Using our secure, HIPAA compliant telepractice platform, we deliver a variety of therapy services to pK-12 students across the country.
- All sessions are live and highly interactive
- Therapist have access to the Light Street content library to quickly access thousands of SLP learning objects
- Sessions can also be securely video recorded for quality assurance, training, and review purposes
- Our state-licensed, experienced therapists are trained to provide treatment within an online environment
- Endorsed by ASHA, telepractice is a proven, quickly growing field being delivered worldwide
Through its interactive technology, Light Street Special Education Solutions bridges the gaps in therapy services due to distance, personnel shortages, transportation, or scheduling.
- We hire high-quality, state-licensed therapists on-demand
- Fill gaps caused by therapist shortages, long or short-term leaves of absence, extended school closings, and homebound students
- Source specialized and bilingual SLPs
- Balance and manage caseloads across on-site and telepractice therapists
- Reduce indirect costs such as therapist’s travel
- Maintain privacy through secure, HIPAA and IDEA compliant connections protecting client information and privacy
- Assure quality through direct observation of sessions via our secure role-based permission system
- Stay in compliance with federal and state requirements
- Engage students with an integrated technology that provides clear, natural interaction through HD video-conferencing
Frequently Asked Questions
Why Is Telepractice Needed?
In the 1990’s telepractice emerged as an important strategy in addressing the national shortage of SLPs. According to the ASHA 2000 Schools Survey, 51% of respondents reported a shortage of SLPs, particularly in rural and urban areas. Speech Language Pathologists have long ranked at the top of job shortages according. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that speech language pathology is expected to grow 19 percent from 2008 to 2018, faster than the average for all occupations. At the same time, as of 2003, BLS projected that 50% of all SLPs were expected to retire within the following 15 years. Shortages are not just experienced by rural districts, medium-sized followed by large districts and high percentage of free-reduced price lunch districts experience the greatest shortfalls. Exacerbating this trend, are continued pressure on special education budgets, increased expectations of transparency and demonstrated effectiveness, and a growing need for bilingual SLPs.
We provide high-quality speech language pathology to all students in need regardless of their location, means, and primary language. Our partnership with school districts creates a tailored solution to best fit student needs, whether that is on-site, HD telepractice, or a combination of both. We even provide hybrid services utilizing your districts own on-site SLPs, allowing you to extend services to more students while managing your special education costs.
What Are The Benefits Of Telepractice?
Telepractice allows for a variety of benefits including:
- Delivery of SLP services to areas that are difficult to staff on-site SLPs
- Delivery of specialized services such as bilingual SLPs
- Higher levels of transparency and quality assurance than traditional delivery
- The ability to involve parents in speech-language sessions and bridge home and school practice activities
Does Telepractice Work?
Yes. Since the 1990’s researchers have compared the effectiveness of telepractice and traditional on-site delivery. Research studies clearly support telepractice as an effective method of delivering speech language pathology. Telepractice best practices are continuing to evolve as it becomes a standard mode of delivery. Telepractice is endorsed by ASHA and the State Board of Examiners for Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology.
What is the Student Experience During A Telepractice Session?
A session begins when the student logs into their dedicated telepractice session room and is greeted by their speech language pathologist or SLP. Depending on the student’s needs, they work alone or participate in a small group of 2-3 students. The SLP and student(s) see and hear each other through HD video cameras and either headsets or echo-cancelling speakerphones. Both the student and SLP will be able to see, hear, and interact in real time.
Prior to the start of the session, the SLP will have created a planning document that outlines the material to be covered during that session. Where appropriate, SLPs coordinate with classroom teachers to increase the impact of the therapy session. After chatting to get comfortable, the SLP will conduct exercises and games to address the student’s needs as specified in the student’s IEP or learning plan. For the first session, the SLP may conduct some assessments to identify where best to concentrate their focus.
During a session, the SLP will generally have content and games loaded into the system for quick access. The SLP will provide a mix of activities and challenges to motivate and engage the student. If participating in a small group, the SLP will engage all students, often in a round robin experience. If appropriate, a teacher can separate students into breakout rooms. As the session progresses, the SLP records their SOAP notes on each students performance.
How Often Does A Student Have The Same Therapist?
Light Street will assign a student to a specific SLP upon enrollment. The student will continue to work with this same SLP throughout their therapy. In the case of an SLP absence, there will be a substitute SLP that works off of a lesson previously prepared by the usual SLP.
Are Sessions And Student Data Confidential?
Yes, all sessions are secure and cannot be accessed without permission as specified by district and Light Street protocols.
Can Light Street Special Education Solutions Provide Bilingual SLPs?
We may be able to provide access to SLPs with additional skills such as bilingual, Signing Exact English (SEE), American Sign Language (ASL), and other special needs.
Does The SLP Receive Training In Telepractice?
Yes. All SLP’s receive training that includes:
- Fundamentals of telepractice
- Using telepractice tools and synchronous video conferencing
- Selecting, preparing, and using content
- Motivating and engaging students
- Basic technical troubleshooting
- Managing students in a telepractice environment
Does The School Need To Provide Support Staff?
Yes. Schools are expected to help each student login to each session and answer any basic questions. A teacher, computer lab monitor, teacher aide or other staff can provide this basic support. Schools can expect that most students need some support for the initial sessions but have few questions after that. School staff will act primarily as monitors, as they do not need to actively participate during sessions. We expect the school to ensure that students are available to participate in each session.
Can School Officials Observe A Session?
Yes, There are two ways to observe sessions. Sessions can be recorded for later playback. Recorded sessions can only be accessed by approved personnel. Alternatively, our system allows participants to observe a session without participating.
How Do You Manage Session Quality?
One benefit of Telepractice is the ability for Light Street to regularly conduct quality assurance reviews by monitoring live sessions and reviewing recorded sessions. LITS is a learning organization focused on the continual improvement and growth of our staff. Our system allows quality assurance staff to monitor sessions and interact privately with the SLP during a session without interrupting instruction. Every SLP is monitored for quality assurance during their initial training period and on a periodic basis