2019 TSHA Legislative Agenda

 

The Texas Speech-Language-Hearing Association (TSHA) has a robust membership of more than 5000 speech-language pathologists and audiologists, and it is the recognized authority on the delivery of life-changing therapies to consumers with communication disorders throughout the state of Texas. TSHA is committed to shaping governmental policies and practices in order to promote the highest quality of life-changing care for individuals with communication and related disorders. TSHA supports:

Regulatory:

  • Legislation that ensures that the Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation (TDLR) Advisory Committee for Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology is empowered to protect the public by the efficient and effective regulation of the profession.
  • Legislation that protects consumers who have communication disorders.
  • Legislation that ensures speech-language pathologists and audiologists provide the highest quality evaluation, habilitation, and rehabilitation services.
  • Legislation and regulation that addresses encroachment on the scope of practice of speech-language pathologists and audiologists.

Education:

  • Legislation that should, or does, include speech-language pathologists and audiologists in any public school funding bill that will increase salaries for teachers and other professional staff.
  • Legislation that promotes funding for public education as necessary to provide students with an adequate and equitable education; TSHA also supports increased funding for higher education.
  • Legislation ensuring existing state public education dollars are not reduced and/or redirected (e.g., to private and/or charter schools).
  • Legislation that addresses efforts to streamline and reduce duplication of paperwork requirements, thereby increasing the availability of time for delivery of direct services to students.
  • Legislation that addresses the efforts of the Texas Retirement System (TRS) to define benefit retirement plans for active and retired educators.

Healthcare:

  • Legislation that enhances state funding for the Texas Medicaid program to stabilize provider reimbursement rates across all provider work settings.
  • Legislation that mandates improved coverage for speech, language, hearing and balance disorders through public and private insurers for habilitative and rehabilitative services.

TSHA continually strives to increase collaboration within networks and coalitions that enhance the visibility of communication and related disorders and encourages its membership to also strive toward increased participation.