When students struggle academically or socially because they have difficulty hearing, speaking or communicating, professionals certified by the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association, or ASHA, are the best choice for empowering them to achieve success.

Nearly 8 percent of children in the U.S. have had a communication disorder in the last year, but only half of them received help. Three- to six-year-olds are most likely to have a communication disorder (11 percent), followed seven- to 10-year-olds (9.3 percent) and 11- to 17-year-olds (4.9 percent).

The greater prevalence of these disorders in younger children indicates a need for early diagnosis and intervention services in the early grades, to set them up for success from the very start. At the same time, many children benefit from support throughout their school years.

ASHA’s Certificate of Clinical Competence (CCC) is the highest mark of excellence for professionals who address such issues. When schools hire ASHA-certified audiologists and speech-language pathologists, they are hiring highly educated and trained individuals who have met ASHA’s rigorous requirements and committed to professional development for the entirety of their careers.

To become ASHA-certified, professionals must:

  • Pass a national exam.
  • Hold a graduate degree from an accredited program.
  • Amass 1,600+ hours of supervised clinical experience.
  • Continue their education with at least 30 hours every three years.

The CCCs certification is also the only program in audiology and speech-language pathology that is accredited by the National Commission for Credentialing Agencies, further emphasizing ASHA-certified professionals’ above-and-beyond commitment to excellence. These standards ensure they have the knowledge base, hands-on experience and up-to-date information about best practices that will enable them to provide the highest quality of care for students.

From pre-K through college and career preparation, day in and day out, ASHA-certified professionals empower students with the right tools and support to improve their communication. A big part of that involves working closely with teachers and administrators to ensure that no student is overlooked and that everyone receives the care they need and deserve.

For more information, visit ashacertified.org.

Around NSBA

A graphic displaying kids shouting into a megaphone, giving a thumbs up and shouting, with the text "It's Time for a Great Idea!" displayed

It's Time for a Great IDEA!

Originally signed into law in 1975, the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) is the main federal statute governing special education for children. Today, IDEA protects the rights of over six million students with disabilities (approximately 13.5 percent of students) to receive a Free Appropriate Public Education in the least restrictive environment. NSBA urges the federal government to modernize and fully fund the Individuals with Disabilities Act. We've recently launched a new initiative to highlight this critical need and help ensure our country’s students with disabilities receive the access and supports they need to succeed.

Portrait of Stuart Chip Slaven

NSBA Names Chip Slaven Chief Advocacy Officer

NSBA today announced that Stuart “Chip” Slaven has joined the association as Chief Advocacy Officer. Slaven will lead the Federal Advocacy & Public Policy group, which represents state school board associations and their members before the U.S. Congress and the Administration. Slaven is a government relations veteran who brings passion and extensive experience to drive our vision for public education forward.