Speech Impairment (SI)
DefinitionSpeech impairments are disorders of speech sounds, fluency, or voice that interfere with communication, adversely affect performance and/or functioning in the educational environment, and result in the need for exceptional student education.
- Speech sound disorder – A speech sound disorder is a phonological or articulation disorder that is evidenced by the atypical production of speech sounds characterized by substitutions, distortions, additions, or omissions that interfere with intelligibility. A speech sound disorder is not primarily the result of factors related to chronological age, gender, culture, ethnicity, or limited English proficiency.
- Phonological disorder – A phonological disorder is an impairment in the system of phonemes and phoneme patterns within the context of spoken language.
- Articulation disorder – An articulation disorder is characterized by difficulty in the articulation of speech sounds that may be due to a motoric or structural problem.
- Fluency disorder – A fluency disorder is characterized by deviations in continuity, smoothness, rhythm, or effort in spoken communication. It may be accompanied by excessive tension and secondary behaviors, such as struggle and avoidance. A fluency disorder is not primarily the result of factors related to chronological age, gender, culture, ethnicity, or limited English proficiency.
- Voice disorder – A voice disorder is characterized by the atypical production or absence of vocal quality, pitch, loudness, resonance, or duration of phonation that is not primarily the result of factors related to chronological age, gender, culture, ethnicity, or limited English proficiency.
This definition is found in State Board of Education Rule 6A-6.03012, F.A.C.
State Lead Contact
State Laws and Regulations
The rules referenced below are specific to SI. Please refer to Florida Statutes and State Board of Education Rules - Hyperlinked Index (PDF) for a complete listing of laws and regulations applicable to exceptional student education.
- 6A-6.03012, F.A.C., Exceptional Student Education Eligibility for Students with Speech Impairments
- 6A-4.0176, F.A.C., Specialization Requirements for Certification in the Area of Speech-Language Impaired (Grades K-12) - Academic Class
- 6A-4.01761, F.A.C., Specialization Requirements for Certification in the Area of Speech-Language Impaired/Associate - Academic Class
Department of Education Resources
Technical Assistance Papers
- Technical Assistance Paper DPS: 2010-171 Exceptional Student Eligibility for Students with Speech Impairments (PDF)
- Technical Assistance Paper DPS: 2009-099 - Questions and Answers Regarding Speech/Language as a Related Service (PDF)
- Technical Assistance Paper K12: 2007-137 - Questions and Answers Regarding Speech-Language Impaired Associate Certification (PDF)
- DPS: 2015-151 - General Education Intervention Procedures
- DPS: 2015-152 - Evaluation, Determination of Eligibility, Reevaluation and the Provision of Exceptional Student Education Services
- DPS: 2015-16 - Waiver of Statewide, Standardized Assessment Results for Students with Disabilities
- DPS: 2014-128 - Third Grade Student Progression
- Developing Quality Individual Educational Plans
- Accommodations: Assisting Students with Disabilities (2018) (PDF)
Online Modules for Professional Development
- Personnel Development Portal for Exceptional Student Education
- Professional Development Alternatives
- Florida Association of Speech-Language Pathologists and Audiologists (FLASHA)
- Florida Center for Reading Research
- Florida Department of Health, Division of Medical Quality Assurance, Board of Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology
- Florida Diagnostic and Learning Resources System
- Florida’s Response to Instruction/Intervention State Web site
- Just Read, Florida!
- Office of K-12 School Choice
- Problem-solving/Response to Intervention State Project
- Student Support Services Project