

“Empowering and supporting speech-language pathologists, audiologists, speech, language and hearing scientists by:

Advocating on behalf of persons with communication and related disorders;

Advocating communication science;

Promoting effective human communication.”


“A mission statement is a statement of the purpose of a company or organization. The mission statement should guide the actions of the organization, spell out its overall goal, provide a path, and guide decision-making. It provides “the framework or context within which the company’s strategies are formulated.”[1]  Wikipedia”

Kids stuff for school.


In May of 2012 the Board considered a proposal adding a medical component to the mission statement:

“A group of members, who are board-recognized swallowing specialists, asked the Board to consider changing ASHA’s mission statement to include swallowing…. Following discussion, it was decided that ASHA should consider adding the words swallowing and balance to ASHA’s mission statement, while maintaining the original sense of the mission….”

2013 Update

The ASHA Board of Directors approved the following mission statement:

“Empowering and supporting audiologists, speech-language pathologists, and speech, language, and hearing scientists through:

advancing science,

setting standards,

fostering excellence in professional practice, and
advocating for members and those they serve.”

April 1, 2015

Now on FACEBOOK ASHA posts another version of the Mission Statement:

“Empowering and supporting speech-language pathologists, audiologists, and speech, language, and hearing scientists by:

* Advocating on behalf of persons with communication and related disorders
* Advancing communication science
* Promoting effective human communication”

“Setting Standards” disappears.

April 2, 2015

For the 2015 Toolkit, we learn the mission is as follows:

“Empowering and supporting speech-language pathologists, audiologists, and speech, language,
and hearing scientists by:
 Advocating on behalf of persons with communication and related disorders
 Advancing communication science
 Promoting effective human communication ”

No mention of “setting standards”


ASHA Accreditation CAA Calls for Input

Kids stuff for school.

Kids stuff for school.

In June of 2014 ASHA released a call for CAA input:

Call for Comment: Standards for Accreditation

The Council on Academic Accreditation (CAA) is seeking comment on its current Standards for Accreditation. Input received from the community will be reviewed carefully as the CAA considers changes to the standards for entry-level graduate education programs.”


A call for member ideas is a welcome turn of events. Let’s see how this information is processed? We hope it does not disappear into a black hole of poor feedback communication.

The CAA has a policy of “autonomy” and private decision-making insulated from the membership. In fact it claims to have no influence from “ASHA”:

“CAA is completely autonomous in accreditation decision-making, standards-setting, and policy issues – distinctly separate and without influence of ASHA or staff in these areas “

Teacher Referral a Cause of Special Education Over-identification

We are reposting this important feature to further draw attention to this component of special education over-identification. Teachability regardless of disability status is critical.

Girl Scouts Marching on Main Street.

Girl Scouts Marching on Main Street.

Teacher Referrals

How regular classroom teachers understand at risk children and then decide what special help they need is a critical factor as to the number of children who end up in special education. For example, there are more boys than girls in special education. We learn: “e.g., evidence that female teachers are more likely than male teachers to refer boys for special education coupled with the predominance of female teachers in the teaching force, especially in the elementary grades” (Policy Archive).

Although some special education referrals come from child find activities and parents, most come from the teaching faculty. Indications are teachers refer too many children to special education.

One hypothesis is that teachers view special education as a remedial support service rather than a disability-only service. Modern classrooms are full of “difficult-to-teach” (DTT) children, whatever the problems the children have. They do not easily follow the standard lessons teachers are prepared to conduct. When 20% or more of the children in a teacher’s classroom are difficult-to-teach, it is hard to achieve instructional goals.

“Children who are ‘difficult to teach’ (DTT) are those who experience considerably greater difficulty learning new educational material and mastering academic concepts than do their typical peers of the same age. Difficult-to-teach students may also display significant behavior problems (e.g., chronic inattention, a tendency to act impulsively, verbal defiance, or physical aggression). This group can be thought of as falling along a continuum, ranging from less severe to more-severe learning problems. In some cases, DTT children are classified as having a special education disability and receive special services. Many of these students, however, have no identified disability and are enrolled in general-education classrooms without additional support” (Jim Wright).

Teachers may have difficulty adapting their standard classroom methods for special needs children. They may lack training in “differential teaching.” Therefore, they are inclined to fall back on the special education services.