Louisiana Program Allocates Funds for Online Speech and Occupational Therapy

To supplement special education services in Louisiana, the state’s Supplemental Course Academy has added PresenceLearning’s online speech and occupational therapy services to its catalog of courses. Students can register for PresenceLearning’s year-long or semester-long service offerings to receive speech and occupational therapy and have these services funded through their Supplemental Course Allocation.

The Supplemental Course Academy, and the inclusion of PresenceLearning’s online therapy services, is being funded by the 2014-2015 Minimum Foundation Program (MFP). The allocation was designed to expand access to the courses middle and high school students need to graduate and prepare for work and college. Students in grades 7-12 from public school districts and charter schools can enroll in these supplemental courses and gain access to remotely located therapists for speech and occupational therapy. Students are able to receive services whether it is specified in an Individualized Education Plan (IEP) or not.

“PresenceLearning offers Louisiana students an unprecedented opportunity to receive speech-language therapy and occupational therapy services in the face of persistent staffing shortages in 'hard to reach' service areas," said Dave “Lefty” Lefkowith, Louisiana Department of Education's Director of the Office of Portfolio.

Many districts and schools, both in and out of Louisiana, face obstacles when providing special education services to students. With many areas referred to as “hard to reach,” PresenceLearning services can help relieve high caseloads, assessment backlogs, staffing shortages, serve bilingual students and establish service for homebound students.

“All Louisiana students in need of special education related services now can get the therapy they need to make progress on their goals,” said Clay Whitehead, co-CEO and co-Founder of PresenceLearning. “Because our services are delivered online, they can receive therapy in the least restrictive environment—at school or at home on a convenient schedule.”