Addressing tension in the eligibility process: Findings from focus group discussions

Marie Ireland (Presenter), Sharynne McLeod (Presenter), Sarah Verdon

Research output: Other contribution to conferencePresentation onlypeer-review


In order for students to receive SLP services in U.S. schools, they must be found eligible. Three focus groups of school-based SLPs discussed the complex nature of evaluation practices and decision making in schools. Qualitative analysis using the Cultural Historical Activity Theory (CHAT) framework revealed nine tensions: SLPs’ concerns regarding eligibility decision outcomes; Concerns about evaluation data used for decision making; Documentation of educational impact; Complexities of students learning English as an additional language; Overuse of SLI for students who do not qualify; Parents’ intervention in decision making; Rule bending by administration; Disagreement between team members; Need for greater SLP empowerment and advocacy. SLPs and leaders may use the CHAT framework to reduce obstacles and as a catalyst for change.

Learner Outcome(s):
Examine the usefulness of qualitative research using CHAT for understanding eligibility team decision making in schools
Discuss major tensions regarding eligibility decision making in the school setting identified by focus group participants
Identify how SLPs and school leaders may utilize the nine tensions to reduce obstacles and as a catalyst for change
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 18 Nov 2022
Event2022 American Speech Hearing Language Association Convention: 2022 ASHA Convention - New Orleans Ernest N. Morial Convention Center, New Orleans, United States
Duration: 17 Nov 202219 Nov 2022


Conference2022 American Speech Hearing Language Association Convention
Abbreviated titleReframe your thinking
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CityNew Orleans
Internet address


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