Top 6 Benefits of Teletherapy for School Districts

By: VocoVision

School districts around the country are realizing the many advantages of teletherapy, and more schools are utilizing it than ever before. There are many positives of teletherapy that help schools, students, and families. Comprehensive, cost-effective, efficient, and engaging; this form of service delivery is sure to benefit your schools.  

School-Based Telehealth Benefits

Telehealth, teleservice, or teletherapy are different terms to describe what is essentially the same process. It is the delivery of services across an Internet connection, using advanced technologies such as videoconferencing, screen sharing, and real-time interactive online programs. School-based teletherapy takes place at your school site. Your students connect with professional specialists on a dedicated, interactive platform. Services are provided remotely, over a secure, reliable network, to your students with learning challenges. The game-changing part of teletherapy is the unparalleled equity and access it can provide to schools. All students who require services can now access them, no matter the physical, social, or mobile barriers that may have been in their way. However, when your district makes the transition from onsite therapy to telehealth, you should not settle on just any remote service provider. Providers should offer a full suite of teletherapy services, all delivered by highly qualified experts who are at the top of their fields. Below, learn more about the top 6 benefits of teletherapy for school districts:

1. Wide Ranges of Teletherapy Services Available

At VocoVision, we match districts with exceptional professionals across a wide range of teletherapy services for schools. Our teletherapists include specialized clinicians such as speech-language pathologists, occupational therapists, teachers of the visually impaired, teachers of the deaf/hard of hearing, and sign-language interpreters. Within counseling services, we provide expert assistance from top-notch social workers and school psychologists. Teletherapy can offer any service that can be delivered onsite, with similar levels of effectiveness.

For your students who experience language-based obstacles, our speech-language pathologists provide assessment and treatment for multiple learning challenges. Your students may struggle with articulation and phonology issues. They may experience the frustration of language impairments, childhood apraxia of speech, or fluency issues such as stuttering. Our SLPs can help. Other children with autism spectrum disorders deal with speech and language challenges that are associated with ASD. Students who utilize Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC) have their own set of speech-related obstacles. The excellent SLPs at VocoVision are fully credentialed and ready to assist all of your students virtually.

Occupational therapists offer another benefit to your district’s students. Teletherapy enables our OTs to complete a wide array of services remotely. Whether your students require consultation, evaluation, monitoring, supervision, or intervention, our specialists can deliver what you need. Remote therapists can attain the same outcomes as onsite OTs, including addressing needs in fine motor skills, visual-motor skills, handwriting, and various areas of rehabilitation.

Your students who have visual impairments will directly benefit from VocoVision’s TVIs. Our teachers of the visually impaired are highly effective and harness the powerful technology and tools that we offer through our platform. Through remote assessment and interaction, TVIs can unobtrusively assist students, as well as train teachers, staff, and families. You can expect similar outcomes from our teachers of the deaf/hard of hearing. Those students who experience these hearing challenges will benefit significantly from our remote instruction and expertise.

Remote sign-language interpreters provide an invaluable service to students. VocoVision’s SLIs incorporate an advanced mobile technology known as Video Remote Interpretation (VRI). With this technology, our specialists can coordinate interactions between interpreters, instructors, students, and peers. Because it runs on mobile technology, VRI allows the deaf/hard of hearing students to interact with their environment and classroom freely, much more so than with traditional shadowing methods.

Our company’s social workers are experts at bringing stakeholders together in a remote setting to benefit students. Whether it is via individual or group sessions, our social workers provide high-caliber counseling services. They offer many forms of assistance, including crisis intervention, alleviating student mental health concerns, and helping find solutions to home-based issues that impact performance at school.

VocoVision’s remote school psychologists assist students with a plethora of challenges they may face, including cognitive, behavioral, and mental health concerns. Using videoconference technology, telephone, or email communication, school psychologists can remotely deliver crucial information to families, school team members, and others involved in student success. Our clinicians can provide many forms of intervention to support students, as well as school-wide exercises that encourage mental health.

2. Cost-Effective

A critical benefit of teletherapy, especially in this age of fluctuating budgets, is that it can be quite cost-effective. Although individual situations may vary, many school districts will save money by choosing teletherapy over onsite therapy. Hiring a full-time specialist involves many further costs for the district, in the form of insurance, benefits, and other expenses. By choosing a telehealth provider such as VocoVision to meet your students’ needs, you can fine-tune the individual services that you require, without the added costs of a full-time employee.

Additionally, by moving services to an online platform, your schools can save significantly on costs related to physical service delivery. For example, gas, travel expenses, and materials all need to be reimbursed by the district. A teletherapy approach can remove these expenditures.

3. Access to Services in Rural Areas

For districts with schools in remote, rural areas, it can be a daunting challenge to provide services to their students. Geographic isolation and the physical distance from qualified specialists can result in unfortunate underserving of students in rural locations. VocoVision is committed to helping students in every school that needs services provided. Through remote teletherapy, our specialists can provide superior services to any student, no matter their learning challenge or school’s location. Teletherapy supplies the solution that your rural schools need.

4. Teletherapy is Space Efficient

Many schools are already overloaded as far as available space. Often, schools are forced to “make room” for visiting specialists and their therapy sessions. By integrating a teletherapy platform, this will no longer be an issue. The only requirement of the school in telehealth is a computer, as opposed to an entire room to devote to physical sessions. Remote service delivery can free up valuable space in your schools, without a need to create work stations or offices for onsite service providers.

5. Students Find Teletherapy Enjoyable

When providing services to students, engagement is critical. If children do not buy into services, it can be challenging to reach the desired outcome. Many students of all ages enjoy technology. Teletherapy utilizes tablets with programs that feel “game-like” and fun. By directly interacting with our specialists digitally, students are motivated and engaged throughout the session. VocoVision has a dynamic, attractive platform that draws students in and creates an enjoyable experience for learners.

6. It is Research Backed

As school districts adopt telehealth more frequently, the primary motivation for many is simple: teletherapy works. The more teletherapy research conducted, the more the evidence mounts. In all areas of teletherapy that VocoVision works, teletherapy is as effective as onsite therapy. In teletherapy, students receive individualized services tailored to their learning needs. VocoVision ensures that only the most highly-qualified specialists are providing services and that they are using research-backed and data-driven practices in their delivery.

Each field has research to prove its efficacy. For example, in the realm of speech-language pathology, common conclusions have been found across multiple service areas. Teletherapy and onsite service delivery are equally effective with articulation and phonological disorders. Similarly, Hill et al. (2009) discovered that there was no significant difference between onsite and teletherapy treatment of apraxia. Within language and fluency research, many studies reached the same conclusion. Remote speech and language intervention are also proving to be beneficial to students, with many showing significant improvement (Scheideman-Miller et al., 2002).

Occupational therapy studies are delivering equivalent results. In Criss et al. (2013), students participated in online OT service delivery, specifically around handwriting. The outcome was that not only were students satisfied with the process, but most showed marked improvement in their handwriting skills.

Students are benefiting in the field of remote school psychology, as well. A study conducted by Wright (2016) demonstrated no significant difference between formal assessment conditions in onsite versus teletherapy delivery. Supportive data continues to back up the efficiency of telehealth school psychology services.

Experience the Benefits of Teletherapy for School Districts

Teletherapy can offer your school district many benefits. With a comprehensive offering of services, districts can customize what they need for their school sites. Teletherapy is cost-effective and can free up space at your school. Remote service delivery can reach students who face geographic barriers, such as those in rural schools. For the students, teletherapy is engaging. A final benefit of teletherapy is that it is proven to be effective. Students will thrive in teletherapy, and VocoVision can supply the technology platform – and qualified experts – to provide exceptional services to all of your district’s students with learning challenges. To learn more about teletherapy services for your school, contact VocoVision today.

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