Speech Therapy Information and Resources

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Speech Therapy Associations

ABSTRACT: Developed countries which offer speech therapy services have at least one professional speech therapy association. They exist to serve their members, offering post-registration education and training, discussion forums, professional journals and specialist support group. They also promote the profession and influence government policy-making in health, education and social care. They govern which titles can be legally used.

Titles

Qualified practitioners within the speech therapy profession around the world use different titles:

title

example countries where used

speech and language therapist

UK
Ireland

Singapore
South Africa

speech-language pathologist

USA
Canada
India

speech pathologist

Australia

speech-language therapist

Japan

NewZealand

speech and language pathologist

Malta

logopedist

variant spelling: logopaedist

(in many European countries, including…)
Italy
Spain
Germany

phoniatrician

(this title is much less common and perhaps more frequently used by practitioners working within research institutes/universities)

Protected titles

In order to protect the public, and ensure that they receive proper care from appropriately qualified practitioners, developed countries typically regulate both the speech therapy profession and the titles that individuals may legitimately use to carry out their profession. In the UK, the regulatory body is the Health Professions Council (HPC). As well as approving recognised speech therapy courses in the UK, this statutory body maintains a register of professionals who meet stringent standards in relation to the their speech therapy education, skills, conduct and health. Two titles are protected by law in the UK:

  • speech and language therapist
  • speech therapist

Only persons registered with the Health Professions Council are permitted to use these titles when working within the UK. Any misuse of these titles by non-registered persons is an offence and the individual may be subject to prosecution and a fine of up to GBP 5,000 (as at 2009).

Anyone can consult the HPC’s register of members to determine whether or not a practitioner is legally registered and, therefore, competent to practise as a speech therapist.

Professional Bodies

Typically each developed country offering speech therapy services has at least one professional body or professional speech therapy association. This may or may not be the same as the regulatory body. The professional organisations typically exist to serve their members, offering post-registration education and training, discussion forums, professional journals, specialist support groups, and so on. In addition, they commonly have a remit for promoting the profession and influencing government policy-making in the health, education and social care sectors. The UK’s Royal College of Speech and Language Therapist’s (RCSLT) mission statement is typical of the purpose that these professional bodies seek to fulfil:

“To represent speech and language therapists and support workers, promote excellence in practice and influence health, education and social care policies.” (RCSLT, 2009)

The following is a limited list of the contact addresses for the professional bodies of the countries cited in this article.

Africa

South Africa: South African Speech-Language-Hearing Association (SASLHA)

Asia

India: Indian Speech and Hearing Association

Japan: Japanese Association of Speech-Language-Hearing Therapists

Singapore: Speech-Language and Hearing Association Singapore

Australasia

Australia: Speech Pathology Australia

New Zealand: New Zealand Speech-language Therapists' Association (NZSTA)

Europe

Germany: Deutscher Bundesverband für Logopädie

Ireland: Irish Association of Speech and Language Therapists

Italy: Federazione Logopedisti Italiani

Malta: Association of Speech Language Pathologists (ASLP)

Spain: De Logopedia

UK: Royal College of Speech and Language Therapists

North America

Canada: Canadian Association of Speech-Language Pathologists and Audiologists (CASLPA)

USA: American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA)

 

Reference

RCSLT (2009) Mission Statement [WWW] http://www.rcslt.org/about/ Accessed 10.03.2009.

 

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