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MSHA is dedicated to advocacy on issues that impact the field of communication sciences and disorders within the State of Massachusetts. In Massachusetts legislative cycles are two years long. The legislative cycle starts in January of an odd year. During the initial period of the legislative cycle, MSHA reviews proposed legislation related to the field. A survey seeking MSHA member feedback on identified legislation is used to formulate MSHA’s advocacy agenda for that legislative cycle.

HB2825/SB137 - An Act providing for provisional licensure for speech-language pathologists

Adds new section 144B to GL Chapter 112 (Registration of Certain Professions and Occupations) to provide for a provisional speech-language pathologist or audiologist license. Sets forth criteria for the approval of such a license for a period of supervised professional practice.

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HB4394 - An Act relative to defining and providing screening for dyslexia

Directs the department of elementary and secondary education to issue guidelines for school districts to develop screening programs for students who show signs of a neurological learning disability, including, but not limited to dyslexia; requires the inclusion of a member or representative of a dyslexia advocacy organization on the early literacy expert panel; requires the panel to make recommendations for pre-service and in-service educator training in identifying neurological learning disabilities, including dyslexia; further requires the panel to develop action steps for implementing research-based recommendations related to student screening and teacher preparations related to reading disabilities that were developed by early language and literacy development experts.

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SB22607- An Act relative to students with dyslexia

Requires the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education to issue guidelines for districts to develop screening procedures or protocols for students who demonstrate one or more potential indicators of a neurological learning disability including but not limited to dyslexia. In addition, the bill amends the 2012 Relative to Third Grade Reading Proficiency (SL2012:287) to add an expert in dyslexia to the Early Literacy Expert Panel, and to expand the mission of the Panel to include the identification of neurological learning disabilities including dyslexia.

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SB135 - An Act providing for the licensing of applied behavior analysts

This bill outline policies for creation of a dedicated licensing board for applied behavior analysts (They are currently licensed by the Board of Allied Health), criteria for obtaining a license as an applied behavioral analyst and assistant applied behavior analyst, as well as defines the scope of practice.

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SB502 - An Act improving lives by ensuring access to brain injury treatment

Adds new section 47EE to GL Chapter 175 to provide that a health benefit plan must include coverage for various types of care for traumatic brain injuries and may not include any lifetime limitation or other restrictions that apply to other types of care. Reasonable expenses are also to be covered for post-acute evaluations. Proper training is to be provided, detailed within this section and also includes notice requirements to the insured. (Identical to HB 843).

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Vision Statement

The Massachusetts Speech-Language-Hearing Association will be recognized as an authority and resource in the fields of Audiology and Speech-Language Pathology by legislative bodies, related professional associations and consumers.

Mailing Address

Massachusetts Speech-Language Hearing Association
465 Waverley Oaks Road, Suite 421, Waltham, MA 02452
Phone: 781-647-7031
theoffice@mshahearsay.org

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