TN 3 (02-01)

DI 22505.005 Establishing Acceptability for Speech-Language Pathologists (SLPs) Who Do Not Show Their Credentials

A. Policy

1. SLP Qualifications

An SLP must have at least one of the qualifications cited in DI 22505.003B.1. for his/her evidence to be used to establish the existence of a speech or language impairment.

2. Verification of Credentials Not Required

If SLP evidence is received and any of the required qualifications are indicated, no verification is required.

B. Procedure

1. Establishing Acceptability if Credentials Not Shown

If an SLP's credentials are not shown, consider his/her evidence acceptable for establishing the existence of a speech or language impairment, without further verification, if:

  • The State requires State professional licensure for all SLPs.

  • The SLP works in a school in a State in which all school SLPs have obtained full State education agency (SEA) certification.

    NOTE: There is a slight possibility that a school system in one of these States might at some point hire a less qualified individual. The disability determination services (DDS) do not need to question credentials for school SLPs in these States, but if they become aware that speech/language evidence happens to be from a less qualified individual, the evidence should not be used to establish the existence of an impairment.

  • The SLP's name is on a list of SEA-fully-certified SLPs.

The regional offices (ROs) will maintain lists of which States meet the criteria in the first two bullets above. For most other States, the ROs will provide and maintain lists of individual SLPs who are SEA-fully-certified. (There are a few States for which such lists are not available.)

The DDSs may request a list from the American-Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA) of individuals with their Certificate of Clinical Competence (CCC)-SLP. However, experience indicates ASHA-certified SLPs usually show "CCC-SLP" with their names, so such lists may be redundant.

Do not assume an SLP has one of the required credentials based on probabilities; e.g., if 96 percent of school SLPs in a State are SEA-fully-certified, do not assume that a particular school SLP is SEA-fully-certified without verification.

2. If Necessary, Request Credentials With Evidence

When requesting evidence from an SLP, or from a school or other institution, request that the SLP's credentials be indicated if:

  • The credentials cannot be considered to exist per DI 22505.005B.1.; and

  • The SLP evidence may be useful to the DDS for establishing the existence of speech or language impairment.

3. Credentials Not Indicated

Generally, if an SLP's credentials were requested but not provided (and they cannot be considered to exist per DI 22505.005B.1.), assume the SLP does not have any of the required credentials. However, the DDS may contact the SLP for further information about credentials if it seems likely to be useful.

If credentials were not requested, but are relevant (i.e., the SLP's evidence could potentially establish the existence of an impairment), the DDS may contact the individual or institution and ask whether the SLP has any of the appropriate credentials.

Or, the DDS may elect to call the State professional licensing board, the SEA, or ASHA, to ask whether the individual is State-professional-board-licensed, SEA-fully-certified or has his/her CCC-SLP.

If these approaches are impractical, determine whether there is an impairment based on evidence from an acceptable medical source, per DI 22505.003.

Remember that evidence that cannot establish the existence of an impairment may still be very useful in assessing impairment severity.

4. Document Basis for Considering SLP Qualified

If an SLP's evidence is used to establish the existence of a speech or language impairment, document the DDS case development summary (see DI 20503.001C.1.) with the basis for considering the SLP qualified (for example: All SLPs in (State) must be professionally licensed by State; SLP has (his/her) CCC-SLP; SLP on State list of SEA-fully-certified SLPs).