House Bill 208
151st General Assembly (Present)
House Sunset Committee (Policy Analysis & Government Accountability) 6/3/21
Committee Hearing takes place within twelve legislative days.
AN ACT TO AMEND TITLE 24 OF THE DELAWARE CODE RELATING TO THE BOARD OF SPEECH/LANGUAGE PATHOLOGISTS, AUDIOLOGISTS AND HEARING AID DISPENSERS.
This Act establishes updated, detailed standards for the practice of hearing aid dispensing. A new scope of practice definition delineates permissible and prohibited activities and identifies when referral to a physician is required. The Board is given the authority to establish by rule and regulation standards for the sale of hearing aids. This Act will provide clarity and guidance for the public and for hearing aid dispensers. These changes track statutory language used in neighboring states, such as Maryland, Pennsylvania, and New Jersey. This Act clarifies that a speech/language pathologist applicant must present a certificate of clinical competence issued by the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA). Audiologist applicants are not subject to this requirement. The distinction is that ASHA evaluates the speech/language pathologist’s practicum and clinical fellowship, which are requirements for licensure. In contrast, an audiologist applicant is only required to establish receipt of a doctoral degree. This Act revises the reciprocity requirements in the interests of clarity. This Act sets forth requirements for licensure of applicants who were educated outside of the United States. This Act states that a hearing aid applicant may be supervised by either an audiologist or hearing aid dispenser during the training period. This Act amends provisions relating to examination to comport with current practice. This Act provides that audiologists licensed prior to July 10, 2009 do not need to meet the educational requirement of a doctoral degree as long as they have maintained Delaware licensure. This Act requires licensees to update their addresses with the Board. Finally, this Act removes the definitions of audiology aide and speech pathology aide on the basis that the Board does not license aides. This Act also makes technical corrections to conform existing law to the standards of the Delaware Legislative Drafting Manual.
Takes effect upon being signed into law