Special Education

PresenceLearning Redesigns and Re-releases Lightyear Tool

PresenceLearning, a provider of live, online therapy services, has released Lightyear, a newly redesigned therapy program that offers high fidelity and live health sessions while reportedly putting less demand on school network bandwidth.

The program is designed so that more schools — particularly schools in areas with limited access to high-speed Internet — can gain access to PresenceLearning’s extensive network of qualified clinicians to assist students with special needs.

Lightyear intends to offer special education administrators across the country a new way to provide students with consistent, high-quality speech-language therapy, occupational therapy, and behavioral and mental health services.

PresenceLearning is transitioning its entire community of providers and clients to Lightyear. Each secure therapy session reportedly offers crisp, clear video and sound at lower bandwidth requirements.

In addition, PresenceLearning has added dozens of newly designed activities and games that online clinicians can use to create individualized therapy sessions for each student.

“With the new enlarged view option, it is much easier to zoom in and see the student’s mouth and important structures clearly,” said Karen McBride, a PresenceLearning online speech-language therapist, in a prepared statement. “I love using this view while working with students on the autism spectrum because we can maintain excellent eye contact. It also makes group sessions more ‘real.’ The high-quality video makes conversations fluid and allows the entire group to interpret overall communication and micro-expressions.”     

McBride has been using Lightyear since the beta version launched in August 2015, the statement said. In her experience with Lightyear, McBride said older students especially love the new reward system since it mimics the emojis many students have on their smartphone and devices.

With younger students, McBride has seen success with the new text reward box function, which she uses to introduce a vocabulary word of the day in each student session, the statement said.

Another enhancement is a new handwriting font called “Print Practice” for occupational therapy handwriting sessions. Students can select their own font style, color and line thickness, and can then mark and annotate their texts using the underlining and highlighting tools.
Other new features include: a PDF rotation tool, a flashcard editor so clinicians can upload their own images to flashcards, documentation tools for group sessions and improved assessments.

For more information about Lightyear, visit the Frequently Asked Questions page. PresenceLearning is a San Francisco-based company that has delivered more than 1 million live, online therapy sessions to students in K-12 public, charter and virtual schools.

About the Author

Richard Chang is associate editor of THE Journal. He can be reached at [email protected].