It’s December and time to pause and reflect on the year. So we’re sharing our top 10 “Best of 2014” news items and professional development resources for special education leaders. And if you haven’t already checked out all of our webinars, infographics, videos, and other materials, there is plenty on this list to keep you informed and entertained during the break. From all of us at PresenceLearning to all of you, Happy Holidays and best wishes for a safe, healthy, and happy new year.
1. SPEDexpectations: The Most-Watched Webinars in Company History. Nearly 6,000 educators participated in our fall webinar series presenting Julie Weatherly, Esq., Dr. Barry Prizant, and Dr. Alan Coulter. As special education shifts from a compliance-based mindset to one focused on results, the SPEDexpectations series addressed three main questions:
What’s new on the legal front?
What are the best strategies to build strong ties between families, teachers, therapists, and SPED administrators to drive better outcomes?
What does results-driven accountability (RDA) mean for SPED administrators?
Thank you, Julie, Barry, Alan, and everyone who joined us! All 3 webinar recordings are available to watch now!
2. Dr. Temple Grandin — Need We Say More? Dr. Temple Grandin is known the world over for her advocacy and perspectives on autism. We were thrilled to host her for a webinar in February when she spoke to our audience on “The Autistic Brain” and held two live Q&A sessions. You can watch the webinar here, or download our eBook or read this blog post summarizing her top tips. Thank you, Temple!
3. Free CE Credits. Webinar attendees now receive certificates of attendance, and those with valid ASHA IDs are also eligible for official CE credits from ASHA. Miss a webinar? No problem. You can watch them later, and, for a limited time, receive a certificate and/or credits upon passing a brief quiz. Questions? Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
4. Serving Thousands of Students in 40 States and Internationally. The PresenceLearning community is rapidly growing, with 700 clinicians serving students in 1,000 districts in 40 states and internationally. And this growth has not gone unnoticed: we were recently honored by Inc. as one of the fastest growing private companies. We sincerely thank the many special education leaders, administrators, SLPs, OTs, school counselors, parents, students, and employees who have been a part of this achievement.
5. Stellar Student Progress. We were recently thrilled to announce the PresenceLearning Award of Excellence to the districts whose students with special needs made the most progress in our programs nationally. The award is based on the percentage of students who improved one level or more in spoken language production and spoken language comprehension on the Functional Communication Measures (FCMs) scales during the 2013-14 school year. In addition, students receiving online speech therapy from PresenceLearning beat or met the national average in several measurements. A hearty congratulations to the students, district leaders, and SLPs who have made this all possible.
6. Behavior and Mental Health Offerings. This year, PresenceLearning began offering online behavioral and mental health interventions, evaluations, and services. Tech & Learning recently honored us with an Award of Excellence for our offerings in this new product category.
7. Incredible Insights from Dr. Barry Prizant. If you haven’t had the chance to see Dr. Barry Prizant speak, attend one of his workshops, read one of his books, or watch one of his webinars, we highly recommend that you do so. Author, creator of the SCERTS model, and expert on communication disorders and autism, Barry joined us for several webinars this year, including “Preventing Problem Behaviors in Schools” and “Family Collaboration: An Essential Element for SPED Success.” Barry, thank you!
8. An ASHA Fellow Ensures Clinical Excellence. VP of Clinical Services Melissa Jakubowitz has been a tireless advocate for the field of speech-language pathology and for telepractice throughout her career. An SLP with over 20 years of clinical and managerial experience, Melissa is a Board Recognized Specialist in Child Language. She is the past-president of the California Speech-Language-Hearing Association, which, with over 5,000 SLP members, is the largest SLP state association in the country. She is also active in ASHA, serving as a Legislative Counselor for 12 years. Melissa began her career working in the public schools. She has also operated a successful, multi-office private practice and is a past Director of the Scottish Rite Institute for Childhood Language Disorders in Stockton. This year, we congratulate her on being named an ASHA Fellow.
9. Sharing Your Stories. Districts, students, and therapists are a constant source of inspiration and we love sharing your stories. This year, we thank Capital Area Intermediate Unit, Synergy Academies, Muskegon Heights School District, Rocky Mount Preparatory School, and River Springs Charter School for some terrific success stories, and Murray County Schools, Fowler Unified School District, School District of DeSoto, Bonneville Joint School District No. 93, and Synergy Academies for inviting us into their schools to capture your online speech programs on video. We’d also like to thank a very special student in Los Angeles for telling her personal story.
10. New Resource Library. Last but not least, our Resource Library, new this year, is chock full of whitepapers, eBooks, quick guides, and infographics for you and your colleagues covering topics such as autism, special education law, caseload management, and online therapy.