Advancements in technology have made it possible for live, online speech therapy (also known as telepractice) to become an appropriate model of service delivery for speech-language pathology (SLP). Telepractice is an effective solution for overcoming barriers that prevent access to services, such as distance, unavailability of specialists and/or subspecialists, and impaired mobility; and for addressing budgetary constraints that are present in many school districts.
PresenceLearning is a leading provider of telepractice for K-12 students, and is approved by the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA). The company provides school districts with web-based access to a nationwide network of licensed SLPs at an affordable cost. A telepractice session or encounter typically consists of real-time audio and visual connection between a client (or group of clients) and a clinician, similar to an in-person diagnostic or treatment session. It requires computers and a high speed internet connection, with specific hardware and software such as headset (earphone/microphone), webcam, Adobe Flash Player, interactive whiteboard technology, etc.
Many studies have examined synchronous interactive audio-video teleconferencing as a method for providing speech-language pathology services in areas such as aphasia, fluency, speech, language, cognitive communication, voice, and swallowing disorders.
PresenceLearning won a BESSIE Award in the category, "Multi-Level: Special Education Website." The company has provided useful links to YouTube videos which demonstrate how the service works:
Therapy for James (Meet James, 1:15)
Therapy for Hector (Meet Hector, 1:36)