LAAC Success Stories
New York law prohibited the use of testing technicians by psychologists, limiting the practice of neuropsychologists in that state.
The New York State Association of Neuropsychology (NYSAN) organized grassroots action and support from national organizations, including NAN, to support legislators in passing a bill allowing for use of technicians.
- In 2003, the State Education Department in New York began interpreting the psychology scope of practice act in an idiosyncratic way, including the typical practice of testing technicians under their interpretation of the practice of psychology. This new interpretation effectively restricted the use of testing technicians and changed the practice of neuropsychology in the state.
- NYSAN coordinated grassroots advocacy efforts for 11 years at the administrative and legislative level, with limited success.
- In 2015, they supported Bill S.4176-B (Valesky)/A.6948-A (Lavine), which would exempt the activities of testing technicians from the psychology scope of practice and enable testing technicians to administer and score standardized objective psychological or neuropsychological tests.
- They coordinated advocacy efforts and garnered support from a number of stakeholders: The American Psychological Association, Autism Speaks, the Brain Injury Association of New York State, the Clinical Neuropsychology Synarchy, the Coalition of New York State Alzheimer’s Association Chapter, Inc., the Epilepsy Coalition of New York State, Inc., the Interorganizational Practice Committee (consortium of all major national neuropsychology organizations in the United States, including NAN), the New York MS Coalition Action Network, and the New York State Neurological Society.
- NAN provided financial support and letters of support to advocate for the bill.
- The bill passed both houses and was signed into law by Governor Cuomo.
The Rhode Island governor’s 2016 budget included a proposal to create one board overseeing 25 professions, including psychology.
The Inter Organizational Practice Committee (IOPC) wrote a letter informing the House Committee on Finance about the potential dangers to consumers, and the proposal was not included in the final budget.
- In 2016, the Rhode Island governor included Article 19, a proposal that would have one board oversee 25 professional groups, including psychologists, barbers, and funeral directors. Combining diverse professional groups with varied training, ethics, and standards of practice in such a way would dilute the licensing board’s ability to effectively assess professional qualifications and protect the public when a professional violates standards of practice for his/her discipline in Rhode Island.
- Representatives from the Rhode Island Psychological Association (RIPA) contacted the IOPC with a request for a letter of support and sample language from a letter sent by RIPA. The IOPC includes liaisons from the American Academy of Clinical Neuropsychology, National Academy of Neuropsychology (NAN), Division 40 (Neuropsychology) of the American Psychological Association, the American Psychological Association Practice Organization, and the American Board of Professional Neuropsychology.
- NAN, as part of the IOPC, provided a letter to the Chairman of the Rhode Island State House Committee on Finance, educating him about the risks of damage to the public by requiring board members from diverse professions to regulate psychologists and other mental health providers without sufficient knowledge of professional practice boundaries, standards of care, and/or ethics of psychological practice.
- The proposal died in committee.