Education Law

Article 159, Speech-Language Pathologists & Audiologists

§8200. Introduction. | §8201. Definition of practice of speech-language pathology | §8202. Practice of speech-language pathology. | §8203. Definition of practice of audiology | §8204. Practice of audiology. | §8205. State board for speech-language pathology and audiology. | §8206. Requirements for a professional license. | §8207. Exempt persons. | §8208. Special provisions. | §8209. Mandatory continuing competency.

§8200. Introduction.

This article applies to the professions of speech-language pathology and audiology. The general provisions for all professions contained in article one hundred thirty of this title apply to this article.


§8201. Definition of practice of speech-language pathology.

The practice of the profession of speech-language pathology shall mean the application of principles, methods and procedures of measurement, prediction, non-medical diagnosis, testing, counseling, consultation, rehabilitation and instruction related to the development and disorders of speech, voice, swallowing, and/or language for the purpose of preventing, ameliorating or modifying such disorder conditions in individuals and/or groups of individuals.


§8202. Practice of speech-language pathology.

Only a person licensed or otherwise authorized under this article shall practice speech-language pathology or use the title of speech-language pathologist.


§8203. Definition of practice of audiology

The practice of the profession of audiology shall mean the application of principles, methods and procedures of measurement, testing, evaluation, consultation, counselling, instruction and habilitation or rehabilitation related to hearing, its disorders, related communication impairments and vestibular disorders for the purpose of non-medical diagnosis, prevention, identification, amelioration or modification of such disorders and conditions in individuals and/or groups of individuals.


§8204. Practice of audiology.

Only a person licensed or otherwise authorized under this article shall practice audiology or use the title audiologist.


§8205. State board for speech-language pathology and audiology.

A state board for speech-language pathology and audiology shall be appointed by the board of regents on recommendation of the commissioner for the purpose of assisting the board of regents and the department on matters of professional licensing and professional conduct in accordance with section sixty-five hundred eight of this title. The board shall consist of not less than seven members, three of whom shall be audiologists and four of whom shall be speech-language pathologists. Each speech-language pathologist and audiologist on the board shall be licensed and have practiced in this state for at least five years, as provided under this article except that the members of the first board need not be licensed prior to their appointment to the board. An executive secretary to the board shall be appointed by the board of regents on recommendation of the commissioner.


§8206. Requirements for a professional license.

To qualify for a license as a speech-language pathologist or audiologist, an applicant shall fulfill the following requirements.

  1. Application: file an application with the department;
  2. Education: have obtained at least a Masters degree in speech-language pathology and/or audiology or its equivalent, as determined by the department, in accordance with the commissioner's regulations;
  3. Experience: have experience satisfactory to the board and in accordance with the commissioner's regulations;
  4. Examination: pass an examination satisfactory to the board and in accordance with the commissioner's regulations;
  5. Age: be at least twenty-one years of age;
  6. Character: be of good moral character as determined by the department; and
  7. Fees: pay a fee of one hundred forty dollars to the department for admission to a department conducted examination and for an initial license, a fee of seventy dollars for each reexamination, a fee of one hundred fifteen dollars for an initial license for persons not requiring admission to a department conducted examination, and a fee of one hundred fifty-five dollars for each triennial registration period.

§8207. Exempt persons.

This article shall not be construed as prohibiting:

  1. The practice of any other professions licensed or registered under this title.
  2. Any person employed by the federal, state or a local government or by a public or non-public elementary or secondary school or an institution of higher learning from performing the duties of a speech-language pathologist, an audiologist, a teacher of the speech and hearing handicapped, or a teacher of the deaf in the course of such employment.
  3. Any person from engaging in clinical or academic practice under the supervision of a licensed speech-language pathologist or audiologist for such period of time as may be necessary to complete an experience requirement for a professional license, as provided in this article and in rules or regulations approved by the board of regents with the advice of the state board for speech-language pathology and audiology.
  4. A person from another state from performing speech-language pathology or audiology services in this state provided such services are performed for no more than thirty days in any calendar year and provided that such services are performed in conjunction with and/or under the supervision of speech-language pathologist or audiologist licensed under this article.
  5. Any hearing aid dealer from performing hearing measurements by means of an audiometer or other testing equipment when used solely for the purpose of selecting, fitting, selling or dispensing an instrument designed to aid or improve human hearing , including the taking of impressions for the making and fitting of ear molds and the demonstration of use and instructions of persons in the use of such hearing aids and accessories thereto.
  6. A student from engaging in clinical practice, under the supervision of a licensed audiologist or a licensed speech-language pathologist as part of a nationally accredited program or a state licensure qualifying program in speech-language pathology or audiology, pursuant to subdivision three of section eighty-two hundred six of this article.

§8208. Special provisions.

  1. Every person regularly employed in teaching or working as a speech-language pathologist or audiologist for not less than two years prior to the effective date of this article shall be issued a license by the department, if he is a person of good moral character; twenty-one years or older, has been engaged in such practice in the state for at least two years in accordance with regulations of the commissioner of education, and possesses
    1. the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association certificate of clinical competence in speech-language pathology and/or audiology, or the equivalent thereof as determined by the board in accordance with the commissioner's regulations; or
    2. a masters degree in speech-language pathology, audiology or communication disorders appropriate to the license being sought and a total of five years experience; or
    3. a bachelor's degree in speech-language pathology, audiology or communication disorders appropriate to the license being sought and thirty postgraduate semester hours in subjects satisfactory to the board and a total of five years experience; or
    4. a bachelors degree and sufficient postgraduate study to be the equivalent of a masters degree in speech-language pathology, audiology or communication disorders as determined by the board in accordance with the commissioner's regulations and a total of five years experience.

    Applications for a license under this section shall be submitted by January first, nineteen hundred eighty and applicants shall have until that date to fulfill the requirements set forth by this chapter.

  2. This article shall not prohibit the practice of speech-language pathology or audiology by a corporation provided that such practice is carried on by a licensed speech-language pathologist or audiologist or persons exempt under this article and a violation of this provision shall be a class A misdemeanor.
  3. Any person or firm offering the services of a speech-language pathologist or audiologist shall employ only persons licensed or exempt under this article and a violation of this provision shall be a Class A misdemeanor.
    1. The commissioner, pursuant to the recommendation of the board shall promulgate regulations defining appropriate standards of conduct for the dispensing of hearing aids by licensed audiologists. Such regulations shall also define continuing education requirements which such dispensing audiologist shall meet as a condition of maintaining registration pursuant to this article.
    2. Audiologists engaged in the practice of dispensing hearing aids shall comply with the applicable provisions of article thirty-seven-a of the general business law.

§8209. Mandatory continuing competency.

    1. Each licensed speech-language pathologist and audiologist required under this article to register triennially with the department to practice in the state shall comply with the provisions of the mandatory continuing competency requirements prescribed in subdivision two of this section, except as provided in paragraphs (b) and (c) of this subdivision. Speech-language pathologists and audiologists who do not satisfy the mandatory continuing competency requirements shall not be authorized to practice until they have met such requirements, and they have been issued a registration certificate, except that a speech-language pathologist or audiologist may practice without having met such requirements if he or she is issued a conditional registration pursuant to subdivision three of this section.
    2. Speech-language pathologists and audiologists shall be exempt from the mandatory continuing competency requirement for the triennial registration period during which they are first licensed. Adjustment to the mandatory continuing competency requirements may be granted by the department for reasons of health of the licensee where certified by an appropriate health care professional, for extended active duty with the armed forces of the United States, or for other good cause acceptable to the department which may prevent compliance.
    3. A licensed speech-language pathologist or audiologist not engaged in practice, as determined by the department, shall be exempt from the mandatory continuing competency requirement upon the filing of a statement with the department declaring such status. Any licensee who returns to the practice of speech-language pathology or audiology during the triennial registration period shall notify the department prior to reentering the profession and shall meet such mandatory continuing competency requirements as shall be prescribed by regulations of the commissioner.
  1. During each triennial registration period an applicant for registration as either a speech-language pathologist or audiologist shall complete a minimum of thirty hours of learning activities which contribute to continuing competence, as specified in subdivision four of this section, provided further that at least twenty hours shall be in recognized areas of study pertinent to the licensee's professional scope of practice of speech language pathology and/or audiology. Any speech-language pathologist or audiologist whose first registration date following the effective date of this section occurs less than three years from such effective date, but on or after January first, two thousand one, shall complete continuing competency hours on a prorated basis at the rate of one-half hour per month for the period beginning January first, two thousand one up to the first registration date. Thereafter, a licensee who has not satisfied the mandatory continuing competency requirements shall not be issued a triennial registration certificate by the department and shall not practice unless and until a conditional registration certificate is issued as provided for in subdivision three of this section. Continuing competency hours taken during one triennium may not be transferred to a subsequent triennium.
  2. The department, in its discretion, may issue a conditional registration to a licensee who fails to meet the continuing competency requirements established in subdivision two of this section, but who agrees to make up any deficiencies and complete any additional learning activities which the department may require. The fee for such a conditional registration shall be the same as, and in addition to, the fee for the triennial registration. The duration of such conditional registration shall be determined by the department but shall not exceed one year. Any licensee who is notified of the denial of registration for failure to submit evidence, satisfactory to the department, of required continuing competency learning activities and who practices without such registration, may be subject to disciplinary proceedings pursuant to section sixty-five hundred ten of this title.
  3. As used in subdivision two of this section, "acceptable learning activities" shall mean activities which contribute to professional practice in speech-language pathology and/or audiology, and which meet the standards prescribed in the regulations of the commissioner. Such learning activities shall include, but not be limited to, collegiate level credit and non-credit courses, self-study activities, independent study, formal mentoring activities, publications in professional journals, professional development programs and technical sessions; such learning activities may be offered and sponsored by national, state and local professional associations and other organizations or parties acceptable to the department, and any other organized educational and technical learning activities acceptable to the department. The department may, in its discretion and as needed to contribute to the health and welfare of the public, require the completion of continuing competency learning activities in specific subjects to fulfill this mandatory continuing competency requirement. For speech-language pathologists who are employed in school settings as teachers of the speech and hearing handicapped or as teachers of students with speech and language disabilities, acceptable learning activities shall also include professional development programs and technical sessions specific to teaching students with speech and language disabilities including those designed to improve methods for teaching such students, aligned with professional development plans in accordance with regulations of the commissioner and promoting the attainment of standards for such students. Learning activities must be taken from a sponsor approved by the department, pursuant to the regulations of the commissioner.
  4. Speech-language pathologists and audiologists shall maintain adequate documentation of completion of acceptable continuing competency learning activities and shall provide such documentation at the request of the department. Failure to provide such documentation upon the request of the department shall be an act of misconduct subject to disciplinary proceedings pursuant to section sixty-five hundred ten of this title.
  5. The mandatory continuing competency fee shall be fifty dollars, shall be payable on or before the first day of each triennial registration period, and shall be paid in addition to the triennial registration fee required by section eighty-two hundred six of this article.
Last Updated: August 19, 2009