Connections Learning Partners with SpeechTails

SpeechTails’ speech assessment tool will complement Connections Learning’s Online Speech Therapy program

BALTIMORE (October 29, 2012) – Connections Learning, a leading provider of digital learning solutions for the K–12 education community, and part of the global education company, Pearson, has partnered with SpeechTails, the Online Speech Learning provider to enhance Connections Learning’s Online Speech Therapy program.

Connections Learning’s Online Speech Therapy program is available to school districts and individuals seeking an innovative and cost-effective speech therapy program. In Connections Learning’s online program a team of highly trained, licensed speech therapists engage with students using a cutting-edge “telepractice” approach which is endorsed by The American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA).

SpeechTails’ online speech learning system includes a comprehensive assessment tool to help educators and parents determine a child’s individual speech therapy needs.

Through the new partnership, Connections Learning will offer the SpeechTails assessment tool, free of charge, to potential customers to help them better understand the scope of their speech therapy concerns and select a program to meet their needs. And SpeechTails’ free assessment tool will now recommend Connections Learning’s Online Speech Therapy for students who may require more therapy services.

SpeechTails, a Wisconsin-based company, was founded in 2008 by speech language pathologist, Amy Reno. Reno, a seasoned professional with over 20 years experience, developed SpeechTails as a way to support parents and others who had limited access to speech therapy services. The company’s Online Speech Learning System and resources are found at SpeechTails.com.

Reno notes, “Since I began practicing speech therapy, I have watched parents struggle with insurance approvals, time schedules and financial demands that are placed upon them when their child has difficulty with speech. One of my biggest frustrations has been lobbying medical insurance, school systems, and state agencies to gain approval for a child’s speech services. Often times I am unsuccessful and the child ends up going without speech services. SpeechTails is designed to help parents overcome these struggles and to provide a complement to speech therapy.”

“Assessing the child and putting together a therapy plan is the first step in any speech therapy program. Adding SpeechTails’ assessment tool to our program makes it a more supportive product. We are pleased to be working with SpeechTails and look forward to rolling out the assessment to our customers, “commented Dr. Steven Guttentag, president of Connections Learning.

SpeechTails CEO, Pat Walters stated, “SpeechTails is excited about this new partnership with Connections Learning and we believe the partnership will advance us towards our goal of having each child in the United States receive a speech assessment and believe the partnership will lead to more children gaining access to some form of speech services.’”

The Assessment takes approximately ten minutes and assesses each consonant sound in the English Language. On the computer, the parent or educator simply shows the child a familiar picture and the child says what item is on that picture, the parent then chooses if the child said that word correctly or incorrectly. A lesson plan/online speech learning recommendation is devised based on the information found during the assessment.

Connections Learning first introduced its Online Speech Therapy program in response to a national shortage of qualified speech therapists. “We found that schools were struggling to support students and fulfill the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) requirements and we knew that we could develop a high-quality online learning solution to help them,” continued Guttentag.

Using webcams, headsets, and LiveLesson® technology, Connections Learning’s speech therapists create a “virtual speech clinic” in schools or private homes. One-on-one or group therapeutic sessions evaluate student challenges, develop treatment plans, and work with students on a regular basis to improve speech and communication skills.

Watch a video to learn more about Connections Learning’s Online Speech Therapy: http://www.connectionslearning.com/videos/livespeech-demo.aspx

Connections Learning therapists are trained to address a variety of speech therapy needs including:
• Receptive and expressive language disorders
• Autism
• Apraxia of Speech
• Articulation/speech difficulties
• Fluency problems, stuttering
• Cognitive/executive function disorders
• Pragmatic language disorders (social communication issues)

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About Connections Learning
Connections Learning is an online learning provider that delivers a full range of quality, affordable, and turnkey online learning solutions to institutions and individuals. Bringing personalized and flexible learning to students everywhere, Connections Learning products combine a proven curriculum, the latest instructional tools, certified teachers skilled in online instruction, and state-of-the-art technology. Feature products include: online courses; online summer school; homebound student solutions; credit recovery; the Connexus™ digital learning platform; 21st Century Skills courses; a STEM package; online speech therapy; blended/hybrid programs; and virtual private and public schools. More than 1000 schools, school districts, state departments of education and other educational institutions, serving tens of thousands of students throughout the United States and beyond, are already utilizing Connections Learning products and services. For more information, call 888–440–2890 or visit www.ConnectionsLearning.com. Connections Learning and its parent company, Connections Education, are part of the global learning company Pearson (NYSE:PSO).

About SpeechTails
SpeechTails is a continuum of online products that match the needs of a child with speech development or delay issues. The product ladder starts with the SpeechTails no-cost assessment which is a 26-question, guided assessment that benchmarks a child’s speech within their age group. The information from the completed assessment, automatically drives the creation of an Individual Lesson Plan (ILP) that is fun, engaging, and convenient for the child and affordable for the parent. The speechtails.com OnLine Speech Learning system, while not Speech Therapy, was developed to be used as a complement to traditional speech therapy by facilitating carry over outside the therapy session or by parents in a self-directed fashion for children who do not qualify for speech services. For more information visit www.speechtails.com or call 800–470–8213.

Media Contacts
Connections Learning: Allison Bazin. 609-247-0275, abazin@connectionseducation.com
SpeechTails: Amy Reno, MS CCC SLP, 1-800-470-8213, amy@speechtails.com

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