FL District Uses Online Speech Therapy to Prevent Students from Missing Class Instruction and Social Opportunities

SAN FRANCISCO, November 19, 2013 – To eliminate speech-language pathologist (SLP) travel time and keep Taylor County School District students with diverse speech needs in class, Taylor County School District implemented PresenceLearning, the leader in online speech therapy and other special education-related services for K-12 students. Approximately 50 students in grades K-12 from both public and private school are working with a highly qualified remote SLP during online speech therapy sessions.

Taylor County School District is located in northwestern Florida along the Gulf of Mexico, an area considered to be hunting and fishing paradise. A long, 35-mile stretch of forest and water isolated the district’s Steinhatchee School from the rest of the schools in Perry. The remote school serves Steinhatchee’s K-8 students, 13 of which needed speech therapy services.

“Our district SLPs had a 45-minute trek to and from the school, which made them lose an hour and a half of therapy time,” said Ramona Patrick, supervisor of Exceptional Student Education and Student Services. “With the help of PresenceLearning, these students use online speech therapy in the time it would take an SLP to travel to the school. It is more efficient and cost-effective.”

The online speech therapy program gives students the ability to complete therapy lessons after school or at home to keep students in class with their peers during instructional time. High school students in Advanced Placement classes who still need intensive therapy no longer miss valuable material or social time in class because of PresenceLearning’s flexible scheduling. Students who attend private schools in Perry also have the ability to use PresenceLearning on-site or after school so they no longer have to visit an off-site facility to receive speech services. This capability is popular with parents because they know their students are not missing class instruction and they no longer have to leave work to transport their children to therapy sessions.

“The students love it and the parents love it even more because their children are having their needs met and are making progress,” said Patrick. “A high school student’s parent told me himself how happy he is with the online speech therapy. He hears his son, who has significant speech disabilities, laughing and joking with the online therapist. His son is able to truly interact and connect with the therapist.”

Since 2009, PresenceLearning’s online speech therapy services have provided schools with a practical, affordable new option for service delivery: web-based access to a nationwide network of live, highly qualified, fully licensed speech-language pathologists who are available whenever and wherever they are needed. This past year, PresenceLearning added occupational therapy (OT) and online assessments to their service offering. By partnering with PresenceLearning, school districts can fill staffing gaps related to acute and chronic SLP and OT shortages, reduce high caseloads for onsite personnel, reduce their backlog of assessments, improve student outcomes and become more efficient. PresenceLearning also offers access to technical specialists, as well as culturally and linguistically diverse speech-language pathologists and occupational therapists.

PresenceLearning has delivered more than 250,000 live online therapy sessions in public, charter and virtual school districts of all sizes nationwide.

About PresenceLearning
PresenceLearning (www.presencelearning.com) is the leading provider of live online speech therapy services for K-12 students and now offers online occupational therapy as well. The company offers school districts web-based access to a growing, nationwide network of hundreds of highly qualified speech language pathologists (SLPs) and occupational therapists (OTs) via live videoconferencing combined with the latest in evidence-based practices and powerful progress reporting.

Serving thousands of students in public, charter and virtual schools throughout the U.S., PresenceLearning has shown that online speech and language therapy is practical, affordable and highly effective.  PresenceLearning is an ASHA-approved continuing education provider for SLPs and a U.S. Department of Education grant-winner, dedicated to bringing the highest clinical standards to online therapy.