1999 Conference Proceedings

Go to previous article 
Go to next article 
Return to 1999 Conference Table of Contents


Adapting Internet Paraprofessional Training Methods to Speech and Hearing Professionals' Expectations.

William R. Culbertson, Ph.D.
Dennis C. Tanner, Ph.D.
Northern Arizona University
Flagstaff, Arizona

Northern Arizona University's Department of Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology is in the process of establishing a paraprofessional training track as part of its undergraduate degree program. Integral to this training program is the utilization of Internet for courses and clinical practicum because much of the target population is rural and there are great distances involved. A pilot training program was provided on the White Mountain Apache Reservation and the results of this project was presented to the CSU Technology and Persons with Disabilities conference last year. There was a good turn out of participants with a high degree of interest particularly among attendants with large geographic distances to consider.

To better address the needs and requirements of this unique training program, a survey was provided to the entire membership of the Arizona Speech and Hearing Association. The research questions addressed the following:

  1. Is there a need, as perceived by professionals, for speech and hearing support personnel?
  2. Is there a statistically significant difference in perceived need for utilizing speech and hearing support personnel between professionals practicing in medical and educational environments. (A third category was added and labeled "Other" and encompassed those in private practice.)
  3. To identify those areas which could utilize the Internet, questions were asked to specify the types of disorders treated by professionals and their appropriateness for Internet involvement. The survey is provided below:

ARIZONA SPEECH-LANGUAGE PATHOLOGY ASSISTANT SURVEY


Speech-Language Pathology Assistant Guidelines:

According to ASHA’s 1996 guidelines, the assistant requires a "minimum of an associate’s degree in an ASHA-approved speech-language pathology assistant training program, completion of a college-based speech-language pathology assistant certificate program, or an equivalent course of study with a major emphasis in the area of speech-language pathology." The individual must also complete a clinical practicum under the supervision of an ASHA-certified speech-language pathologist and must pass an exam to be developed by the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association. Type of Facility (Please circle):

Part I.

1. Number of years you have been certified by the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association: Please Circle:

2. How many hours per week do you have direct contact with clients?

3. How many hours per week do you have administrative duties?

4. What is your employee status? (Please circle):

5. Do you presently use a "speech aide?" Yes___ No ___

Part II.

Please circle the number that corresponds to the extent to which you agree or disagree with the following statements.

1. The current supply of professionals is insufficient to meet the growing population of clients in need of their services.

1----------2------------3----------4----------5

Strongly Disagree----Neutral------Strongly Agree

2. Speech-language pathologists often have large caseloads, making it difficult to provide effective and efficient intervention programs.

1----------2------------3----------4----------5

Strongly Disagree----Neutral------Strongly Agree

3. The role of professionals in the field has expanded due to advances in technology.

1----------2------------3----------4----------5

Strongly Disagree----Neutral------Strongly Agree

4. The population of clients from culturally diverse populations is increasing. Professionals who are monolingual English speakers need assistance if they are to provide appropriate services for clients who speak languages other than English.

1----------2------------3----------4----------5

Strongly Disagree----Neutral------Strongly Agree

5. There is a need to be more cost-effective in the provision of services to clients because of limited budgets in educational and medical settings.

1----------2------------3----------4----------5

Strongly Disagree----Neutral------Strongly Agree

Part III.

Please circle the number that corresponds to the extent to which you agree or disagree with the following statements.

1. The speech-language pathology assistant may participate in screening procedures to identify individuals in need of speech and language services.

1----------2------------3----------4----------5

Strongly Disagree----Neutral------Strongly Agree

2. The speech-language pathology assistant may participate in administering treatment programs by following procedures developed by the speech-language pathologist.

1----------2------------3----------4----------5

Strongly Disagree----Neutral------Strongly Agree

3. The speech-language pathology assistant may perform record-keeping tasks to document client progress.

1----------2------------3----------4----------5

Strongly Disagree----Neutral------Strongly Agree

4. The speech-language pathology assistant may provide assistance to the speech-language pathologist in various aspects of assessment.

1----------2------------3----------4----------5

Strongly Disagree----Neutral------Strongly Agree

5. The speech-language pathology assistant may participate in constructing therapy materials (e.g. picture cards, charts, bulletin boards, record forms, etc.) judged to appropriate by the speech-language pathologist.

1----------2------------3----------4----------5

Strongly Disagree----Neutral------Strongly Agree

6. The speech-language pathology assistant may participate with the speech-language pathologist in public relations programs, educational programs for staff, etc.

1----------2------------3----------4----------5

Strongly Disagree----Neutral------Strongly Agree

7. The speech-language pathology assistant may participate in the scheduling of activities determined to be appropriate by the speech-language pathologist.

1----------2------------3----------4----------5

Strongly Disagree----Neutral------Strongly Agree

Part IV.

Please circle the number that corresponds to the extent to which you agree or disagree with the following statements.

1. The speech-language pathology assistant should only participate in conferences or meetings regarding the needs of a client if the supervising speech-language pathologist or an ASHA-certified designee of the supervisor is present.

1----------2------------3----------4----------5

Strongly Disagree----Neutral------Strongly Agree

2. The speech-language pathology assistant should not develop treatment plans or modify existing treatment plans.

1----------2------------3----------4----------5

Strongly Disagree----Neutral------Strongly Agree

3. The speech-language pathology assistant should not make decisions regarding eligibility for treatment.

1----------2------------3----------4----------5

Strongly Disagree----Neutral------Strongly Agree

4. The speech-language pathology assistant should not make decisions regarding when it is appropriate to discontinue a client’s treatment program.

1----------2------------3----------4----------5

Strongly Disagree----Neutral------Strongly Agree

5. The speech-language pathology assistant should not provide confidential information to anyone without permission from the supervising speech-language pathologist.

1----------2------------3----------4----------5

Strongly Disagree----Neutral------Strongly Agree

6. The speech-language pathology assistant should not determine if a referral to another professional (e.g. physician) is warranted.

1----------2------------3----------4----------5

Strongly Disagree----Neutral------Strongly Agree

7. The speech-language pathology assistant should not take responsibility for conducting assessments or determining what assessment measurements are appropriate.

1----------2------------3----------4----------5

Strongly Disagree----Neutral------Strongly Agree

8. The speech-language pathology assistant should not interpret test results.

1----------2------------3----------4----------5

Strongly Disagree----Neutral------Strongly Agree

Part V.

Please circle the appropriate scale number or respond about the following items.

1. I support the speech-language pathology assistant concept.

1----------2------------3----------4----------5

Strongly Disagree----Neutral------Strongly Agree

2. What do you recommend as the minimum amount of training required for a speech-language pathology assistant? (Please check one)

3. What is your main concern about having a speech-language pathology assistant?

This paper, if accepted for presentation, will review the results of the above survey and address the Internet application of solutions to the concerns of the respondents. The results of this survey have resulted in changes in the scope and level of Internet training of speech and hearing paraprofessionals. One of the major additions to the Internet component is the providing of a University information site for paraprofessionals in training to increase the quality of supervision.


Go to previous article 
Go to next article 
Return to 1999 Conference Table of Contents 
Return to Table of Proceedings


Reprinted with author(s) permission. Author(s) retain copyright.