An International Perspective on Speech-Language Pathology Assistants In 2011, the World Health Organization (WHO)  and the World Bank highlighted several pressing concerns in the area of service provision to individuals with disabilities, including a global shortage of rehabilitation personnel. The use of mid-level workers was recommended as one strategy for improving human resource capacity in this area. ... Article
Article  |   October 2015
An International Perspective on Speech-Language Pathology Assistants
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Jennifer A. Ostergren
    Department of Speech-Language Pathology, California State University, Long Beach, CA
  • Sara M. Aguilar
    Lawndale School District, Lawndale, CA
  • Financial Disclosure: Jennifer A. Ostergren is Interim Associate Dean of Student Success, Personnel, and Undergraduate Studies at California State University. Sara M. Aguilar is a speech-language pathologist with the Lawndale School District.
    Financial Disclosure: Jennifer A. Ostergren is Interim Associate Dean of Student Success, Personnel, and Undergraduate Studies at California State University. Sara M. Aguilar is a speech-language pathologist with the Lawndale School District.×
  • Nonfinancial Disclosure: Jennifer A. Ostergren has previously published in the subject area. Sara M. Aguilar has previously published in the subject area.
    Nonfinancial Disclosure: Jennifer A. Ostergren has previously published in the subject area. Sara M. Aguilar has previously published in the subject area.×
  • Copyright © 2015 American Speech-Language-Hearing Association
Article Information
Speech, Voice & Prosodic Disorders / Professional Issues & Training / Articles
Article   |   October 2015
An International Perspective on Speech-Language Pathology Assistants
SIG 11 Perspectives on Administration and Supervision, October 2015, Vol. 25, 64-77. doi:10.1044/aas25.2.64
History: Received March 27, 2015 , Revised July 2, 2015 , Accepted July 14, 2015
SIG 11 Perspectives on Administration and Supervision, October 2015, Vol. 25, 64-77. doi:10.1044/aas25.2.64
History: Received March 27, 2015; Revised July 2, 2015; Accepted July 14, 2015

In 2011, the World Health Organization (WHO)  and the World Bank highlighted several pressing concerns in the area of service provision to individuals with disabilities, including a global shortage of rehabilitation personnel. The use of mid-level workers was recommended as one strategy for improving human resource capacity in this area. In the United States, speech-language pathology assistants (SLPAs) are one type of mid-level worker that has received recent attention. The American Speech-Language and Hearing Association (ASHA) updated its policy statement on SLPAs in 2013 and also implemented a voluntary affiliation for assistants in 2011. Unfortunately, a paucity of research exists in the United States on this topic. Internationally, however, researchers have reported on the topic of assistants in the field of speech-language pathology. This manuscript serves as an integrative review of the research literature on the topic of assistants in the field of speech-language pathology from an international perspective, including information on the effectiveness of assistants in service provision, important elements related to their training and supervision, opinions from supervisors on this topic, and novel extensions of assistant services to areas such as cross-disciplinary tasks and telerehabilitation.

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