One-on-One Speech Therapy Goes DigitalBy Shah, Nirvi; Education Week, Volume 31, Number 7, pages 14-15
Publication Date: October 11, 2011
Article discusses the use of online speech therapy in public schools in the United States. The American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA) endorses online speech therapy as long as the quality of the service is the same as for in-person therapy. For online teletherapy to work, schools need to provide equipment, including computers with high speed Internet access and webcams, as well as a supervising aide or parent in some cases. Computer software used typically shows images of the therapist and student captured by webcams, while the rest of the screen can be used by the therapist to insert materials such as videos and worksheets and by the student to click on an answer or interact with a game. Use of online speech therapy has increased due to increased demand for the service and a decline in therapists joining the profession, combined with school districts’ budget constraints. A speech therapist can serve several schools remotely, which cuts down on both commuting time and travel cost. Telerehabilitation is especially effective in underserved rural communities. A study on teletherapy for children in rural Ohio cited showed videoconferencing to be a promising method of delivering speech-language therapy to schoolchildren. Disadvantages discussed to speech teletherapy include the need for therapists to be licensed in the state where they work as well as the states where their students are located; and difficulties associated with integrating the therapy into the classroom. Companies providing teletherapy services mentioned include the San Francisco based PresenceLearning and Connections Education located in Baltimore, Maryland.
Published by: Educational Projects in Education Inc. (Website:http://www.edweek.org/info/about/)
Link to text: http://www.edweek.org/ew/articles/2011/10/12/07speech_ep.h31.html