SLPs and Researchers Enthusiastic about Telepractice in Schools

Telepractice in Schools

As the demand for SLPs in school districts rises, more and more schools are facing severe shortages of SLPs. A 2008 article in The ASHA Leader reported that public schools in West Virginia are turning to telepractice technology to address these personnel shortages. Jeanne Juenger, an SLP in West Virginia, said, “It’s no secret that rural districts and small districts are having a difficult time recruiting qualified speech-language pathologists.” She says that telepractice, on the other hand, is a sensible solution because it does not require “tens of thousands of dollars. You just need to use readily available technology well.” The good news is that many school districts in West Virginia already have the computer hardware and software in place to support long-distance learning. Susan Grogan-Johnson, a researcher that is directing a long-term pilot program in Hardin County, says with enthusiasm, “We’re finding that telepractice is a wonderful service delivery model with the potential to fill a niche in the speech-language treatment in public schools. It has the potential to provide master’s-level speech-language treatment to students who wouldn’t receive services otherwise”.

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