School District of DeSoto County Adopts Online Speech Therapy

To tackle the shortage of highly qualified speech and language pathologists (SLPs) and to better serve students, the School District of DeSoto County in Arcadia, Florida adopted PresenceLearning as provider of online speech therapy services for its students. The live online speech therapy platform provides the district with “anytime anywhere” access to PresenceLearning’s nationwide network of highly-qualified SLPs to work with special needs students.

“The people who were applying for our SLP positions often did not meet the standards that we have for serving our students,” said Debra Giacolone, Exceptional Student Education Director at the School District of DeSoto County. “We have high expectations and wanted to ensure that our student needs could be met. We chose PresenceLearning because they allow us to fill those needs and uphold our high standards.”

The School District of DeSoto County consists of 4,800 students in grades Pre-K through 12, with 14 percent qualifying to receive special needs services. Approximately 60 students at the middle and high school levels now receive speech and language therapy from PresenceLearning.

“The feedback from students has been positive,” said Tammy Cassels, Assistant Director of Exceptional Student Education at the School District of DeSoto County. “We especially liked the idea of PresenceLearning for the secondary level students because they generally do not like to be singled out and pulled out of class for therapy. We thought this might be better because they can utilize the computer lab.”

“Our PresenceLearning SLPs have worked hard to create a collaborative working relationship with our staff,” saidGiacolone. “Recently, one of the PresenceLearning SLPs was able to participate in a student’s IEP meeting by sharing what they were currently doing in therapy. Our staffing director was impressed and so were the parents.”

PresenceLearning offers online speech therapy by providing online access to a nationwide network of highly qualified, fully licensed speech-language pathologists who are available whenever and where ever they are needed. PresenceLearning also offers access to technical specialists, as well as culturally and linguistically diverse speech-language pathologists.