National Student Speech Language Hearing Association
10801 Rockville Pike
Rockville, Maryland 20852

March 12, 1999

Dr. Phyllis Tureen, Chair
New York University
Department of Speech Language Pathology and Audiology
719 Broadway, Room 213
New York, New York 10003

Dr. Tureen:

We, the National Student Speech Language Hearing Association, recently became aware of possible discriminatory policies and practices by your department against individuals who stutter. This issue involves Peter Reitzes, a student in your graduate program, who was reportedly prevented or detained from progressing through clinical training because of his dysfluencies.

This letter serves to remind you that there are long-standing policies regarding discriminatory practices and we urge you to review the Standards for Accreditation of Graduate Education Programs in Audiology and Speech-Language Pathology. Specifically, review the following standards:

*  Standard 1.5: Students, staff, and clients are treated equitably --
    that is, without regard to gender, sexual orientation, age, race,
    creed, national origin, or disability;
*  Standard 4.2: The program makes reasonable adaptations in
    curriculum, policies, and procedures to accommodate differences
    among individual students;

While we recognize the right of a private university to create and enforce its own set of standards and policies, such policies much be consistent with the existing laws of both State and Federal jurisdictions as well as with the ASHA Standards and Code of Ethics. I am confident, moreover, that you are aware that ASHA and our professions were in large part started by individuals who stutter, and many prominent clinicians and researchers who stutter continue to make scholarly contributions as leading authorities in communication sciences and disorders.

The National Student Speech Language Hearing Association represents over 18,000 students in training programs at over 200 accredited universities and colleges. NSSLHA maintains a 'zero tolerance' policy toward discrimination of any kind.

NSSLHA has recently been informed of your decision to disavow your earlier stated policy regarding Mr. Reitzes. We will continue to monitor Mr. Reitzes' matriculation, as well as other students' eligibility to participate in NYU's clinical program and we support your decision to implement policy that parallels ASHA standards and current Federal and State legislation.

We hope that NYU will continue a tradition of fair treatment to all.


Jacquie Kurland
NSSLHA President

CC: Lynn Flahive, NSSLHA Executive Director
Donna Geffner, ASHA President
Dr. Harvey J. Stedman, NYU Provost
Peter Reitzes


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