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Private Practice: Education of the Deaf/Hard of Hearing

Gerald Powers, Boomsburg University

The privatization of American education is one of the fastest growing trends in the United States. Numerous states have pending legislation which will expand the influence of private corporations and businesses into American public education. Vouchers, school choice, and charter schools are a growing response to the frustrations with the numerous problems that exist in the public schools as expressed by parents, legislators, and educational reformers. The profession of education of the deaf and hard of hearing has a long history of controversy, problems, and trends. The privatization of American education will have a profound effect and offer tremendous opportunities for teachers of the deaf and hard of hearing.

Over 45 states currently provide licensure laws for the private practice of audiology and speech- language pathology. Pennsylvania is the only state that provides a private practice licensure law for teachers of the deaf as well. This act permits licensees to provide services to children, adults, and geriatrics outside the public schools and could serve as a model for the other 49 states.

This presentation offered information detailing the fees, definitions, applications, procedures, training requirements, practicum, Y.S.P.E., standards of practice and conduct, code of ethics, practices of professional and business entities, and responsibilities of the Board of Examiners. The presentation also detailed information on legislation enabling teachers of the deaf and hard of hearing to bill directly public and private third party carriers without the signature of a physician. The presentation included a videotape of a typical private practice session.