Accessibility & Disability
Rural Mississippi District Uses Online Speech-Language Professionals To Fill in Gaps
A small school district in rural Mississippi that
enough speech-language professionals (SLP) to meet the needs of its
with delayed speech and language skills has begun using an online
add to its resources.
which provides online speech and
occupational therapy and behavioral and mental health services, is now
with Stone County School District in Wiggins, MS. This semester about a dozen
Stone County district students are working with online therapists.
The school district has three speech-language
serve its 2,800 students in four schools. Two of the speech-language
professionals have master's degrees and are equipped for almost all
higher-level activities required. A third professional, with a
degree, can perform a more limited set of therapy activities.
It wasn't enough. So the district partnered with
PresenceLearning to provide online speech-language therapy sessions to
the gaps its staff has not been able to fill. PresenceLearning representatives
the online sessions are very similar to traditional therapy sessions
the fact they are conducted via live streaming. Therapists meet with
face to face in real time just as their district therapists do.
The company handles all scheduling for sessions,
available on an anytime-anywhere basis. When necessary two children can
single computer for a session with a remote therapist and, when
videoconferencing is available, they can participate from different
Meanwhile, PresenceLearning handles all the
management of speech-language professionals, making sure they are
licensed and credentialed in the school district's state.
"One of our fully certified SLPs has even said she is
from the online SLP," said District Special Services Director Wendy
said watching the way the additional SLP uses certain techniques and the
ability to bounce ideas off of another SLP is another avenue of
Michael Hart is a Los Angeles-based freelance writer and the former executive editor of THE Journal.