DEPARTMENT OF STATE

Division of Professional Regulation

3700 Board of Examiners of Speech/Language Pathologists, Audiologists and Hearing Aid Dispensers

Statutory Authority: 24 Del.C. §3706(a)(1)

24 DE Admin. Code 3700

FINAL

ORDER

The Board of Speech/Language Pathologists, Audiologists & Hearing Aid Dispensers (“Board”) was established to protect the general public from unsafe practices and from occupational practices which tend to reduce competition or fix the price of services rendered by the professions under its purview. The Board was further established to maintain minimum standards of practitioner competency and delivery of services to the public. The Board is authorized by 24 Del.C. §3706(a)(1) to make, adopt, amend, and repeal regulations as necessary to effectuate those objectives.

Pursuant to 24 Del.C. §3706(a)(1), the Board proposed amendments to its regulations in sections 1.0, 3.0, 7.0, and 8.0. Specifically, the proposed amendments to section 1.0 Division of Professional Regulation are primarily technical: renaming the section, improving the language, and updating a web address. The proposed amendments to section 3.0 Licensure Requirements for Hearing Aid Dispensers modify the process for licensure as a hearing aid dispenser. Candidates will be required to obtain temporary licensure while completing a six-month training period under the direct supervision of a licensed dispenser. The extent of direct supervision is delineated. The proposed amendments to section 7.0 Electronic equipment clarify the required frequency for calibration of electronic equipment used to assess hearing and allow for attestation of such calibration during the license renewal process. Minor grammatical, typographic, and stylistic changes were also included.

Pursuant to 29 Del.C. §10115, notice of the public hearing and a copy of the proposed regulatory changes was published in the Delaware Register of Regulations, Volume 11, Issue 3, at page 294 on September 1, 2007.

Summary of the Evidence and Information Submitted

No written or verbal comments were received.

Findings of Fact

The Board finds that adoption of the proposed amendments to section 3.0 are necessary to implement the six-month training period mandated by the Delaware General Assembly. The Board finds that adoption of the proposed amendments to section 7.0 will greatly improve the process of reporting electronic equipment calibration. Finally, the Board finds that adoption of the proposed amendments to section 1.0 appropriately corrects errors and improves readability.

Decision and Effective Date

The Board hereby adopts the proposed amendments to the regulations to be effective 10 days following final publication of this order in the Register of Regulations.

Text and Citation

The text of the final regulations is attached hereto as Exhibit A and is formatted to show the amendments.

IT IS SO ORDERED this 14th day of November 2007, by the Board of Speech/Language Pathologists, Audiologists & Hearing Aid Dispensers of the State of Delaware.

Dr. Michael Michelli, President Illene Courtright

Carol Guilbert, Secretary George Christensen

Regina Bilton Dr. Cynthia Parker

Mary Ann Connolly Gaskin

3700 Board of Examiners of Speech/Language Pathologists, Audiologists and Hearing Aid Dispensers

1.0 Division of Professional Regulation General

1.1 Responsibilities

1.1.1 All applications and other forms may be obtained from, and must be returned after completion, to the Division of Professional Regulation, (Division). Please address correspondence to the Board: ATTN: SLP-AUD-HAD, at and mail to 861 Silver Lake Blvd., Ste. 203, Dover, DE 19904-2467 by mail or in person during regular business hours. Information and forms are also available at on the Division’s web site dpr.delaware.gov. at http://www.professionalllicensing.state.de.us

1.1.2 Fees required under the by statute are to shall be made payable to: the “State of Delaware” and remitted to the Division of Professional Regulation. No license shall be issued until all required fees are paid.

1.1.3 The Administrative Assistant Specialist assigned to the Board by the Division of Professional Regulation performs support functions for the Board and serves as the contact person for the Board to receive inquires.

6 DE Reg. 1340 (4/1/03)

2.0 Licensure Requirements for Speech-Language Pathologists and Audiologists

2.1 Education

2.1.1 To be eligible for a license as a Speech/Language Pathologist or Audiologist, the applicant must submit verification by an official transcript of completion of at least a master's degree or its equivalent, from an accredited college or university with major emphasis in speech-language pathology, audiology, communication disorders or speech-language and hearing science.

2.2 Clinical Practicum

2.2.1 The Speech/Language Pathology and Audiology applicant must have completed a minimum of 375 clock hours of supervised clinical practicum with major emphasis in the professional area for which the license is being sought. Clinical observation may qualify for up to 25 of the hours in the supervised clinical practicum.

2.2.2 A minimum of 250 clock hours in the area of specialty of the supervised clinical practicum must have been obtained at the graduate level.

2.3 Clinical Fellowship Year (CFY)

2.3.1 The Speech/Language Pathology or Audiology applicant must have the equivalent of nine (9) months of full-time or eighteen (18) months of part time (defined as 15-20 hours per week) supervised * CFY in the major professional area in which the license is being sought. The CFY must start after completion of the academic and clinical practicum requirements.

* Supervision is defined as direct observation consisting of 36 supervisory activities, including 18 one hour on-site observations and 18 other monitoring activities. (From Appendix E of Clinical Fellowship Year adopted ASHA 1985)

2.4 National Examination

2.4.1 The Speech/Language Pathology and Audiology applicant must have completed and passed the national examination approved by the Division of Professional Regulation for the area of specialty with at least the minimum nationally recommended score. Scores must be sent directly from the testing service to the Division of Professional Regulation.

2.4.2 A Speech/Language Pathology or Audiology applicant with a temporary license is permitted to complete the appropriate national examination during the period of the temporary license.

2.4.3 Anyone who fails two examinations may not be reexamined for a period of one year following the second failure. Prior to reexamination after a second failure, an applicant must submit proof of additional course work and/or clinical experience.

2.5 Application Process-Temporary Licensure

2.5.1 An applicant must complete a notarized application for temporary licensure. Items which must be provided to the Division of Professional Regulation include:

2.5.1.1 Official Transcript(s);

2.5.1.2 Documents verifying the appropriate number and level of supervised clinical practicum hours;

2.5.1.3 CFY plan on a form approved by the Board, signed by the licensed professional who will provide the supervision;

2.5.1.4 payment of appropriate fees.

2.5.2 A temporary license is valid for one year from the date of issuance and may be renewed for one year in extenuating circumstances upon application to the Board. Requests for Board consideration of a renewal shall be made in writing and sent to the Division of Professional Regulation 60 days prior to expiration.

2.6 Application Process -Permanent Licensure

2.6.1 Speech/Language Pathology and Audiology applicants must complete the application on a form approved by the Board and submit the appropriate fee.

2.6.2 An applicant who has ASHA Certification must comply with Section 2.6.1 and submit a copy of current ASHA certification.

2.6.3 An applicant who is currently licensed in another state, the District of Columbia, or territory of the United States whose standards for licensure are substantially similar to those of this state, must comply with Section 2.6.1 and submit verification of licensure in good standing from all jurisdictions where he or she is or has been licensed. Applicants for reciprocal licensure from states not substantially similar to this state shall provide proof of practice for a minimum of five years after licensure in addition to meeting the other qualifications in 24 Del.C. 3710. Verification of practice should be by notarized letter from the employer(s).

2.6.4 An applicant who has completed the supervised CFY in Delaware and has a current temporary license, must submit the following documentation to the Division of Professional Regulation 30 days prior to expiration of the temporary license:

2.6.4.1 proof of completion of the CFY,

2.6.4.2 national examination score unless previously provided,

2.6.4.3 licensure fee.

6 DE Reg. 1340 (4/1/03)

3.0 Licensure Requirements for Hearing Aid Dispensers

3.1 Education Original Licensure

3.1.1 Education: To be eligible for a license as a Hearing Aid Dispenser, the aApplicants must submit verification of have earned a high school diploma or its equivalent.

3.1.2 Training [Note: Licensed audiologists are exempt from this requirement as indicated in the synopsis of SB 183 as passed by the 143rd General Assembly and signed into law by the Governor on July 6, 2006. Licensed audiologists need only request permission to take the exam from the Board in writing.]

3.1.2.1 Applicants shall complete six (6) months of training. The Board will not authorize applicants to take the exam until the training is complete.

3.1.2.2 Training shall be completed under the direct supervision of a Delaware-licensed Hearing Aid Dispenser. “Direct supervision” means direct, on-site observations of the applicant by the supervisor. Applicants shall be under direct supervision for 100% of the time during the first two (2) months, 50% of the time during the subsequent two (2) months, and 25% of the time during the final two (2) months of the training period.

3.1.2.3 Applicants shall hold a valid, active temporary license during the training period; training conducted while the applicant is without a valid, active temporary license will not count toward fulfillment of the six-month training requirement.

3.21.3 National Examination

3.2.1.3.1 Applicants for full Hearing Aid Dispensing applicants licensure must have completed and passed the national examination approved by the Division of Professional Regulation, in accordance with scores as recommended by the national testing service, National Institute for Hearing Instruments Studies (NIHIS), or its successor. Upon confirmation from the testing service that an applicant has passed the exam, the Board will issue a full Hearing Aid Dispensing license to the applicant.

3.2.1.3.2 Anyone Applicants who fails two (2) examinations may not be reexamined for a period of one (1) year following the second failure. Prior to reexamination after a second failure, an applicant must submit proof of course work and/or supervised experience. After a second exam failure, an applicant must complete an additional training period pursuant to regulation 3.1.2 et seq before the Board will grant authorization to retake the exam.

3.3 Application Process –Temporary Licensure

3.1.2.3.1 An To obtain a temporary license, applicants must complete the Board-approved licensure application and submit for temporary licensure. Items which must be provided to the Division of Professional Regulation include:

3.1.2.3.1.1 verification of a high school diploma or its equivalent,

3.1.2.3.1.2 payment of the appropriate fees, and

3.1.2.3.1.3 a plan for completing the six (6) month training period, which shall include the notarized signature of a Delaware-licensed sponsor stating a willingness to provide direct supervision and training. Direct supervision is defined as a minimum of 25% direct on-site observations during the temporary licensure period.

3.1.2.3.2 A temporary license is valid for one (1) year from the date of issuance and may be renewed once for an additional one-year period in extenuating circumstances upon application to approval by the Board. Requests for Board consideration of a renewal shall be made in writing and sent to the Division at least of Professional Regulation 60 days prior to expiration.

3.42 Application Process- Permanent Reciprocal Licensure

3.4.1 All Hearing Aid Dispensing applicants must complete an application on a form approved by the Board and submit it with the appropriate fee to the Division of Professional Regulation.

3.4.22.1 A Hearing Aid Dispensing Applicants who is currently licensed in another state, the District of Columbia, or territory of the United States, a jurisdiction whose standards for licensure are substantially similar to those of this state shall, must comply with 3.4.1 and submit verification of licensure in good standing from all jurisdictions where they are he or she is or and haves been licensed. Applicants for reciprocal licensure from states not substantially similar to this state shall provide proof of practice for a minimum of five years after licensure in addition to meeting the other qualifications in 24 Del.C. 3710. Verification of practice should be by notarized letter from the employer(s).

3.2.2 Applicants currently licensed in another jurisdiction, but not in a jurisdiction whose standards for licensure are substantially similar to those of this state, shall provide proof of practice in their current licensing jurisdiction for at least five (5) years after licensure. Proof of practice shall be by notarized letter from employers. Applicants under this subsection shall also submit verification of licensure in good standing from all jurisdictions where they are and have been licensed.

3.2.4.3 Licensees holding Upon completion of the training period, temporary Hearing Aid Dispensing licensees must submit verification of completion of the training period on a Board-approved form, which shall include the notarized signature of the Delaware-licensed sponsor stating that the training was completed under their direct supervision in accordance with regulation 3.1. Upon receipt and approval of training verification, the Board will authorize the applicant to take the exam. a passing score on the national examination described in 3.2.1 and the required fee to the Division of Professional Regulation to obtain a permanent license.

4.0 Expired Licenses and Inactive Status

4.1 Expired Licenses

4.1.1 A holder of an expired license may renew the license within one year of the date the renewal was due by fulfilling all of the renewal requirements and paying the late fee established by the Division of Professional Regulation.

4.2 Inactive Status

4.2.1 A licensee may apply to the Board for inactive status for up to five years. The license may be reactivated upon application on a form approved by the Board and proof of 20 CE’s completed within the preceding 24 months (30 CE’s for a triple license) as required by Section 8.2.3, and paying the fee established by the Division of Professional Regulation.

5.0 Requirements for Audiology Aides

5.1 Certification

5.1.1 Certification of the Audiology Aide must be by the Council of Accreditation of Occupational Hearing Conservationists, or its equivalent, with documentation. The supervising Delaware-licensed audiologist must annually register each Audiology Aide using a form approved by the Board.

5.2 Direct Supervision

5.2.1 An Audiology Aide assists a licensed audiologist in professional activities with direct supervision by the audiologist. Direct supervision requires the presence of the supervising audiologist on the premises when the aide is performing professional activities.

5.3 Duties of the Audiology Aide

5.3.1 Duties of the Audiology Aide must be specified by the supervising audiologist and may include the following:

5.3.1.1 Air conduction pure tone assessment and data recording.

5.3.1.2 Hearing screenings.

5.3.1.3 Assisting with conditioning techniques.

5.3.1.4 Cursory otoscopy.

5.3.1.5 Basic hearing aid maintenance.

5.3.1.6 Routine instrument sterilization.

5.3.1.7 Biologic and electroacoustic assessment of the audiometer.

5.3.1.8 Clerical support.

5.3.1.9 Participation with the professional in research projects, in service training, or similar endeavors.

5.3.1.10 Other duties as may be appropriately determined with training from and direct supervision of the Delaware licensed audiologist.

6.0 Requirements for Speech/Language Pathology Aides

6.1 Education

6.1.1 A Speech Pathology Aide must have a minimum of a high school diploma or its equivalent.

6.2 Direct Supervision

6.2.1 A Speech Pathology Aide assists a licensed Speech/Language Pathologist in professional activities with direct supervision of the Speech Pathologist. Direct supervision requires the presence of the supervising Speech/Language Pathologist at all times where an aide is assisting with testing, and/or treatment.

6.3 Duties of the Speech/Language Pathology Aide

6.3.1 Duties of the Speech Pathology Aide must be specified by the supervising Speech/Language Pathologist and may include the following:

6.3.1.1 Assisting with testing or treatment.

6.3.1.2 Clerical support.

6.3.1.3 Client escort.

6.3.1.4 Preparation of therapeutic materials

6.3.1.5 Equipment maintenance.

6.3.1.6 Participation with the professional in research projects, in service training, or similar endeavors.

6.3.1.7 Other duties as may be appropriately determined with training from and direct supervision of the Delaware licensed Speech/Language Pathologist.

7.0 Electronic eEquipment Calibration

7.1 Standards

7.1.1 Audiologists and Hearing Aid Dispensers shall ensure the annual Ccalibration of the electronic equipment they used to assess hearing. Calibration shall be performed by a certified professional consistent with the standards set by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI).

7.1.2 Every licensed Audiologists and Hearing Aid Dispensers shall indicate by attestation in the course of license renewal whether they have complied with regulation 7.1 annually submit proof of calibration to the Board. Any Audiologists who does not have such equipment may shall attest to that fact during the course of renewal file an affidavit so stating on a form approved by the Board.

8.0 Continuing Education Ffor All Licensees

8.1 Philosophy

8.1.1 Continuing education is required by the Board to maintain professional licensure in the fields of Speech/Language Pathology, Audiology and Hearing Aid Dispensing. Continuing education requirements arise from an awareness that these fields are in a continual state of transition due to the introduction of new philosophies and the refinement of already existing knowledge. Speech/Language Pathologists, Audiologists and Hearing Aid Dispensers should continually strive to update their clinical skills in an effort to deliver high quality services.

8.1.2 The Board is keenly aware of existing educational opportunities in Delaware and neighboring states and has established regulations which will provide continuing education credit as effortlessly as possible while assuring quality instruction. Credit will be given for participation in a variety of activities that increase knowledge and enhance professional growth.

8.1.3 These regulations recognize the financial and time limitations of Delaware's professionals while assuring continued appropriate services to those individuals who require them.

8.2 Continuing Education Criteria

8.2.1 One continuing education contact hour (CE) is defined as 60 minutes of attendance/participation in an approved continuing education activity unless otherwise stated.(Therefore, credits and CEU's issued by various organizations must be translated. e.g., 1.0 ASHA CEU = 10 CE's)

8.2.2 CE Time Frame: CE requirements must be completed in each license renewal period. Licensees have until the renewal deadline, July 31st in odd-numbered years, to complete the required CEs.

8.2.3 The required number of CEs varies with certification and/or professional status as outlined below:

8.2.3.1 New License: There is no CE requirement for a license issued for less than one year. If a license would cover more than one year, but less than 2 years, the licensee is required to obtain 10 CE's or one-half of the required total hours.

8.2.3.2 Single License: Individuals with a license in only one (1) area of specialty must obtain a minimum of 20 CE's each two-year license renewal period.

8.2.3.3 Dual License: Individuals with licenses in two (2) areas of specialty must obtain a minimum of 20 CE's during each two-year license renewal period, with 10 CE's obtained in each specialty area. One course may be split between specialty areas to fulfill multiple CE requirements. Content must be shown to be relevant to those areas.

8.2.3.4 Triple License: Individuals with licenses in three (3) areas of specialty must obtain a minimum of 30 CE's during each two-year license renewal period, with 10 CE's obtained in each specialty area. One course may be split between specialty areas to fulfill multiple CE requirements. Content must be shown to be relevant to those areas.

8.2.3.5 Temporary License: All CE requirements will be waived for temporary licensees; however, individuals are encouraged to participate in continuing education activities during their CFY period.

8.2.3.6 Extenuating Circumstances: The Board may consider a waiver of CE requirements or acceptance of partial fulfillment based on the Board's review of a written request with supporting documentation. Extenuating circumstances may include, but are not limited to, disability, illness, extended absence from the jurisdiction, and exceptional family responsibilities.

8.2.4 CE courses must focus on the enhancement of clinical skills and professional growth as defined below.

8.2.4.1 Clinical Skills: conferences, workshops, courses, etc., that expand a licensee’s scope of practice by enhancing skills in the areas of prevention, assessment, diagnosis, and treatment of the client (minimum of 14 CE’s per licensure renewal period).

8.2.4.2 Professional Growth: conferences, workshops, courses, etc., that may not directly impact on clinical services to the population being served but are of interest to the licensee and will allow the licensee the opportunity to stay abreast of current trends in the profession or related fields of interest (maximum of 6 CE’s per licensure renewal period).

8.2.5 Verification of attendance may be required. Therefore, all licensees should retain documentation of their attendance at all CE activities.

8.2.6 All CE activities must be approved by the Board. A licensee or CE course sponsor may request advance approval from the Board by submitting a completed Board Approval form. Approval may be requested after the conclusion of a course, but there is no guarantee the course will be approved.

8.2.7 The Board will monitor CE compliance with a random, post-renewal audit system. Licensees will be selected randomly for audit and notified by mail after the renewal deadline.

8.3 CE Courses/Activities

8.3.1 CE activities sponsored by accredited professional organizations, provided the topics are relevant to the improvement of the licensee’s clinical skills or professional growth as defined in Rule 8.2.4. Agenda of sessions is required for approval of convention activities.

8.3.2 A licensee may receive up to three (3) CE’s for training obtained from a colleague who, after attending a professional conference, gives a formal presentation of the information from the conference after developing an agenda and outline.

8.3.3 University/College coursework for academic credit in the field of Speech/ Language Pathology, Audiology, or Hearing Aid Dispensing. A course description must be submitted to the Board for approval. (1 undergraduate credit = minimum of 3 CE’s; 1 graduate credit = minimum of 5 CE’s)

8.3.4 Professional presentations. A presentation summary must be submitted to the Board for approval. Credit may be given for a presentation only once during a licensure period. (1 hour of presentation = 3 CE's)

8.3.5 Professional publication in related specialty journals. A reprint of the publication must be submitted to the Board for approval.

8.3.6 Other continuing education may be approved by the Board with documentation of content.

8.3.7 Excluded are any job related duties in the workplace such as staff meetings, CPR, etc.

8.4 Licensee Responsibilities

8.4.1 All licensees shall:

8.4.1.1 Complete the required CE by July 31st of each renewal period.

8.4.1.2 Prove completion of the CE requirement. Proof of CE requirement completion is satisfied with an attestation of completion by the licensee during the renewal process. Attestation may be completed electronically if the renewal is accomplished online at www.dpr.delaware.gov. A paper renewal that contains the attestation of completion is also acceptable.

8.4.1.3 Provide documentation of having attended approved CE activities as required. A lLicensees who is are audited shall submit documents that evidence satisfactory completion of their CE requirements for the previous two (2) years prior licensure period. Licensees who are not audited shall retain their documentation for three (3) years after renewal.

8.4.2 Licensees who renew their license under the late renewal provision shall be audited for CE completion (and equipment calibration, if applicable). These licensees shall submit documents that evidence satisfactory completion of their CE requirements (and annual equipment calibration pursuant to regulation 7.1, if applicable) for the prior licensure period.

6 DE Reg. 1340 (4/1/03)

9.0 Code of Ethics for Speech-Language Pathologists, Audiologists, and Hearing Aid Dispensers

9.1 PREAMBLE. The preservation of the highest standards of conduct and integrity is vital to achieving the statutory declaration of objectives in 24 Del.C. §3701. Adopting a code of ethics by regulation puts licensees on notice of the kinds of activity that violate the level of care and protection to which the clients are entitled. The provisions are not intended to be all-inclusive but rather they should serve as examples of obligations that must be satisfied to maintain minimum standards.

9.2 Standards of Professional Conduct

9.2.1 A licensee who violates the following Standards of Professional Conduct may be guilty of illegal, negligent, or incompetent practice and disciplined pursuant to 24 Del.C. §3715(a)(2).

9.2.1.1 Licensees shall provide all services competently. Competent service refers to the use of reasonable care and diligence ordinarily employed by similarly licensed individuals.

9.2.1.2 Licensees shall use every resource, including referral, to provide quality service.

9.2.1.3 Licensees shall maintain reasonable documentation of professional services rendered.

9.2.1.4 Licensees shall not evaluate or treat a client with speech, language, or hearing disorders solely by correspondence. Correspondence includes telecommunication.

9.2.1.5 Licensees shall delegate responsibility only to qualified individuals as permitted by law with appropriate supervision.

9.2.1.6 Licensees who have evidence that a practitioner has violated the Code of Ethics or other law or regulation shall present that information by complaint to the Division of Professional Regulation for investigation.

9.3 Standards of Professional Integrity.

9.3.1 A licensee who violates the following Standards of Professional Integrity may be guilty of consumer fraud, deception, restraint of competition, or price-fixing and disciplined pursuant to 24 Del.C. §3715(a)(6).

9.3.1.1 Licensees shall not charge for services not rendered nor misrepresent the services or products dispensed.

9.3.1.2 Licensees shall inform clients of the nature and possible effects of services. Care must be taken to speak to a client in lay terms that he or she can understand.

9.3.1.3 Licensees may use clients in research or as subjects of teaching demonstrations only with their informed consent. An informed consent must be explained and written in lay terms.

9.3.1.4 Licensees shall inform clients in any matter where there is or may be a conflict of interest. Conflicts of interest may be found when a client is steered to a particular provider by one with an expectation of financial gain (kickbacks) or a provider is involved in double dipping by providing services in a private practice that he or she is obligated to provide though public employment (double-dipping).

9.3.1.5 Licensees shall make no guarantees of the results of any product or procedure but may make a reasonable statement of prognosis.

9.3.1.6 Licensees shall provide services or dispense products only when benefits can reasonably be expected.

9.3.1.7 Licensees shall not engage in misrepresentation, dishonesty, fraud, or deceit. Misrepresentation includes statements likely to mislead or an omission of material information.

9.3.1.8 Licensees who advertise shall provide information in a truthful manner that is direct and not likely to mislead the public. Any written disclaimer or condition that limits or modifies an offer of services or merchandise must be provided in a clear and conspicuous manner in a type size that is at least one-half the size of the type used in making the offer of services or merchandise.

9.3.2 A licensee who violates the following Standards of Professional Integrity may be guilty of misrepresentation, impersonation, or facilitating unlawful practice and disciplined pursuant to 24 Del.C. §3715(a)(1).

9.3.2.1 Licensees shall accurately represent any credentials, education, and experience to the public.

9.3.2.2 A licensee who has evidence that an individual is practicing the profession without a license in violation of 24 Del.C. §3707 has a duty to report that information to the Division of Professional Regulation.

9.4 Miscellaneous Professional Standards

9.4.1 A licensee who violates the following Professional Standards may be subject to disciplinary action under 24 Del.C. §3715(a)(7)

9.4.1.1 Licensees shall respect the privacy of clients and not reveal, written authorization, any professional or personal information unless required by law.

9.4.1.2 Licensees shall not discriminate on the basis of race, sex, age, religion, national origin, sexual orientation, or disability.

9.4.1.3 Licensees shall offer services and products on their merits and should refrain from making disparaging comments about competing practitioners or their services and products.

8 DE Reg. 1106 (2/1/05)

9 DE Reg. 1267 (2/1/06)

10.0 Voluntary Treatment Option for Chemically Dependent or Impaired Professionals

10.1 If the report is received by the chairperson of the regulatory Board, that chairperson shall immediately notify the Director of Professional Regulation or his/her designate of the report. If the Director of Professional Regulation receives the report, he/she shall immediately notify the chairperson of the regulatory Board, or that chairperson's designate or designates.

10.2 The chairperson of the regulatory Board or that chairperson's designate or designates shall, within 7 days of receipt of the report, contact the individual in question and inform him/her in writing of the report, provide the individual written information describing the Voluntary Treatment Option, and give him/her the opportunity to enter the Voluntary Treatment Option.

10.3 In order for the individual to participate in the Voluntary Treatment Option, he/she shall agree to submit to a voluntary drug and alcohol screening and evaluation at a specified laboratory or health care facility. This initial evaluation and screen shall take place within 30 days following notification to the professional by the participating Board chairperson or that chairperson's designate(s).

10.4 A regulated professional with chemical dependency or impairment due to addiction to drugs or alcohol may enter into the Voluntary Treatment Option and continue to practice, subject to any limitations on practice the participating Board chairperson or that chairperson's designate or designates or the Director of the Division of Professional Regulation or his/her designate may, in consultation with the treating professional, deem necessary, only if such action will not endanger the public health, welfare or safety, and the regulated professional enters into an agreement with the Director of Professional Regulation or his/her designate and the chairperson of the participating Board or that chairperson's designate for a treatment plan and progresses satisfactorily in such treatment program and complies with all terms of that agreement. Treatment programs may be operated by professional Committees and Associations or other similar professional groups with the approval of the Director of Professional Regulation and the chairperson of the participating Board.

10.5 Failure to cooperate fully with the participating Board chairperson or that chairperson's designate or designates or the Director of the Division of Professional Regulation or his/her designate in regard to the Voluntary Treatment Option or to comply with their requests for evaluations and screens may disqualify the regulated professional from the provisions of the Voluntary Treatment Option, and the participating Board chairperson or that chairperson's designate or designates shall cause to be activated an immediate investigation and institution of disciplinary proceedings, if appropriate, as outlined in subsection 10.8 of this section.

10.6 The Voluntary Treatment Option may require a regulated professional to enter into an agreement which includes, but is not limited to, the following provisions:

10.6.1 Entry of the regulated professional into a treatment program approved by the participating Board. Board approval shall not require that the regulated professional be identified to the Board. Treatment and evaluation functions must be performed by separate agencies to assure an unbiased assessment of the regulated professional's progress.

10.6.2 Consent to the treating professional of the approved treatment program to report on the progress of the regulated professional to the chairperson of the participating Board or to that chairperson's designate or designates or to the Director of the Division of Professional Regulation or his/her designate at such intervals as required by the chairperson of the participating Board or that chairperson's designate or designates or the Director of the Division of Professional Regulation or his/her designate, and such person making such report will not be liable when such reports are made in good faith and without malice.

10.6.3 Consent of the regulated professional, in accordance with applicable law, to the release of any treatment information from anyone within the approved treatment program.

10.6.4 Agreement by the regulated professional to be personally responsible for all costs and charges associated with the Voluntary Treatment Option and treatment program(s). In addition, the Division of Professional Regulation may assess a fee to be paid by the regulated professional to cover administrative costs associated with the Voluntary Treatment Option. The amount of the fee imposed under this subparagraph shall approximate and reasonably reflect the costs necessary to defray the expenses of the participating Board, as well as the proportional expenses incurred by the Division of Professional Regulation in its services on behalf of the Board in addition to the administrative costs associated with the Voluntary Treatment Option.

10.6.5 Agreement by the regulated professional that failure to satisfactorily progress in such treatment program shall be reported to the participating Board's chairperson or his/her designate or designates or to the Director of the Division of Professional Regulation or his/ her designate by the treating professional who shall be immune from any liability for such reporting made in good faith and without malice.

10.6.6 Compliance by the regulated professional with any terms or restrictions placed on professional practice as outlined in the agreement under the Voluntary Treatment Option.

10.7 The regulated professional's records of participation in the Voluntary Treatment Option will not reflect disciplinary action and shall not be considered public records open to public inspection. However, the participating Board may consider such records in setting a disciplinary sanction in any future matter in which the regulated professional's chemical dependency or impairment is an issue.

10.8 The participating Board's chairperson, his/her designate or designates or the Director of the Division of Professional Regulation or his/her designate may, in consultation with the treating professional at any time during the Voluntary Treatment Option, restrict the practice of a chemically dependent or impaired professional if such action is deemed necessary to protect the public health, welfare or safety.

10.9 If practice is restricted, the regulated professional may apply for unrestricted licensure upon completion of the program.

10.10 Failure to enter into such agreement or to comply with the terms and make satisfactory progress in the treatment program shall disqualify the regulated professional from the provisions of the Voluntary Treatment Option, and the participating Board shall be notified and cause to be activated an immediate investigation and disciplinary proceedings as appropriate.

10.11 Any person who reports pursuant to this section in good faith and without malice shall be immune from any civil, criminal or disciplinary liability arising from such reports, and shall have his/her confidentiality protected if the matter is handled in a nondisciplinary matter.

10.12 Any regulated professional who complies with all of the terms and completes the Voluntary Treatment Option shall have his/her confidentiality protected unless otherwise specified in a participating Board's rules and regulations. In such an instance, the written agreement with the regulated professional shall include the potential for disclosure and specify those to whom such information may be disclosed.

11.0 Crimes substantially related to the practice of speech/language pathology, audiology, and hearing aid dispensing.

11.1 Conviction of any of the following crimes, or of the attempt to commit or of a conspiracy to commit or conceal or of the solicitation to commit any of the following crimes, is deemed to be a crime substantially related to the practice of speech/language pathology, audiology, and hearing aid dispensing in the State of Delaware without regard to the place of conviction:

11.1.1 Assault in the second degree. 11 Del.C. §612.

11.1.2 Assault in the first degree. 11 Del.C. §613.

11.1.3 Assault by abuse or neglect. 11 Del.C. §615.

11.1.4 Murder by abuse or neglect in the second degree. 11 Del.C. §633.

11.1.5 Murder by abuse or neglect in the first degree. 11 Del.C. §634.

11.1.6 Murder in the second degree. 11 Del.C. §635.

11.1.7 Murder in the first degree. 11 Del.C. §636.

11.1.8 Rape in the fourth degree. 11 Del.C. §770

11.1.9 Rape in the third degree. 11 Del.C. §771

11.1.10 Rape in the second degree. 11 Del.C. §772

11.1.11 Rape in the first degree. 11 Del.C. §773

11.1.12 Sexual extortion. 11 Del.C. §776

11.1.13 Continuous sexual abuse of a child. 11 Del.C. §778

11.1.14 Kidnapping in the second degree. 11 Del.C. §783

11.1.15 Kidnapping in the first degree. 11 Del.C. §783A

11.1.16 Identity theft. 11 Del.C. §854

11.1.17 Insurance fraud. 11 Del.C. §913

11.1.18 Health care fraud. 11 Del.C. §913A

11.1.19 Dealing in children. 11 Del.C. §1100

11.1.20 Endangering the welfare of a child. 11 Del.C. §1102

11.1.21 Sexual exploitation of a child. 11 Del.C. §1108

11.1.22 Unlawful dealing in child pornography. 11 Del.C. §1109

11.1.23 Sexual solicitation of a child. 11 Del.C. §1112A

11.1.24 Hate crimes (felony). 11 Del.C. §1304(a)

11.1.25 Abuse, neglect, mistreatment or financial exploitation of residents or patients. 16 Del.C. §1136.

11.1.26 Trafficking in marijuana, cocaine, illegal drugs, methamphetamines, L.S.D., or designer drugs. 16 Del.C. §4753A

11.1.27 Abuse, neglect, mistreatment or financial exploitation of an infirm adult. 31 Del.C. §3913

11.2 Crimes substantially related to the practice speech/language pathology, audiology, and hearing aid dispensing shall be deemed to include any crimes under any federal law, state law, or valid town, city or county ordinance, that are substantially similar to the crimes identified in this rule.

8 DE Reg. 1106 (2/1/05)

11 DE Reg. 814 (12/01/07) (Final)