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Developing an “Essential Functions” Rubric

Purposes and Applications for Speech-Language-Hearing Academic Programs

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Abstract:

This article describes the purpose and application of an essential functions rubric for prospective and current students engaged in the study of communication sciences and disorders. Adopted in 2007 by the Council on Academic Programs in Communication Sciences and Disorders (CAPCSD), the essential functions rubric identifies core skills and attributes in five areas: communication, motor, intellectual-cognitive, sensory/observational, and behavioral/social. CAPCSD does not intend the rubric to be prescriptive but rather expects that it will be adapted to reflect the unique mission or circumstances of each academic program. The value of an essential functions rubric for academic programs is the opportunity it provides to educate students about the roles and responsibilities of the disciplines. A rubric also allows academic programs an objective basis for counseling students about professional expectations. Importantly, an essential functions rubric gives both students and programs opportunities to determine what, if any, accommodations might be employed to allow students who are otherwise qualified to help them succeed both academically and clinically.

Document Type: Commentary

Publication date: December 1, 2009

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  • The Journal of Allied Health is the official publication of the Association of Schools of Allied Health Professions (ASAHP). The Journal is the only interdisciplinary allied health periodical, publishing scholarly works related to research and development, feature articles, research abstracts and book reviews. Readers of the Journal comprise allied health leaders, educators, faculty and students.
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