School District of DeSoto County Uses Live Online Speech Therapy to Better Serve Students in Speech Therapy

School District of DeSoto County Uses Live Online Speech Therapy to Better Serve Students in Speech Therapy

Middle and high schools students in Florida use PresenceLearning for their speech-language needs 

SAN FRANCISCO, December 11, 2012 – To tackle the shortage of highly qualified speech and language pathologists (SLPs) and to better serve students, the School District of DeSoto County in Arcadia, Florida adopted PresenceLearning, the leader in online speech therapy services for K-12 students. The live online speech therapy platform provides the district with access to PresenceLearning’s nationwide network of highly-qualified SLPs to work with special needs students.

“The people who were applying for our SLP positions often did not meet the standards that we have for serving our students,” said Debra Giacolone, Exceptional Student Education Director at the School District of DeSoto County. “We have high expectations and wanted to ensure that our student needs could be met. We chose PresenceLearning because they allow us to fill those needs and uphold our high standards.”

The School District of DeSoto County consists of 4,800 students in grades Pre-K through 12, with 14 percent qualifying to receive special needs services. Approximately 60 students at the middle and high school levels now receive speech and language therapy from PresenceLearning.

“The feedback from students has been positive,” said Tammy Cassels, Assistant Director of Exceptional Student Education at the School District of DeSoto County. “We especially liked the idea of PresenceLearning for the secondary level students because they generally do not like to be singled out and pulled out of class for therapy. We thought this might be better because they can utilize the computer lab.”

“Our PresenceLearning SLPs have worked hard to create a collaborative working relationship with our staff,” said Giacolone.  “Recently, one of the PresenceLearning SLPs was able to participate in a student’s IEP meeting by sharing what they were currently doing in therapy. Our staffing director was impressed and so were the parents.”

PresenceLearning offers innovative online speech therapy by providing online access to a nationwide network of highly qualified, fully licensed speech-language pathologists who are available whenever and where ever they are needed. By partnering with PresenceLearning, school districts can address issues caused by acute and chronic SLP shortages, improve student outcomes and save money. PresenceLearning also offers access to technical specialists, as well as culturally and linguistically diverse speech-language pathologists.

PresenceLearning will conduct more than 120,000 live sessions during the 2012-2013 school year in public, charter and virtual school districts of all sizes nationwide.

About PresenceLearning

PresenceLearning ( is the leading provider of live online speech therapy services for K-12 students. The company offers school districts web-based access to a growing, nationwide network of over 300 highly qualified speech language pathologists (SLPs) via live videoconferencing combined with the latest in evidence-based practices. PresenceLearning delivers significant cost savings while improving student outcomes. 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 speech therapy.


Katie Povejsil, Vice President of Marketing, PresenceLearning

Christine Allman, Public Relations for PresenceLearning