To eliminate speech-language pathologist (SLP) travel time and keep Taylor County School District students with diverse speech needs in class, Taylor County School District has implemented PresenceLearning's online speech therapy and special education-related services for K-12 students. Approximately 50 students in grades K-12 from both public and private school are working with a remote SLP during online speech therapy sessions.
Taylor County School District is located in northwestern Florida along the Gulf of Mexico, an area considered to be hunting and fishing paradise. A long, 35-mile stretch of forest and water isolated the district’s Steinhatchee School from the rest of the schools in Perry. The remote school serves Steinhatchee’s K-8 students, 13 of which needed speech therapy services.
“Our district SLPs had a 45-minute trek to and from the school, which made them lose an hour and a half of therapy time,” said Ramona Patrick, supervisor of Exceptional Student Education and Student Services. “With the help of PresenceLearning, these students use online speech therapy in the time it would take an SLP to travel to the school. It is more efficient and cost-effective.”
The online speech therapy program gives students the ability to complete therapy lessons after school or at home to keep students in class with their peers during instructional time. Students who attend private schools in Perry also have the ability to use PresenceLearning on-site or after school so they no longer have to visit an off-site facility to receive speech services. This capability is popular with parents because they know their students are not missing class instruction and they no longer have to leave work to transport their children to therapy sessions.
“The students love it and the parents love it even more because their children are having their needs met and are making progress,” said Patrick. “A high school student’s parent told me himself how happy he is with the online speech therapy. He hears his son, who has significant speech disabilities, laughing and joking with the online therapist. His son is able to truly interact and connect with the therapist.”