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Speech-Language Pathologists | Audiologists

What You Should Know About Speech-Language Pathologists and Their Services

What is a speech-language pathologist?

A speech-language pathologist is a licensed health care professional who diagnoses, evaluates, and treats disorders of speech, voice, swallowing, and/or language.

When would I use the services of a New York speech-language pathologist?

Speech-language pathologists treat communication problems in infants, children, adolescents and adults. You might consult a speech-language pathologist to help....

  • someone with a speech impairment, such as stuttering, slurred speech, or voice problems;
  • someone whose speech or language has been affected by a stroke or head injury;
  • someone whose speech has been affected by surgery;
  • someone with a swallowing disorder.

You might use the services of a speech-language pathologist for a child if. . . .

  • you have difficulty understanding what the child is trying to say;
  • you think the child is speaking differently from children of the same age;
  • the child has difficulty telling you what he or she wants; or
  • the child has difficulty understanding what people are saying.

What can I expect to happen during a session with a speech-language pathologist?

If a speech-language evaluation indicates that speech or language therapy is needed, the speech-language pathologist will design a program of activities to improve the targeted areas of speech, language, or voice disability or delay. The therapy may focus on the ability to better comprehend language and to use language in a way others can understand.

What credentials does a New York licensed speech-language pathologist have?

A New York speech-language pathologist has completed a minimum of a Master’s degree in speech-language pathology. This includes courses in basic communication processes, audiology, scientific areas of speech-language pathology and language, as well as a supervised practice of at least 300 hours. In addition, New York licensed speech-language pathologists have satisfactorily completed at least nine months of paid supervised experience and passed a written, State-approved licensing examination.

Licensed speech-language pathologists are also required by law to complete 30 hours of continuing competency learning activities every three years.

How do I locate a speech-language pathologist?

Speech-language pathologists work in a variety of settings, including private offices, clinics, schools, and hospitals. They may also provide therapy in your home.

Check with your doctor and people you know who have had a successful experience with a speech-language pathologist. You can also check under "Speech-language Pathologists" or "Speech Pathologist" in the yellow pages of your telephone book.

You may also call professional organizations for assistance in identifying member providers. The State Board for Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology cannot refer you to a practitioner.

Will my health insurance cover the services provided by my speech-language pathologist?

It may. Many speech-language pathologists participate in health care plans. Review and understand your insurance plan, and contact your insurance provider to understand your plan’s benefits.

What questions should individuals with disabilities ask about accessing services?

Ask such questions as whether the service location is physically accessible (curb cuts, ramps, restrooms, etc.) as well as whether there is a Telecommunication Device for the Deaf (TDD) and parking for people with disabilities.

What records does my speech-language pathologist retain? Can anyone else get them?

Your patient file contains a record of your evaluation and treatment. Speech-language pathologists must keep client records for six years or until the client turns 22, whichever is longer.

Generally, your records are confidential unless you approve their release. Ask your professional about exceptions to this. If you want a copy of your records, provide your speech-language pathologist with a written request. You may be charged a reasonable fee to offset the cost of providing copies.

To help your professional relationship with your speech-language pathologist you should:

  • Answer all health-related questions completely and accurately
  • Ask questions to help you understand your disorder and your treatment
  • Follow instructions that your speech-language pathologist may give you

Verifying a New York license:

New York speech-language pathologists must display a current New York registration certificate; this certificate lists the professional’s name, address, and dates of the registration period. Speech-language pathologists must reregister every three years to practice in New York. Some professionals also display their original New York license, diploma, licenses from other states, and membership certificates. You may verify an individual's license and registration on this site.


What You Should Know About Audiologists and Their Services

What is an audiologist?

An audiologist is a licensed health care professional who diagnoses, evaluates, and treats hearing disorders and communication problems.

What credentials does a New York licensed audiologist have?

A New York licensed audiologist has completed a minimum of a Master's degree in audiology. This includes studies in basic communication processes and professional and scientific areas of hearing and hearing loss, as well as a supervised practice of at least 300 hours. In addition, New York licensed audiologists have satisfactorily completed nine months of supervised experience and passed a written, State-approved licensing examination.

Licensed audiologists are required by law to complete 30 hours of continuing competency learning activities every three years.

When would I use the services of a New York audiologist?

You would seek the services of an audiologist if you or someone you know is having difficulty hearing.

It may be difficult for you to determine if a child is having trouble hearing. You might consult an audiologist for a child if:

  • the child has difficulty understanding what people are saying
  • you think the child is speaking differently from other children his or her age
  • as an infant, the child does not respond to sounds or people's voices

If I have a hearing problem, how can an audiologist help me?

An audiologist can evaluate your hearing, determine whether you have a hearing loss, and make recommendations for hearing health care. This may include a referral to a physician or recommendations for hearing aids or other amplifying devices or methods to modify the listening environment. [Please note: if a hearing impairment affects your speech, you may want to read the information above about speech-language pathology.]

What can I expect to happen during a hearing evaluation?

Audiologists use a variety of sounds and test equipment such as earphones and speakers to evaluate your hearing. An audiologist may remove ear wax if it interferes with the hearing tests.

I think I may need hearing aids. What should I do?

If you think that you might need hearing aids, you should have a hearing evaluation performed by a licensed audiologist before making any purchase. You can also contact the State Board office to request a copy of the brochure Buying Your Hearing Aid.

Many audiologists prescribe, fit and sell hearing aids. Audiologists who sell hearing aids must be registered with the Department of State External Link Icon as hearing aid dispensers, in addition to being licensed by the State Education Department as audiologists.

How do I locate an audiologist?

Audiologists work in a variety of settings including private offices, clinics, hospitals and schools. Check with your doctor and people you know who have been helped by an audiologist. You can also check under "Audiologists" in the yellow pages of your telephone book.

You may also call professional organizations for assistance in identifying member providers. The State Board for Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology cannot refer you to a practitioner.

What questions should individuals with disabilities ask about accessing services?

Ask such questions as whether the service location is physically accessible (curb cuts, ramps, restrooms, etc.) as well as whether there is a Telecommunication Device for the Deaf (TDD) and parking for people with disabilities.

Will my health insurance cover the services provided by my audiologist?

It may. Many audiologists participate in health care plans. Review and understand your insurance plan, and contact your insurance provider to understand your plan's benefits.

What records does my audiologist retain? Can anyone else get them?

Your patient file contains a record of your evaluation and treatment. Audiologists must keep client records for six years or until the client turns 22, whichever is longer.

Generally, your records are confidential unless you approve their release. Ask your professional about exceptions to this. If you want a copy of your records, provide your audiologist with a written request. You may be charged a reasonable fee to offset the cost of providing copies.

To help your professional relationship with your audiologist you should:

  • Answer all health-related questions completely and accurately
  • Ask questions to help you understand the results of your hearing tests and the recommendations of your audiologist

Verifying a New York license

New York audiologists must display a current New York registration certificate; this certificate lists the professional's name, address, and dates of the registration period. Audiologists must reregister every three years to practice in New York. Some professionals also display their original New York license, diploma, licenses from other states, and membership certificates. You may verify an individual's license and registration on this site.

Last Updated: April 9, 2014