2015 Annual Conference Government Relations Committee Report

American Music Therapy Association
Government Relations Committee
2015 Annual Conference
Talking Points

1. Congratulations to the Oregon Task Force for their advocacy in obtaining music therapy state recognition. Successful legislation created a music therapy license for board certified music therapists granted by Oregon’s Health Licensing Office (HLO).

2. Congratulations as well to the Illinois Task Force for their advocacy that contributed to the passage of a licensure study within the state.

3. The California Task Force worked diligently to have a title protection bill pass the Assembly and Senate unanimously. Unfortunately, the Governor vetoed the bill, but the veto message did support recognition of the MT-BC credential and CBMT certification requirements.

4. This year marks the 10 year anniversary of the AMTA and CBMT state recognition operational plan. In 2015, 16 states hosted Hill Days, 14 states introduced legislation, and 43 states have Task Forces involved in advocacy at various levels. As of November 2015, we are anticipating recognition legislation in at least nine states in 2016.

5. MTR 2025 included a presentation that focused on the impact of research on policy. There was also a conference concurrent session offered that included the recommendations related to research and policy.

6. AMTA has received updated support from the federal Department of Education regarding music therapy as a related service under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). The Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP) issued guidance to all state special education directors clarifying the Department’s previous communications recognizing music therapy as a related service. Supportive language is being prepared for posting on the AMTA website as a resource for members and families.

7. Arts Advocacy Day will be held March 8th and 9th, 2016. We would like for a strong music therapy contingent to be in attendance and will be sharing registration information with the membership when it becomes available.

8. Plans for 2016:
Increase social media posts of AMTA advocacy work on the state and federal level
Prepare a “Civics for Music Therapists” or “Policy 101” podcast/video for members
Offer advocacy training opportunities to music therapy educational programs within each region