top of page


Posted June 3, 2020 (Also posted on COVID-19 page)

Guidelines for Speech-Language Pathology & Audiology Routine Care Reopening | READ MORE


Are you completing the Clinical Fellowship or a recent graduate?  READ THIS for important licensure information.


FYI, the public comment period for ABESPA Proposed Rules was closed as of May 14.  By law, the Board can not accept any more public comments.


Requests for licensure verification must be made in writing.  Either submit (mail, email or fax) the appropriate state form or include complete licensee and remittance information.


Updated Renewal Letter added to the site | READ NOW


RENEWAL AND CPE DEADLINE extended to September 30, 2020 due to COVID-19

RENEWAL AND CPE DEADLINE still available June 30, 2020 as an option if required by your employment


If you have questions regarding teletherapy, please refer to ABESPA Rules.  Please know that ABESPA has no authority over billing issues, which are strictly between Provider and Payer.


Direct supervision of SLPAs may be accomplished via telepractice in accordance with ABESPA Rules.

COM-20-122 Arkansas Ready for Learning Webinar: Planning for the 2020-21 School Year

Posted June 2, 2020

School Year 2019-2020 is coming to a close.  Now is the time to begin planning for School Year 2020-2021.


Arkansas believes learning can happen anytime, anywhere. The COVID-19 pandemic put this belief to the test, and we are resolute in our commitment to the continuity of learning. Our vision to transform Arkansas to lead the nation in student-focused education is unwavering. In fact, it is more important now than ever before. As described in the Arkansas ESSA Plan, the Division of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) remains committed to the established process of continuous improvement through the six systems of public education. In the wake of COVID-19, Arkansas schools are now challenged to reassess their school and district plans. Arkansas has a strong foundation, and we have identified three key factors necessary for Arkansas to be Ready for Learning: blended learning, guaranteed and viable curriculum, and a student-focused approach.


The Arkansas Ready for Learning Model provides the LEA the opportunity to opt into a student-focused statewide model of blended learning to ensure the health and academic progress of each student.


The Arkansas Ready for Learning Model provides the LEA the flexibility to request waivers for remote learning with the assurance that learning continues and the LEA has the ability to move to face-to-face, blended, or remote learning as needed without AMI approval or make-up days.


DESE will provide a webinar on Thursday, June 4, 2020 at 10:00 a.m. to overview plans and resources for Reentry and Reengagement to onsite learning.  Arkansas’s plan will be outlined as a Ready for Learning Model.  The webinar will present the components of Ready for Learning, the planning and guidance resources, and proposed waiver process to help districts prepare.  

District and school leadership teams should plan to participate in the webinar by using this link

Exciting News from UA Communication Sciences and Disorders Program

Posted June 2, 2020

The Communication Sciences and Disorders Program wants to touch base with Arkansas SLPs and beyond to let you know about some exciting news.


Advanced School-Based SLP Certificate:  Have you ever been interested in advanced-level training for working with school-age children?  If so, we may have just what you need.  The post-master’s degree “Advanced School-Based Speech-Language Pathology Certificate” will be offered this fall by our program.  This certificate is 15 hours and is completely online.  For many school districts, speech-language pathologists are on the same salary schedule as teachers.  In many cases, 12-15 hours of graduate level coursework can assist SLPs to level up on the salary scale.  This varies by state and district, so be sure to check with your district.  The certificate will take 1.5 years to complete.  Prospective participants can also take individual courses if desired and portions of the course will count for professional development credit. For additional information about the courses or the certificate, check out this WEBSITE.


Survey:  We need your help!  We are completing a self-study and would love for alumni (with at least 3 years of experience) and employers of graduates of the UA master’s degree program in speech-language pathology to complete this brief survey (should take less than 10 minutes).  Let us know what we are doing well and how we can improve.  SURVEY LINK


Professional Development:  Our program started offering online webinars for professional development credit in the spring of 2020.  We currently have 2 courses on the topic of dyslexia intervention available and will be soon be offering 2 additional recorded webinars on trauma-informed care.  For additional information, check out this WEBSITE.  These courses are approved for ASHA CEUs as well as for professional development credit by the Arkansas Department of Education.


Fall Conference:  We are still finalizing plans for our fall conference, however, we wanted to make sure you were aware of the topic and date.  Our speaker is Vanessa Boomer, M.S., CCC-SLP of Bentonville Public Schools and she will be providing 3 hours-worth of advanced content on the topic of feeding and swallowing intervention in school settings.  For additional information, check out this WEBSITE.  At this point, we know the presentation will be provided via a live webinar and will be recorded and archived.  We are still examining whether or not it will be safe to have a face-to-face option and will send another update later this summer.  The date for the fall conference is September 12, 2020.


RazorReaders:  Also, as part of the #Determinedtohelp movement on the University of Arkansas Campus, the UA Speech and Hearing Clinic partnered with students and faculty across campus to create the RazorReaders Read-Along YouTube Channel.  This channel provides recordings of children’s books being read by students and faculty.  The channel is available anytime and captioning is available.  To learn more about the channel and to request a link, see this recent STORY published about this project. We are inviting additional submissions as well.  All videos submissions are screened for content prior to being posted on the site.


Social Media Links:  Lastly, in 2019 we started social media platforms for our program and we would love for you to like and follow our pages.  Tag us if you are on campus or in posts related to communication disorders.  We will continue to post resources, professional development opportunities, and employment opportunities for our program on these platforms.  Here are the links:

Facebook – Search: University of Arkansas Communication Disorders Program

Instagram and Twitter - Search/tag: @uark_cdis, #uark_cdis

Harding University Adds B.A. in SLPA, Fall 2020

Posted April 21, 2020

Harding University announces a historic expansion in its undergraduate and graduate school offerings beginning Fall 2020 to include a B.A. in Speech-Language Pathology Assistant, a first in the state of Arkansas and one of a few in the region.  CLICK HERE to read the entire announcement.

The ASHA Practice Portal Just Keeps Getting Better!

Updated May 21, 2020



ASHA's Practice Portal offers clinicians access to resources, information, and tools to guide evidence-based clinical decision making, in an easy to use online format.


The Practice Portal helps users

  • find the best available evidence and expertise on client and patient care;

  • identify resources that have been vetted for relevance and credibility;

  • access links to community forums, technical assistance, and educational opportunities.

  • In addition, the Portal offers one-stop access to client and patient handoutsevidence maps, and templates & tools.


    The site features content on clinical and professional issues for audiologists and speech language pathologists!

    Updated April 2020

    Get the information you need, and earn ASHA CEUs, with our extensive catalog of credible, curated online content. With the ASHA Learning Pass, you'll have unlimited access to the practical, evidence-based courses you've always trusted - all for one convenient annual fee.

    Click here for more information!


    Additional Guidelines for SLI Dismissal

    Updated November 14, 2017

    These documents provide additional guidance on dismissing students from speech-language therapy (especially for articulation/intelligibility) when no testing or additional data is needed, and the student has achieved his/her terminal* goals.  (*terminal... meaning that all targeted deficits have been remediated such that skills have generalized to appropriate settings & activities, and there is no longer an adverse affect on educational performance.)


    Speech-Language Impairment can be the primary handicapping condition or it can be secondary to another disability.  Procedures are slightly different as a result and example documentation for both situations has been included.  This process can be completed in one meeting.  


    Dismissal/EDR summary templates for each situation are available on the  Forms/Materials  page of this website.  Please contact Shelly with any questions or comments.

    Coming Soon... ASHA Leader Live Website

    Posted April 14, 2020

    For the past year, ASHA has been building a single-source website for all Leader content.  Now prepare for the unveiling:  This new, dynamic, frequently updated site launches Wednesday (April 16).  You can find everything Leader contributors and staff produce—magazine articles, online-only columns, podcasts, blog posts, news—in one place.  The site will display the “Leader Live” name and tagline—"happening now in the world of CSD”—to highlight our ability to publish quickly and responsively.  Discover the many changes in design and functionality you’ll enjoy.

    Update Your Bookmark

    Posted April 14, 2020

    Anyone who wishes to access the Division of Elementary and Secondary Education website should use this address:  The Arkansas Department of Education will be ending the use of during the next year.

    Posted February 20, 2020

    Check out the updated BSS Website:
    The old domain name of routes to the updated site.

    Throat Scope

    Posted February 10, 2020

    Greetings SLPs,

    I attended a professional development workshop last week where the speaker passed around a “Throat Scope” for us to examine.  It is a lighted tongue depressor, basically, that would work wonderfully during oral peripheral examinations.  It has a base that is a flashlight with a clear, disposable tongue depressor.  I’m surprised someone hasn’t thought of this sooner (maybe they did and I just missed it).  Not very expensive; looks like a good investment to me. OralLite also sells one that is a little cheaper.

    -Shelly Wier

    Latest Issue of EARS HEARSAY

    Posted February 5, 2020

    Head over to "Relevant Reading" to check it out!

    ASHA Professional Development Requirements for the 2020 Audiology and Speech-Language Pathology Certification Standards

    Posted December 6, 2019

    Beginning with certificate holders in the January 1, 2020 - December 31, 2022 certification maintenance interval, all individuals who hold the CCC-A and/or CCC-SLP will be required to complete at least one (1) hour of continuing professional education (CPE) in the area of Ethics during each 3-year maintenance interval.  

    The following On-Demand Webinar courses are currently available from ASHA:

    Effective Solutions to Ethical Dilemmas in AAC  (Expires September 21, 2022)

    Ethically and Legally Defensible Speech-Language Services in Public Schools  (Expires April 11, 2020)

    Ethical Issues and End-of-Life Considerations in Dementia Management  (Expires April 24, 2020)

    Also beginning in 2020, all clinical supervisors and clinical fellowship (CF) mentors providing supervision/clinical instruction for students and/or Clinical Fellows for purposes of ASHA certification must complete a minimum of two (2) hours of professional development in the area of Supervision.  These hours are only required once.

    The Council for Clinical Certification in Audiology and Speech-Language Pathology (CFCC) has created a list of approved professional development course topics/content that meets these new professional development requirements.  The list of Approved Ethics and Supervision/Clinical Education course content can be viewed here:


    These lists of Approved Ethics and Supervision/Clinical Education course content will be reviewed regularly by the CFCC to ensure that all eligible courses/course content meeting the standard are included.

    ASHA Professional Development Supervision Course

    Posted December 3, 2019

    Both sessions come with comprehensive workbooks for note-taking and application of content. These two courses are offered to ASHA members at no charge as a member benefit. They are available until July 26, 2021.

    Click here for access!

    6 Presentations for School-Based SLPs

    Posted December 3, 2019

    From ASHA: "These presentations were prepared for SLPs to use anytime you need to spread the word and educate others about the profession."

    Click here to check them out!

    New Rules for Student Loan Forgiveness Program

    Posted November 19, 2019

    Arkansas Receives $38 Million Grant to Improve Literacy

    Posted November 13, 2019

    LITTLE ROCK — Gov. Asa Hutchinson and the Arkansas Department of Education are excited to announce that the U.S. Department of Education has awarded Arkansas a five-year grant totaling $38 million to improve literacy in the state. The state received the maximum amount allowed under the grant. ADE has received an initial $1.1 million to begin implementing the grant this year. Ninety-five percent of the funds will be subgranted to districts and communities to improve literacy outcomes for students in preschool through twelfth grade.

    “It is rewarding to know that the U.S. Department of Education sees the hard work and efforts currently underway here in Arkansas to improve reading instruction,” Hutchinson said. “Since launching the statewide reading initiative in 2017, reading instruction has improved, K-12 and higher education partnerships have strengthened, and a culture of reading continues to expand across the state. This literacy grant will expand the successes of our current programs and provide new resources to help ensure all of our students are prepared for the future.”

    With the grant, ADE will implement the Arkansas Comprehensive Literacy State Development Program. The program has four main objectives (listed below), with an emphasis on assisting disadvantaged children (which includes children living in poverty, English learners, and children with disabilities).

    -Strengthen Arkansas literacy instruction.

    -Provide Arkansas children access to educational excellence.

    -Foster collaboration among various stakeholders.

    -Build a culture of reading.

    “We are excited about the numerous opportunities this very large grant will bring to Arkansas,” ADE Secretary Johnny Key said. “It will allow us to capitalize and build upon the success of our reading initiative and better serve our students. In order for us to lead the nation in student-focused education, we must continue our efforts of collaboration with stakeholder partners, increase access to books in homes, and provide excellent reading instruction. This grant will help not only ADE continue these efforts, it will give schools the opportunity to utilize funds to strengthen their programs as well."

    ADE and Hutchinson launched the Reading Initiative for Student Excellence, or R.I.S.E. Arkansas, in January 2017. The program’s main objectives are to strengthen reading instruction, create community collaboration, and build a culture of reading. Since the campaign’s launch, more than 6,000 teachers (kindergarten through sixth grade) have been trained through R.I.S.E. Academies, and more than 3,000 K-12 teachers have received intensive training about the Science of Reading.

    To meet the grant’s objectives, ADE will engage families in reading by providing access to books through a partnership with Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library, as well as promote reading activities statewide. ADE will expand the development of R.I.S.E. Arkansas activities on the pre-K level and will continue to offer high-quality professional development to support reading instruction throughout all grade levels. A critical component of the grant is creating a network of support for districts by leveraging the roles of higher education institutions to support the Science of Reading implementation at the school level.

    In addition, competitive grants will be offered to schools and districts to assist with evidence-based literacy instruction, expand collaborative partnerships, and remove barriers to allow students to access reading intervention during the school day. National experts also will be utilized to provide feedback and professional development opportunities for literacy specialists.


    To learn more about R.I.S.E. Arkansas, visit

    Latest Issue of EARS HEARSAY

    Posted August 22, 2019

    Issue #5.1 is here! Head to the "Relevant Reading" page to check it out!

    New ADE Medicaid in the Schools (MITS) website is live!

    Posted August 14, 2019

    Over the next several weeks the ADE MITS Team will work to develop additional resources for each LEA Billable Service area. You are encouraged to save this link to your favorite browser and check back frequently for additional information and resources.


    ADE Medicaid in the Schools web link:

    Posted July 2, 2019

    Like the new ArkSHA organizational Facebook page to stay up-to-date on all things happening in the industry! 

    ASHA Assistant Certification Is Coming! 

    Posted June 24, 2019

    ASHA is introducing a national credential program for speech-language pathology assistants (SLPAs) to create a pipeline of trained and qualified professionals who meet a uniform standard of competency and can support you across their full scope of practice.  SLPAs can increase the availability, frequency, and efficiency of services, providing you with more time to focus on high-level services.  


    How can you prepare for the program's launch in Fall 2020?  Inform your current assistants about this opportunity, and direct them to ASHA's website,, where they can find information about eligibility requirements and stay up to date with the latest program developments.

    Posted April 12, 2019

    Increasing Capabilities Access Network (ICAN) is the state Assistive Technology (AT) program for Arkansas. We are able to loan out assistive/adaptive equipment for all areas of support; vision loss, hearing loss, activities of daily life, communication, pediatric, and within the workplace for up to six weeks to any Arkansan!

    One issue that has been increasingly apparent is that ICAN location is in Little Rock has limited reach outside of that area, which isolates those who simply aren’t able to make the commute. We’re recognized that need and have now implemented the Assistive Technology Mobile Unit (ATMU) initiative!

    ICAN is now able to set up a short-term location in the four corners of the state to provide services to people with disabilities. We welcome you to look at the ICAN site for more information on all of the services that ICAN provides - and have attached a flyer showing the new ATMU. You can simply email or call at 501.666.8868 to schedule a time for the ATMU to come your way.

    Posted March 7, 2019

    You’ll need to fill out this application and then either mail it in with a $10 processing fee or go to a federal recreation site in person with proof of disability and residency, in which case you can skip paying the fee and filling out the form. When you do, you’ll receive a physical card that can be used for park admission. The pass can be used at over 2,000 Federal recreation sites across the nation. Those include National Parks, National Wildlife Refuges, National Forests, and other federal recreation lands. It also extends that same privilege to everyone in the vehicle with the pass holder.

    Features of Explicit Instruction

    Posted February 26, 2019

    This FREE course can be used for professional development on explicit instruction practices. As you apply the lessons, we encourage you to think about how these practices contribute to our State Systemic Improvement Plan work and local efforts to improve outcomes for students with disabilities as part of the Every Student Succeeds Act. 

    The course content on explicit instruction includes video lectures, instructional examples and non-examples, practice-based opportunities, checks for understanding, companion coaching resources, and more. View the course and explore the available content. 

    Explicit instruction, identified as a HLP in special education by the CEEDAR Center and CEC, is an evidence-based instructional practice shown to improve outcomes for these students. NCII in partnership with the University of Connecticut, National Center for Leadership in Intensive Intervention, and CEEDAR Center developed professional development course content for in-service and pre-service teachers to ensure that educators are equipped to implement effective explicit instruction.

    This course, along with three other courses in the series, were piloted with special educators in Bristol Warren Regional School District in Rhode Island. In this recent voices from the field video, Amy McKenna, one of the special educators who participated in the professional learning, shared the impact that these courses and implementing data-based individualization (including making her instruction more explicit) had on her and her students. 

    ADE Launches RISE Spotlight Campaign

    Posted February 5, 2019

    LITTLE ROCK — Learning to read is a rewarding experience, but when community partners provide additional support, everyone benefits. To aid in the sharing of best practices and promote community collaboration, the Arkansas Department of Education today launched the R.I.S.E. Spotlight campaign. Through this social media campaign, ADE will shine the R.I.S.E. Spotlight each month on a partner that is actively engaging the community in reading. Gov. Asa Hutchinson and the Arkansas Department of Education launched R.I.S.E. (Reading Initiative for Student Excellence) Arkansas in January 2017. The initiative focuses on three main goals: strengthen reading instruction, create community collaboration, and build a culture of reading. The R.I.S.E. Spotlight campaign focuses on the second goal. “Community support and collaboration is essential to the success of any initiative, and never is that more important than when promoting the importance of reading” Hutchinson said. “Through the R.I.S.E. Spotlight campaign, ADE is highlighting partners who are doing exceptional things to encourage reading in the community. I commend both the department and these partners for sharing best practices, and I encourage others to do the same." AR Kids Read, a nonprofit that connects struggling readers with volunteer tutors, is the first partner organization that will be featured through the R.I.S.E. Spotlight campaign. Information about the organization is available on the ADE website at ADE also will post and share information each Tuesday on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram using #RISEArkansas. Since the launch of R.I.S.E. Arkansas more than 10,000 kindergarten through twelfth-grade teachers around the state have received intensive training in the science of reading instructional practices, and more than 350 schools were named R.I.S.E. Schools for their commitment to promoting a culture of reading.


    To learn more about R.I.S.E. Arkansas, visit

    Follow us on Twitter @ArkansasEd.
    Like us on Facebook at Arkansas Department of Education.
    Follow us on Instagram at arkansas_ed.

    Science of Reading: Prescribed Pathways for Proficiency or Awareness

    Updated January 11, 2019

    Prescribed Pathway Credentials


    "Individuals with CALP or CALT have met Pathway F if they have current IMSLEC certification. It is my understanding that, by law, SLPs must complete the Awareness Pathway only if they are also licensed teachers; however, some districts are requiring all SLPs to complete either the awareness or the proficiency pathway."

    Robin Stripling
    Curriculum and Assessment Coordinator
    Special Education Unit
    Arkansas Department of Education


    * * *


    Commissioner's Memo #LS-18-090

    Act 1063 of 2017, the Right to Read Act, states: “By the beginning of the 2021-2022 school year: A) All teachers employed in a teaching position that requires an elementary education (K-6) license or special education (K-12) license shall demonstrate proficiency in knowledge and practices of scientific reading instruction; and B) All other teachers shall demonstrate awareness in knowledge and practices of scientific reading instruction."

    The Arkansas Department of Education has established the following pathways for teachers who must demonstrate Proficiency or Awareness in scientific reading instruction. The most up to date information related to Arkansas’ implementation of the Prescribed Pathways Credentials, including the attached documents, can be found at

    Prescribed Pathways for Proficiency Credential:

    All teachers employed in a teaching position that requires an elementary education (K-6) license or special education (K-12) license shall demonstrate proficiency in knowledge and practices of scientific reading instruction by completing both phases of one of the Prescribed Pathways for Proficiency (attached).  This includes any teacher employed in grades K-6 teaching English Language Arts, Math, Science or Social Studies. Other non-core academic areas in K-6 must show awareness in the Science of Reading (e.g., Art, Music, PE, Library Media, Counselor, Administrators).

    Phase I outlines professional learning that meets the knowledge and practices in scientific reading instruction approved by the ADE. Phase II provides for demonstration of knowledge and practices in scientific reading instruction.  


    Districts may submit a request for specific training from an Independent Professional Development (IPD) provider be reviewed by ADE for approval. The district is responsible for submitting all requested information and materials using the IPD Review Form (attached). This is NOT a review of the curriculum program but rather the training program provided for teachers.  If an IPD training program is approved, it will be added to the Prescribed Pathways for Proficiency list for the state. Requests will not be accepted directly from a vendor.  Detailed instructions can be found on the IPD Review Form.  Questions regarding the content components of the review process should be directed to Sandy Shepard, Lead Regional R.I.S.E. Specialist at 501-682-9961 or

    Prescribed Pathways for Awareness Credential:

    All other teachers (e.g., 7-12 Content Specific, Coaches, Library Media Specialists, Career and Technical Education, Counselors, Administrators) shall demonstrate an awareness in knowledge and practices in scientific reading instruction by completing one of the Prescribed Pathways for Awareness (attached). 





    Consideration of Procedures for IEP Students on AMI Days

    Posted April 26, 2018

    The initial applications for Alternative Methods of Instruction (AMI) did not contain language seeking assurances that students with disabilities, as outlined in the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), will continue to receive appropriate special education services when AMI is implemented.


    In order to ensure that students with disabilities continue to receive appropriate services, districts should establish procedures that outline how the district will continue to provide students with individualized education programs (IEPs) access to a free appropriate public education (FAPE) when AMI is in place. These procedures are for district use and not required to be sent to the Arkansas Department of Education for approval.


    The impact of AMI needs to be considered for each child based on their individual needs and how they will access the special education services and supports outlined in their IEP. IEP teams are encouraged to discuss the impact of AMI as annual review meetings occur. If special education services and supports are not provided when AMI is implemented, IEP teams must consider the impact on performance and expected progress for each child on a case-by-case basis and determine whether make-up services are necessary.  Please do not hesitate to contact the ADE Special Education unit, Yvonne Greene, Administrator for Monitoring and Program Effectiveness regarding questions pertaining to AMI days and special education at 501-682-4322. 


    For related services that a child may miss during an AMI day, the team will need to review overall progress for the student and determine if the missed services need to be made up.  This again, is a case-by-case basis.

    Arkansas Speech-Language Pathology Tuition Reimbursement Program

    Updated October 31, 2017

    The Arkansas Department of Education, Special Education Unit (ADE-SEU) sets aside a portion of its federal discretionary funds to address personnel shortages in Arkansas public schools. This year ADE-SEU is supporting Local Education Agencies’ (LEAs) recruitment and retention efforts by providing these funds to Education Service Cooperatives (ESCs) in order to implement programs aimed at recruitment, retention, and mentoring of special education personnel, including speech/language pathologists. No further applications are being accepted for the speech/language pathologist tuition reimbursement program.


    Lisa Johnson


    Reading Initiative for Student Excellence

    Posted February 3, 2017

    Gov. Hutchinson, ADE Launch Reading Initiative 


    LITTLE ROCK — Gov. Asa Hutchinson and the Arkansas Department of Education are excited to announce the R.I.S.E. (Reading Initiative for Student Excellence) Arkansas reading initiative. R.I.S.E. Arkansas will build a culture of reading through stakeholder collaboration and provide additional instructional support to current and future teachers. 


    "Reading and literacy skills are vital for success in the classroom and life in general,” Gov. Asa Hutchinson said. “For students looking toward a degree or new career path, high-level literacy skills are essential. For these reasons, I am pleased to support Commissioner Key and the Department of Education's R.I.S.E. Arkansas campaign to increase student success and build a culture of reading throughout Arkansas."


    Based on 2015 ACT Aspire results, 48.6 percent of Arkansas' students in grades three through 10 were proficient in English language arts. A total of 39 percent of Arkansas’ graduating seniors met reading readiness benchmarks on The ACT in 2015. Nationally, Arkansas ranks in the lower third of states in reading on the National Assessment of Educational Progress.


    The goal of the campaign is to increase the number of students in grades three through eight who meet the ACT Aspire reading readiness benchmark by 10 percent within three years; rise above the bottom third in state comparisons within five years on the fourth-grade NAEP reading assessment; and increase the number of graduates meeting The ACT reading readiness benchmark by 10 percent within five years.


    The R.I.S.E. Arkansas campaign will enhance and expand existing efforts by the Arkansas Department of Education and school districts to support literacy in schools. Many secondary schools across the state have adopted Literacy Design Collaborative practices as an instructional model. High schools also are providing transitional courses for students who need additional support in rigorous course work prior to graduation. Arkansas has adopted new English language arts and literacy standards for grades kindergarten through 12 and continues to provide support and additional resources for educators. 


    The state recognizes the need to do more in the area of literacy to accomplish these goals. R.I.S.E. Arkansas emphasizes the importance of building a culture of reading, educating parents about the importance of reading, and increasing access to books at home. In addition, the campaign will focus on increasing the depth of knowledge for teachers in the science of reading and expanding their understanding of phonics and phonological awareness, as well as how that knowledge impacts fluency, vocabulary, comprehension and writing. The science of reading, going beyond the five components outlined in the National Reading Panel Report 2010, provides educators with the scientific research and knowledge of how a student actually learns to read. 


    “I was blessed to be raised in a home where reading was emphasized and encouraged, and to this day I love to read,” ADE Commissioner Johnny Key said. “Reading opens doors to knowledge and enjoyment. Reading opens doors to our past, helps us understand our present and guides us to our future. Reading opens doors to a richer life. Through this initiative, we are committed to helping every student obtain the reading skills necessary to achieve success in school, but beyond that, giving them the opportunity to realize that richer life. Through placing the highest priority on reading instruction, teacher development and strengthening our partnerships, we will build a strong culture of reading in Arkansas and transform the state to lead the nation in student-focused education.”


    R.I.S.E. Academy


    Teachers in the primary grades must have an in-depth understanding of phonics and phonemic awareness to support beginning readers. Intermediate level teachers also need this knowledge to provide support to struggling readers and help independent readers decode multi-syllabic words and have a basis for understanding the English language. Reading professional development has focused on a general scope of basic reading skills; however, a strong foundation in phonics is necessary to move students forward in their reading. Students will rely on these foundational phonics skills, especially in the intermediate grades, to read fluently and comprehend complex text. 


    This summer ADE will launch the R.I.S.E. Academy to support kindergarten through second-grade teachers for the 2017-18 school year. Education service cooperatives and several school districts will host the academies. ADE is currently providing training to more than 80 literacy specialists to assist with the academies this summer. Forty of these specialists will become lead trainers who will facilitate the academies and provide support for approximately 1,000 educators who teach grades kindergarten through second for the 2017-18 school year. ADE specialists, higher education representatives, and state and district literacy specialists will provide regional support networks for each cohort group. 


    This year-long blended learning professional development will provide educators with in-depth information related to the science of reading, evidence-based instructional strategies and how to make data-based decisions for students. Participants will receive coaching and opportunities for collaboration with other educators. 


    The R.I.S.E. Academy will expand to train educators in grades three through 12 in 2018-19. The academy also will include an administrator training. The administrator training will focus on reading supports and resources necessary to implement an effective reading program within the school, building foundational knowledge related to the science of reading and instructional components that should be evident during classroom observations. 


    Continued Collaboration


    ADE will continue to collaborate with community, business and education partners, including higher education, to improve instruction for future teachers to promote a deeper understanding of the science of reading. ADE also will collaborate with the DHS Early Childhood Division to promote the importance of early literacy instruction for students in preschool before entering kindergarten. 


    Literacy is not only for those in education but also for all Arkansans. Business and community partnerships are critical to promoting the culture of reading within the state and providing access to books in the home. 


    School districts are encouraged to begin planning local reading campaigns. Additional materials and resources will be provided this spring to school districts so they can launch their own campaign or build upon an existing reading campaign this fall.

    Bridge of Vocabulary: Top Seven Strategies

    Posted January 20, 2017

    This course will demonstrate how to integrate evidence-based practice with short, focused, high energy vocabulary exercises for K-12 students. Learning how to increase the number of new words in therapy or in the classroom will also be discussed.

    Click here for more!

    Posted July 28, 2016

    From the Introduction:  "In December 2015, President Barack Obama signed the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), Public Law 114-95, into law. This new major federal K–12 law replaces the No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB). ESSA allows for greater flexibility for states to create their own accountability systems, academic goals, reporting, and other requirements. Although the 2016–2017 school year is a transitional year from NCLB to ESSA, ESSA will take full effect beginning with the 2017–2018 school year.


    ESSA contains many new opportunities for ASHA’s school-based audiologists and speech-language pathologists (SLPs) to

    • consult with state and local leaders when developing their state plan;

    • access more professional learning opportunities;

    • play a greater role in literacy in the early grades;  

    • develop more comprehensive early intervening and multi-tiered systems of support (MTSS) for struggling students.

    ESSA requires states to develop new plans for how they will implement the law. The law requires the state to consult with various stakeholders, including those representing specialized instructional support personnel (SISP)—a designation that includes audiologists and SLPs, among other school-based professionals.  Therefore, ASHA members will have the opportunity to play an important role in providing information to the states as they develop their plans related to professional learning, literacy, and early intervening services and assessments of children with disabilities.

    This analysis contains 11 key topic areas that ASHA members should pay close attention to as the law is implemented at the state and local levels:

    1. Implementation Timeline 2. State Plans 3. Funding Analysis 4. Alternate Achievement Standards for Students With the Most Significant Cognitive Disabilities (1%) 5. Specialized Instructional Support Personnel (SISP) 6. Literacy 7. Early Intervening Services and Multi-Tiered Systems of Support 8. Professional Learning 9. Professional Accountability 10. Dyslexia 11. Early Childhood Grants


    Each topic area comprises (a) a general overview section with citations from ESSA; (b) a description of the impact that these provisions may have on ASHA members; and (c) additional resources. Where appropriate, vignettes or scenarios will be provided to help members understand how the law may affect them as practitioners. This document also contains a listing of key ASHA staff in case members feel the need to reach out for additional guidance. In addition, there is a listing of some key external resources that ASHA members can explore to better understand the broader impact of ESSA."  [Click here or title above]

    New E-Book Now Available

    Posted May 26, 2016

    A new e-book titled Interprofessional Education and Interprofessional Practice in Communication Sciences and Disorders: An Introduction and Case-Based Examples of Implementation in Education and Health Care Settings is available for  free download  on ASHA's website. The e-book, a Special Interest Group Reader, was edited by Alex Johnson with contributions from Patricia Prelock, Kenn Apel, Jeffrey J. DiGiovanni, John W. McCarthy, Nichole Mulvey, and Alex Johnson himself.

    Revised ASHA Code of Ethics

    Posted January 6, 2016

    Have you heard? A revised ASHA Code of Ethics has been approved.


    Do you know . . .

  • when the revised Code of Ethics (2016) becomes effective?

  • if the revised Code of Ethics applies to you?

  • that the revised Code of Ethics has 15 brand-new rules?

  • what constitutes making a false financial or nonfinancial statement?

  • that you are required to self-report professional discipline that you receive, like that from a state licensing board or a board of education?


    Success occurs when preparation meets opportunity. So, here's your opportunity to find out the answers to these questions as well as other helpful information about the new Code of Ethics.

  • Read the revised Code of Ethics (2016) and current Code of Ethics (2010r) cover to cover!


    ​ASHA Board of Ethics and Ethics Education Subcommittee

    Contact for more information.

    OSEP Reaffirms Guidance on Missed Services

    Posted February 2, 2016

    The Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP), U.S. Department of Education (ED), has reaffirmed its 2007 guidance letter to ASHA on missed related services in school settings. In a communication to state special education directors, OSEP reiterated that the determination of whether an interruption in services constitutes a denial of a free appropriate public education is an individual determination that must be made on a case-by-case basis. 



    As some speech-language pathologists (SLPs) working in school settings continue to experience concerns about blanket policies for making up missed services, ASHA recently lobbied OSEP for additional assistance in reaffirming its 2007 letter on this issue to state special education directors. OSEP's 2007 guidance letter was in response to a letter from ASHA seeking clarification on how to handle missed sessions when speech-language pathology services are missed due to the child's absence from school, cancellation for a class or school activity (e.g., field trip, assembly), or absence of the SLP due to illness or family emergency.


    For more information, contact Catherine D. Clarke, ASHA's director of education and regulatory advocacy, at or by phone at 800-498-2071, ext. 5611. For practice-related questions, please contact Deborah Dixon, MA, CCC- SLP, ASHA's director of school services, at or by phone at 800-498-2071, ext. 5690.

    Please reload

    Leadership Support Service
    Certified Member

    Arkansas Speech-Language Hearing Association



    SLP Support    Personnel Program

    Children and Youth with Sensory Impairments

    State Personnel Development Grant

    Traumatic Brain

    Injury Services

    bottom of page