Getting Off to a Good Start ASHA Meets with ED on IDEA, Other Issues ASHA News
ASHA News  |   November 01, 2001
Getting Off to a Good Start
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School-Based Settings / Regulatory, Legislative & Advocacy / ASHA News & Member Stories / ASHA News
ASHA News   |   November 01, 2001
Getting Off to a Good Start
The ASHA Leader, November 2001, Vol. 6, 1-18. doi:10.1044/leader.AN.06212001.1
The ASHA Leader, November 2001, Vol. 6, 1-18. doi:10.1044/leader.AN.06212001.1
On Oct. 29, 2001, ASHA’s top elected leaders met with Robert Pasternack, the new Assistant Secretary of Education in the Office of Special Education Rehabilitative Services (OSERS), to discuss ASHA’s educational priorities. Beth Ann Bryan, senior advisor to the Secretary of Education, joined Pasternack at the meeting. President John Bernthal, President-Elect Nancy Creaghead, and Larry Higdon, vice president for governmental and social policies, represented the Association, along with Executive Director Fred Spahr and other staff members.
With the new leadership in the U.S. Department of Education (ED), ASHA discussed its priorities and identified areas of collaboration, an important topic since the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) will be reauthorized next year. Other topics of discussion included:
  • The need for speech-language pathologists to get involved in prevention, early identification, and intervention for all children—those with and without disabilities.

  • The establishment of the Office of Reading in the Office of Elementary and Secondary Education. Members need to be involved at the state level to work with state organizations to apply for the Reading First/Early Reading grants (President Bush’s reading programs) that will benefit all children.

  • The paperwork burden being experienced by ASHA members because of state and local IDEA requirements, and how it affects the delivery of services to children in need. Pasternack and Bryan acknowledged that a strategy is needed to reduce paperwork, as no data support that more paperwork results in improved outcomes. The ED is changing its emphasis from compliance to performance of schools.

  • The need to stress the power of early intervention and personnel preparation by increasing funding for IDEA Parts C and D. The ED officials stated that excellence in special education cannot be achieved by only focussing on Part B of IDEA, and added that concurrent increases are needed in Parts C and D.

The ED officials were clearly supportive of the role of SLPs in working with all children in the educational system. Pasternack and Bryan requested a follow-up meeting to focus on ASHA’s involvement/position with the discrepancy formula used in defining learning disability and about whether dyslexia is a speech-language problem.
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November 2001
Volume 6, Issue 21