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Speech Implementer

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WEBINAR:  Speech Implementer Model:  Past, Present, and Future (Friday, May 16, 2014) 

Requirements for Implementation

The following are requirements for use of the Speech Implementer Model as one of the allowable service delivery options for speech/language services in a Missouri public agency. Monitoring standards for this model are found in the Special Education Program Review Standards and Indicators Manual. Compliance to these standards will be monitored during the special education cyclical monitoring.

Prior to requesting approval for the use of the Speech Implementer Model during any given school year, the agency must advertise/recruit and attempt to hire a certificated speech language pathologist (SLP) and a licensed speech language pathology assistant (SLP-A) to fill the position. This recruitment must be conducted annually and documentation of recruiting efforts must be maintained on file in the agency and submitted along with the speech implementer application to DESE.

The Speech Implementer Model requires a supervising SLP. This individual must hold either a valid Missouri certificate issued by DESE as a Speech Language Pathologist and/or a valid license from the Missouri Board of Healing Arts. The supervising SLP is ethically responsible for practices and activities provided under this model and must be prepared to attest to the appropriateness of each student’s individual therapy program. The agency remains legally responsible for compliance with state and federal regulations implementing the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA.)

The individual hired as the implementer must have a Bachelor's Degree in Elementary

or Secondary Education and a current Missouri teaching certificate OR a Bachelor's Degree in Communication Disorders and a current Missouri teaching certificate. No exceptions to these requirements will be granted.

Written request to use the model is made to the Compliance Section in the Office of Special Education. The request must be made using the Speech Implementer Model Application for Approval at:

http://dese.mo.gov/forms/MO5002087.pdf (rev 10/18/2016)

The application must be signed by the public agency's superintendent. This application contains the names and social security numbers of the supervising SLP and the speech implementer. Permission to use the model is granted by DESE based on the qualifications of the individuals designated to serve as the supervising SLP and the speech implementer and on the agency’s assurance of its inability to hire a qualified SLP or SLP-A after significant effort to do so as demonstrated by the documentation submitted with the application.

Requirements specific to the supervising speech language pathologist (SLP):

  1. A written description outlining how the model will be implemented in the agency is developed and maintained by the SLP. In addition to the requirements specified here and in the Standards and Indicators Manual, there may be additional activities that the SLP determines critical to the implementation of the program in the agency. Those activities must be included in the agency outline describing the model. It is important that the description include the procedures the agency has chosen to use to document the interaction between the SLP and the students seen by the implementer. The specific activities assigned to the implementer are determined by the SLP and are defined in this written outline. The implementer can only perform those activities for which he/she has been trained and receives appropriate supervision from the SLP.
  1. Program supervision and training by the SLP requires diagnostic assessment, report writing, IEP development, training and supervising the implementer in all activities performed by the implementer and periodic therapy sessions with the students served by the implementer.
  1. Evaluation activities are the responsibility of the supervising SLP or other qualified agency diagnosticians. A SLP is a required member of the eligibility determination team when speech and/or language disabilities are considered the primary disability category. The implementer may, at the discretion of the supervising SLP, be trained to administer certain screening instruments. However, the SLP must administer any procedure involving judgment decisions based upon student response.
  1. IEP development is the responsibility of the SLP and includes writing, developing, and modifying the IEPs of all supervised students. The SLP is a required participant for all initial IEP meetings when speech and/or language services are considered.  At subsequent IEP meetings, the speech implementer may represent the SLP for assigned students per the written description of the speech implementer model and at the discretion of the supervising SLP.  Note that the SLP remains responsible for the appropriateness of the student’s therapy services and the information shared by the implementer during subsequent  IEP meetings.
  1. Direct contact by the SLP with each student on the implementer’s caseload is required. This interaction between the SLP and the students must be documented per the written description of the speech implementer model. Through these periodic sessions, the SLP will monitor progress, assess current needs and evaluate the effectiveness of the program.

If the supervising SLP is employed by the agency to provide direct services to a specific caseload of students, that caseload must be reduced to allow for the additional assessment, IEP responsibilities and training/supervision for the implementer. If the supervising SLP is serving the agency in some capacity other than as an SLP (e.g., administrator, process coordinator, teacher), those duties must be adjusted to allow for the additional responsibilities associated with the Speech Implementer Model. Finally, if the supervising SLP is contracted as a consultant to the agency, that individual’s other responsibilities must be considered when determining the number of students she/he will be available to supervise. For example, a pathologist employed in agency A and serving a full caseload in that agency would not be available to agency B to serve as the supervising SLP. With a full caseload in agency A, the SLP would not have sufficient time to perform the duties required with this model during the regular school day.

Each situation will be evaluated individually; however, approval will be withdrawn in any case where it is determined that the supervising SLP cannot adequately carry out the duties outlined in this document and Section 400 of the Standards and Indicators Manual.

For additional information regarding the approval process contact: 

Special Education Compliance Section
Department of Elementary and Secondary Education
P.O. Box 480
Jefferson City, MO 65102
Phone:  573-751-0699