ASHA’s Policy on Telepractice

With so much buzz on TeleSLP, it is only logical to ask about ASHA’s current policy on the subject. Many speech therapists think that ASHA is opposed to telepractice or that ASHA is taking a wait-and-see approach. But, this is not the case. Our field’s leading organization has studied the issue in great detail and officially approved the practice.

This position statement is an official policy of the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association.

Telepractice is the application of telecommunications technology to deliver professional services at a distance by linking clinician to client, or clinician to clinician for assessment, intervention, and/or consultation. It is the position of the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA) that telepractice (telehealth) is an appropriate model of service delivery for the profession of speech-language pathology. Telepractice may be used to overcome barriers of access to services caused by distance, unavailability of specialists and/or subspecialists, and impaired mobility. Telepractice offers the potential to extend clinical services to remote, rural, and underserved populations, and to culturally and linguistically diverse populations.

The use of telepractice does not remove any existing responsibilities in delivering services, including adherence to the Code of Ethics, Scope of Practice, state and federal laws (e.g., licensure, HIPAA, etc.), and ASHA policy documents on professional practices. Therefore, the quality of services delivered via telepractice must be consistent with the quality of services delivered face-to-face.