Online therapy for students with special needs recognized in the New Products category
SAN FRANCISCO, December 27, 2013 – PresenceLearning, the leader in online speech therapy and other special education-related services for K-12 students, was recently named a winner of the Tech & Learning 2013 Awards of Excellence (AOE) for its online occupational therapy (OT) service. The service, which is delivered via PresenceLearning’s award-winning online therapy platform, was chosen in the New Products category by a panel of more than 30 educators, who tested more than 150 entries. It was chosen based on its quality and effectiveness, ease of use, creative use of technology, and suitability for use in an educational environment.
“We are seeing occupational therapists change students’ lives every day by using this technology to ensure consistent access to high quality services,” said Clay Whitehead, co-CEO and a co-founder of PresenceLearning. “The recognition from the Tech & Learning Awards of Excellence is a great honor and further recognizes our partnership with school districts to improve outcomes – academic, social, and emotional – for special needs students.”
The AOE program has been recognizing outstanding ed-tech curriculum and hardware products for more than 30 years. With a solid reputation in the industry as a long-standing, high-quality program, the AOE recognizes both the “best of the best” and creative new offerings that help educators in the business of teaching, training, and managing with technology. In addition to being given a rigorous test-drive by qualified educators in several rounds of judging, each entry was carefully screened by the Tech & Learning editorial team.
PresenceLearning’s online OT services help schools improve their compliance with the requirement of the Individuals with Disabilities in Education Act (IDEA) to educate students with special needs in the least restrictive environment (LRE) possible, getting as close to in-classroom as possible. With online delivery of OT services at the school site, students do not need to be transported to a specialty clinic to receive occupational therapy which can cause them to miss valuable time in class and with their peers. Less missed class time supports higher student achievement.
Approximately one fifth of the six to seven million special needs students in the US require occupational therapy. PresenceLearning’s online OT services help students with a variety of different diagnoses – including, but not limited to, autism, Down syndrome, cerebral palsy, learning disabilities, attention deficit disorder, speech or language impairment, and sensory processing disorder – make progress on their goals. During online OT sessions, the therapist, along with an on-site aide or learning coach, works with students using readily available and inexpensive materials such as pens, paper, tongs, dried pasta and other items to engage students and teach specific functional skills such as posture, tracking skills related to reading and writing, handwriting, keyboarding, cutting, and attention related to sensory processing.
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 Tech & Learning
For over 30 years, Tech & Learning has been—and continues to be—the leading resource for K–12 leaders. Its publications, Web sites and events provide factual and evaluative information on trends, products, and strategies to educators who purchase technology products in their districts and schools. Tech & Learning, published by NewBay Media LLC, delivers the highest quality content and essential resources to manage, train, and teach technology. For more information, visit www.TechLearning.com.
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.
Katie Povejsil, Vice President of Marketing, PresenceLearning
Christine Allman, Public Relations for PresenceLearning