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Press Release: Louisiana Minimum Foundation Program Allocates Funds for Students to Access Online Speech and Occupational Therapy

PresenceLearning is the only BESE-approved provider of live, online special education services in Louisiana’s Supplemental Course Academy

SAN FRANCISCO, June 5, 2014 – To supplement special education services in Louisiana in order to better serve students, 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.

“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.”

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. Additionally, 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. “PresenceLearning’s ‘anytime anywhere’ online delivery model enables students to work on core language and learning skills that form the foundation for achieving college and career readiness.”

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, establish service for homebound students and more. Online therapy from PresenceLearning can overcome all of these obstacles with its secure online platform that connects students with highly qualified therapists and disorder-specific specialists for difficult or rare cases.

Since 2009, PresenceLearning’s online speech therapy services have provided schools with a practical, affordable new option for service delivery: web-based access to a nationwide network of live, highly qualified, fully licensed speech-language pathologists who are available whenever and wherever they are needed. PresenceLearning also offers online occupational therapy (OT) as well as assessments for both speech and OT. By partnering with PresenceLearning, school districts can fill staffing gaps related to acute and chronic clinician shortages, reduce high caseloads for onsite personnel, reduce their backlog of assessments, improve student outcomes and become more efficient. PresenceLearning also offers access to technical specialists, as well as culturally and linguistically diverse therapists.

About PresenceLearning
PresenceLearning (www.presencelearning.com) is the leading provider of live online speech therapy and online occupational therapy services for K-12 students. The company offers school districts web-based access to a growing, nationwide network of hundreds of highly qualified speech language pathologists (SLPs), occupational therapists (OTs) via live videoconferencing combined with the latest in evidence-based practices and powerful progress reporting. PresenceLearning recently began offering schools the services of mental health professionals for online counseling as well.

Serving thousands of students in public, charter and virtual schools throughout the U.S., PresenceLearning has shown that online speech and language therapy is practical, affordable and highly effective. PresenceLearning is an ASHA-approved continuing education provider for SLPs and a U.S. Department of Education grant-winner, dedicated to bringing the highest clinical standards to online therapy.
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