SENATE BILL NO. 330
AS AMENDED BY HOUSE AMENDMENT NO. 1
AN ACT TO AMEND TITLE 16 AND TITLE 24 OF THE DELAWARE CODE RELATING TO THE LICENSING AUDIOLOGISTS, SPEECH PATHOLOGISTS AND HEARING AID DEALERS.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF THE STATE OF DELAWARE (Two-thirds of all members elected to each House thereof concurring therein):
Section 1. Amend Chapter 20, Part R, Title 16 of the Delaware Code by striking said chapter in its entirety.
Section 2. Amend §3701, Chapter 37, Title 24 of the Delaware Code by striking said section in its entirety, and substituting in lieu thereof the following:
"§3701. Declaration of Purpose
It is declared to a be a policy of this State that, in order to safeguard the public health, safety and welfare, and to protect the general public from incompetent, unscrupulous and unprofessional practices by speech pathologists, audiologists and hearing aid dealers, and to help to assure the availability of the highest possible quality service to the communicatively handicapped of this State, it is necessary to regulate speech pathologists, audiologists and hearing aid dealers."
Section 3. Amend §3702, Chapter 37, Title 24 of the Delaware Code by adding thereto a new subsection, designated as subsection (9), which new subsection shall read as follows:
"(9) Hearing Aid Dealer' shall mean a person engaged in:
(a) The evaluation or measurement of the power or range of human hearing by means of an audiometer or any other means devised for the purpose of fitting hearing aids or for industrial screening purposes, but which testing shall in no way include medical or audiologic diagnosis;
(b) The selection, adaptation and distribution or sale of hearing aids;
(c) The instruction and counselling pertaining thereto;
(d) The use of an otoscope or "ear light" to evaluate the feasibility of and use of, ear molds and car mold impressions."
Section 4. Amend §3703, Chapter 37, Title 24 of the Delaware Code by striking said section in its entirety, and substituting in lieu thereof the following:
"§3703. Licensure Required
(a) No person shall practice speech pathology or audiology, nor engage in the fitting or sale of hearing aids in this State, unless such person is licensed in accordance with this chapter.
(b) Separate licenses shall he granted in speech pathology, audiology, or for the fitting and/or sale of hearing aids. A person may be licensed in more than one specialty if such person meets the requirements of each specialty for which licensure is sought."
Section 5. Amend §3704, Chapter 37, Title 24 of the Delaware Code by striking subsection (2) In its entirety, and by re-designating each succeeding subsection accordingly.
Section 6. Amend §3705, Chapter 37, Title 24 of the Delaware Code by designating all of said section as new subsection (a), and by adding to said section the following:
(b) To be eligible for licensure by the Board as a hearing aid dealer, the applicant shall:
(1) pass an examination approved by the Board; provided however, that such examination shall have been promulgated by Eastern Testing Services or another testing service of national reputation. The examination inay be an examination promulgated by a national association of hearing aid dealers, if such examination is used for the licensing or certification of hearing aid dealers in at least fifteen states.
(2) possess such educational qualifications as are required by the Board in its rules and regulations."
Section 7. Amend §3706, Chapter 37, Title 24 of the Delaware Code by striking subsection (a) in its entirety, and substituting in lieu thereof the following:
"(a) The Board may waive the examination and educational requirements for hearing aid dealers, and grant a license to any applicant who holds a license lawfully granted by the Division of Public Health; provided however, that such license must have been granted on a date prior to the repeal of Chapter 20, Title 16 of the Delaware Code."
Section 8. Amend §3707, Chapter 37, Title 24 of the Delaware Code by striking said section its entirety, and substituting in lieu thereof the following:
"§3707. Board of Audiologists, Speech Pathologists and Hearing Aid Dealers
(a) The Board of Audiologists, Speech Pathologists and Hearing Aid Dealers shall consist of seven members appointed by the Governor: two audiolologists, two speech pathologists, two hearing aid dealers, and a public member. All members of the Board shall be residents of this State. Each member of the Board shall serve until the expiration of the term for which the member has been appointed, or until a successor has been qualified. Each member shall serve for a term of three years, and no member shall serve more than two consecutive terms. The audiology, speech pathology and hearing aid dealer members shall be licensed in their specialties, and each shall be an active practitioner in his specialty.
(b) The Board shall elect from its membership a President and a Secretary. Four members shall consitute a quorum for the conduct of Board business. The Board shall hold at least one regular meeting each year. Additional meetings may be held upon the call of the Chairman, or at the written request of any four members of the Board. The Board shall not consist of more than a bare majority representation of one major political party over the other major political party.
(c) All meetings of the Board shall be open and public, except that the Board may hold executive sessions to:
(1) prepare, approve, grade or administer examinations;
(2) prepare, upon the request of an applicant who has failed an examination, a response indicating the cause of failure;
(3) prepare, upon the request of an applicant who has been denied a license, a response indicating the reason or reasons for denial."
Section 9. Amend §3714, Chapter 37, Title 24 of the Delaware Code by striking the words "the applicant" as the same appear in subsection (e), and substituting the words "audiology and speech pathology applicants" in lieu thereof.
Section 10. Amend §3719, Chapter 37, Title 24 of the Delaware Code by striking the words "speech pathology or audiology in this State" as the same appear in subsection (a), and substituting the words "under this provisions of this chapter" in lieu thereof.
Section 11. Amend §3719, Chapter 37, Title 24 of the Delaware Code by striking the figure "3" as the same appears in subsection (c), and substituting the figure "4" in lieu thereof.
Section 12. Amend Chapter 37, Title 24 of the Delaware Code by striking the title to said chapter, and substituting in lieu thereof the following:
"CHAPTER 37. SPEECH PATHOLOGISTS, AUDIOLOGISTS, AND HEARING AID DEALERS."
Section 13. The five persons who are members of the Board of Examiners of Speech Pathology and Audiology shall automatically become members of the new Board of Audiology, Speech Pathology and Hearing Aid Dealers upon the effective date of this Act. Of those members of the new Board who shall be hearing aid dealers, one shall serve an initital term of three years, and one shall serve an initial term of two years. Any person licensed as a hearing aid dealer on May 15, 1981 shall he eligible for appointment by the Governor for membership on the new Board. The terms of members of the new Board who were formerly members of the Board of Examiners of Speech Pathology and Audiology shall continue unabated, and the length of term and expiration date shall remain the same as where the member was appointed to the old Board.
Approved July 14, 1981.