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Supervising Bilingual Speech-Language Aides and Paraprofessionals

Sandra Márquez, M.A. CCC-SLP, Bilingual Speech-Language Pathologist, Chicago, IL

Sandra Márquez is a Mexican-American native of Chicago. She earned her degree from Saint Xavier University in the Communication Disorders undergraduate program. Prior to graduate school, Sandra spent one year as a speech-language paraprofessional in the Chicago Public Schools. Sandra went on to receive her master’s degree from New Mexico State University where she was enrolled in Dr. Hortencia Kayser’s Bilingual Communication Disorders program. Sandra is in her tenth year as a bilingual speech-language pathologist, of which all has been spent working with Bilingual Therapies. She currently works in the Summit, IL school district as a supervisor for two speech-language paraprofessionals. With the increasing demand for Speech-Language Pathologists (SLP) across the country, school districts face the challenge of meeting the needs of students identified with speech, language, and overall communication impairments. Compounding this challenge is the increase of English Language Learners (ELL) requiring speech-language services as the population increases in the United States.  As the demand for speech-language pathologists grows so do the demands for district administrators to meet the needs of all students requiring speech-language services, their school district, and to work within the legal guidelines delineated at the state and federal level.  To meet these demands, many states across the country have passed legislation allowing Speech-Language Aides (SLPA) or Speech-Language Paraprofessionals (SLPP) to provide varying levels of support in the field of speech-language pathology under the direct supervision of a certified and licensed SLP.  As the description of both an SLPA and SLPP vary from state to state, general descriptions will be discussed as well as general guidelines for supervising bilingual SLPAs and SLPPs working with a linguistically diverse population. Read More »