COVID-19


Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Can a licensed Alabama Speech-Language Pathologist (SLP) or Audiologist (AUD) provide services via telepractice/teletherapy under ABESPA’s regulations?

Yes. ABESPA’s current provisions permit speech and/or hearing services via telepractice for Alabama licensees or those working in an exempt setting. The Board is currently developing more guidance for practice via telepractice. However, for now, protocols for telepractice are no different than those for “in-person” practice. Alabama licensees or those working in an exempt setting are expected to follow the same protocols and rules as outlined in ABESPA Rules and Regulations and its governing Code of Alabama provisions. Specifically, your attention is directed to the following ABESPA Rules and Regulations: • SLP Scope of Practice -Section 870-X-7; and, • Code of Ethics -Section 870-X-6.

During COVID-19 Crisis, can Speech-Language Pathologist (SLP) and Audiologist (AUD) supervise CF and Fourth-Year Interns via telesupervision?

Yes. First, Alabama SLP’s and AUD’s who supervise Clinical Fellows (CF) and Fourth-Year Intern may provide telesupervison. Telesupervision was reinforced by the emergency rule that was passed by ABESPA on Friday, April 10, 2020 and renewed by the Board on August 14, 2020.

Second, supervising SLP’s and AUD’s should follow the established protocols for supervision. ABESPA Rules and Regulations Section 870-X-2.05(7)(c) provides that supervision must include six (6) hours of direct supervision within each segment period. Direct supervision envisions direct interaction with the CF and not just reviewing of notes or records, which is “indirect supervision.”

Finally, the ABESPA Rules and Regulations do not state a specific method or manner of “direct supervision.” There is nothing preventing the direct supervisory review from being conducted via telepractice, video conferencing, telephone or any other electronic means that will provide meaningful review, mentoring, and monitoring that can be properly documented. Additionally, the Rules provide, “these requirements are not intended to supplant or supersede supervisory requirements of appropriate accrediting or certifying entities or academic programs.”

Must Alabama Speech-Language Pathologist (SLP) or Audiologist (AUD) adhere to informed patient consent and properly document services rendered when providing service via telepractice/teletherapy?

Yes. Alabama SLP’s and AUD’s are expected to follow the same protocols for “in-person” services when providing services via telepractice/teletherapy. See SLP and AUD Scope of Practice and Code of Ethics provided in the following sections of ABESPA Rules and Regulations:

• SLP Scope of Practice -Section 870-X-7
• AUD Scope of Practice –Section 870-X-8
• Code of Ethics -Section 870-X-6.

Can Assistant Supervision be accomplished via telepractice/teletherapy?

Yes. Per the Emergency Rule passed on April 10, 2020 and renewed by the Board on August 14, 2020, Assistant Supervision can be conducted using telesupervision is permitted for assistants during the COVID-19 crisis. See the Assistant Supervision Emergency Rule for more details.

I am unable to get my licensure or registration documents notarized due the social distancing requirements of COVID-19. What can I do?

On Friday, April 10, 2020, ABESPA passed Waiver of Notary Emergency Rule and the rule was renewed by the Board on August 14, 2020. This rule permits the submission without a notary’s signature. See the Notary Waiver Emergency Rule for more details.

Can an out-of-state Speech-Language Pathologist (SLP) or Audiologist (AUD) provide services in Alabama without obtaining an Alabama license?

Yes. An out-of-state Speech-Language Pathologist (SLP) or Audiologist (AUD) can provide services in Alabama without obtaining an Alabama license pursuant to the 30-Day Exemption Practice Rule. This Rule permits an out-of-state SLP or AUD to provide services in Alabama for a period of 30 days, if the out-of-state SLP or AUD works with a licensed Alabama SLP or AUD. Notification to ABESPA is required utilizing the 30-Day Exemption Practice form. Due to the COVID-19 crisis, the 30-Day exemption can be extended at the discretion of ABESPA by utilizing the 30-Day Exemption Practice Extension form. See the 30-Day Exemption Practice Emergency Rule for more details.

Can the CF/Fourth-Year Internship be extended?

Yes. A CF/Fourth-Year Internship plan can be extended by a written signed letter from the supervising licensee (not the student) that provides the reason for the extension and the expected date of completion.


Emergency Regulations


Emergency Forms


Board Meetings

The ABESPA Board will meet by teleconference, until further notice. Anyone wishing to attend the meeting via teleconference should contact ABESPA at 334-269-1434.


Rules and Regulations

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