Professional Ethics for the School-Based SLP

Mark Strait

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ASHA Course Number: ACEF0444
Course Credits: 0.3 (3 hours) ASHA CEUs – Intermediate level, Professional area
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A professional code of ethics provides guidance for speech-language pathologists confronting conflicting information or differing opinions that may lead to ethical misconduct. Participants will be presented with a brief overview of the ASHA Code of Ethics followed by a discussion of examples of ethical misconduct, with specific focus on those confronting school-based practitioners. Participants will discuss the concept of willful blindness, the process of solving ethical dilemmas, learn to identify supportive resources when facing ethical dilemmas, and how and when to report ethical violations.

Instructor Information

Melanie W. Hudson
Melanie W. Hudson, M.A., CCC-SLP is the National Director at EBS Healthcare. She is an ASHA Fellow, and a 2019 Distinguished Fellow of the National Academies of Practice (NAP). She has over 30 years of experience as a speech-language pathologist in public schools, private practice and university settings. She served on the ASHA Board of Directors from2016-2018 as Chair of the Speech-Language Pathology Advisory Council, and on ASHA’s Board of Ethics. She also served on ASHA’s Board of Special Interest Group Coordinators as the Coordinator for Special Interest Group 11, Administration and Supervision, the 2013 Ad Hoc Committee on Supervision, and the 2018 Ad Hoc Committee for Governance Review. She is co-editor and chapter author for the 4th edition of “Professional Issues in Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology,” (Lubinski & Hudson; Delmar, Cengage Learning, 2013; Plural Publishing, 2018), and chapter author of “The Clinical Education and Supervisory Process in Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology,” (McCrea & Brasseur, Slack, Inc., 2019). She is a former President of the Georgia Speech-Language and Hearing Association and received their Honors of the Association, and the Hull Leadership Award. She currently serves on the Georgia Board of Examiners for Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology. Melanie presents nationally on a variety of topics related to professional issues including supervision, ethics, and service delivery in the school-based setting.

Financial Disclosure: Other than being paid as an employee of EBS Healthcare, Melanie has no other relevant financial relationships to disclose.
Non-Financial Disclosure: Melanie has no other non-financial information to disclose.

Learner Objectives

At the conclusion of this course, participants will be able to:

  1. Explain the purpose and function of a professional code of ethics.
  2. Discuss how to avoid several common ethical dilemmas, and where to find guidance when faced with same.
  3. Identify specific elements of their respective Codes of Ethics to solve an ethical dilemma.


  • 15 minutes: Ethical Standards: The “what” and “why” and Overview of 2016 ASHA Code of Ethics
  • 45 minutes: Recurring Themes in Ethical Issues
  • 20 minutes: Ethics Terminology
  • 45 minutes: Group Activity with Case Studies
  • 20 minutes: Willful Blindness
  • 25 minutes: Ethical Dilemmas: How to Avoid; Finding Guidance; Reporting Ethical Violations
  • 10 minutes: Questions/Discussion/Wrap-Up