PresenceLearning is the leading provider of live, online special education and related services for K-12. This includes online speech therapy, occupational therapy, behavioral interventions and mental health services, and assessments. We offer schools access to a nationwide network of highly qualified clinical professionals, including speech-language pathologists (SLPs), occupational therapists (OTs), school psychologists, and school social workers, who work directly with students—via web-based videoconferencing—using a full suite of online tools and evidence-based activities.
An increasing shortage of SLPs, OTs, and related services personnel in many parts of the country has made it difficult for schools to provide adequate services for children with special needs. The shortage has driven up the cost of these services and puts a heavy burden on overstretched school budgets and personnel, who must spend an inordinate amount of time searching for—and managing—scarce clinical resources. In some cases, schools are simply unable to provide sufficient services to students and fall short of federal mandates.
With PresenceLearning, you gain immediate, flexible access to SLPs, OTs, and mental health professionals, providing consistent, high quality therapy to students and freeing your organization from the time-consuming hassle of recruiting these personnel. Schools partner with PresenceLearning to reduce caseloads for their therapists and clinicians—and to improve student outcomes. PresenceLearning has delivered over 1,000,000 successful sessions of live, online therapy to students in public, charter, and virtual schools nationwide.
More than 14% of America’s school-age population—between 6 and 7 million children—requires special education; roughly 50% of students with special needs require speech therapy and 20% require occupational therapy. This group includes children with articulation problems, language processing disorders, sensory processing disorders, and motor development issues.
While an estimated 58,000 SLPs work in schools, districts need 5,000 to 7,000 more SLPs than they can hire. Likewise, job openings for at least 2,000 OTs go unfilled every year. To make matters worse, about 50% of school therapists are expected to retire in the next decade, and others have been moving from K-12 education into health care—where compensation is higher and working conditions are less stressful. Further exacerbating the problem, qualified therapists are unequally distributed throughout the U.S.: many are concentrated in certain regions, leaving other areas with a shortage of available professionals.
These persistent labor shortages lead to higher caseloads for district therapists. High caseloads incur high costs, both directly and indirectly: these professionals often burn out and quit in frustration, districts face recruiting and turnover expenses, and students make slower—or no—progress against their IEP goals and remain in special education longer.
It costs twice as much to educate a student with special needs as a student in general education, and it has been proven that students with special needs drop out at a rate of twice the general education population. These high costs are both unnecessary and unacceptable in today’s world of technology-enabled individualized learning. Schools can now provide these students with practical, affordable access to live, online services via the web. Online therapy can help hundreds of thousands of children get the services they need to thrive academically—and in life.
Online therapy is very similar to traditional, in-person sessions—except that instead of sitting in the same room, students and clinicians interact via live videoconferencing. PresenceLearning professionals work face-to-face with students in real time, using established best practices and assisted by our best-in-class online tools. PresenceLearning recruits only the best, and ensures they are fully credentialed in your state. Our clinicians handle scheduling, and are available whenever needed. The school district provides an onsite primary support person who facilitates logistics and other needs during therapy sessions.
All you need is a computer with an Internet connection, an up-to-date browser, a webcam, and an audio headset; PresenceLearning provides webcams and headsets at no extra charge. Our easy-to-use platform is entirely browser-based, and there is no software to install or maintain. Setup is minimal, and is guided by our exceptional implementation team.
PresenceLearning is the only company with the experience to offer online services on a large scale. We currently serve a wide range of organizations—in nearly 650 public, charter, and virtual schools plus intermediate service units—in 43 states. PresenceLearning services have been used in over 1,000,000 sessions with more than 20,000 K-12 students. Customers include: Medford School District (OR), Bonneville School District (ID), Los Angeles Unified School District SELPA (CA), Palm Beach County (FL), Southwest Kansas Area Cooperative District 613 (KS), Muskegon Heights Public School Academy System (MI), and Capital Area Intermediate Unit (PA).
The combination of greater access to high quality clinicians, session scheduling, and our industry-leading therapy and reporting tools all lead to similar or better results compared to traditional, in-person therapy. As an example, recent speech therapy research, funded by the Department of Education, shows that the PresenceLearning solution yields equal or better outcomes when compared to national norms for traditional speech therapy.
In addition, by providing schools with access to an experienced and diverse pool of available clinicians, PresenceLearning enables a better match between child and therapist. For example, we make it much easier to locate a specialist with the appropriate linguistic or cultural background to suit a diverse groups of students. School districts that have adopted PresenceLearning have found our solution appropriate for the majority, if not all, of their students.
The feedback we receive is extremely positive. School administrators and special education staff cite benefits such as: higher quality therapists; better student outcomes; savings in recruiting time, hassle, and cost; easy to use technology; and the high quality of customer support. Students and families report extreme satisfaction.
By handling recruiting, contracting, onboarding, and training, PresenceLearning eliminates the headaches and time drain of dealing with attrition and filling vacancies. Our online solution also eliminates travel time and expenses. PresenceLearning simplifies scheduling, automates tracking and reporting, and facilitates auditing and compliance.
PresenceLearning is the leading provider of live, online therapy to schools both nationwide and globally. We have direct access to more than 700 top-tier professionals, and provide the most complete, easy-to-use, cost-effective solution available—including a rich library of online activities for use in therapy sessions, scheduling and progress-tracking tools that streamline program administration, and detailed compliance reporting.
We contract with a large and growing network of more than 700 highly qualified, credentialed clinicians. We only hire the best: we rigorously screen all professionals via extensive interviews and detailed reviews of their experience, credentials, and qualifications. All are provided with professional development on successfully using the platform. As such, when you partner with PresenceLearning, gain instant access to the nation’s top clinicians.
Every child is assigned to an individual clinician who is responsible for that child’s ongoing development. This continuity promotes a trusting and consistent relationship among child, parents, general education teachers, and the therapist. In the event that a child needs a new therapist for any reason, PresenceLearning facilitates a rapid transition with minimal disruption to the child.
Online speech therapy has been in use for nearly 20 years, and has been recognized by the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA) since 2005. Online speech therapy has been found effective by over 50 published, peer-reviewed studies, beginning with a landmark paper by the Mayo Clinic in 1997. Similarly, a growing base of research shows positive outcomes for online OT, and behavioral and mental health counseling.
The PresenceLearning platform includes a full suite of tools and stimuli, including flashcards, games, worksheets, stories, and an interactive whiteboard. All games and activities support evidence-based practices. Therapists easily adapt these tools to suit each child’s individual needs. The platform employs the latest web-based videoconferencing technology—ensuring reliable, high quality video and audio.
An onsite primary support person (or a parent/learning coach for virtual school students) handles in-person supervision and any hands-on requirements. PresenceLearning helps train these key team members and coordinates with them regularly.
Yes. All sessions are automatically sampled by the PresenceLearning software. In addition, PresenceLearning senior clinicians live-audit sessions to monitor quality.
Two children can share a single computer for a session led by a single remote clinician or educator. In addition, multi-point videoconferencing enables students to participate from separate locations. Group sessions can accommodate up to four students.
Online services are appropriate and beneficial in the majority of situations. In rare cases, children may be better served via traditional in-person therapy—for example, children with significant behavioral or cognitive issues that prevent them from using a computer.