Telepractice in Speech & Language Pathology

This chat has already occurred. You can read the North American edition here and the Australian edition here. We strongly suggest you look over both since different interesting links and information came up in both.

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Technology is changing the wImageay we think, learn, communicate…live.

Technology has opened up access to a range of learning opportunities which were never even imaginable. If you have participated in any of our past #slpchat discussions you would have seen a true demonstration of new ways of learning in action via internet technology.

Technology is also changing the way we do therapy, as well as how access is provided to therapy services.  The emergence of telepractice, for example, has increased access to those who might otherwise be unable to receive therapy, and has created other benefits, including: reduced costs, more naturalistic environments for service delivery (in home telepractice), and increased motivation and client responsiveness  (ASHA,2005a).

ASHA (2005b) defines telepractice as “the application of telecommunications technology to delivery of professional services at a distance by linking clinician to client, or clinician to clinician, for assessment, intervention, and/or consultation.”ASHA’s position is that “telepractice is an appropriate model of service delivery for the professions of audiology and speech and language therapy.” However it also indicates that the services provided over  a telepractice medium must be comparable in quality to face to face services.  Therefore, the clinician intending to conduct telepractice services should have “detailed knowledge and skills in telepractice models, technology associated with service delivery, matching clients to technology, selecting assessments and interventions that are appropriate to the technology, cultural/linguistic variables, use of support personnel, evaluation of service effectiveness, and documentation of services.”  (ASHA, 2005b).

Many clinicians have embraced this addition to service delivery and are successfully using telepractice across a range of settings, with various clinical populations. Others prefer to stick to traditional face-to-face practice, due to personal preference, lack of  knowledge or skill in this area, previous experience and many other reasons.  Therefore, for this month’s #slpchat we want to hear your views on telepractice. Join us on Sunday March 24th at 2 p.m .Eastern Time, then again on Monday March 25th at 8 p.m. Australian Eastern Time, and give us the inside scoop on:

  • Who is using it and in what areas
  • Who is not using it, and why
  • What types of skills and equipment help the therapy process?
  • What are the benefits and limitations of using telepractice?
  • Working with telepractice companies
  • Ethical considerations in telepractice
  • Comparisons between telepractice and face-to-face service

And your overall experiences.

We look forward to hearing and learning from you!

American Speech-Language-Hearing Association. (2005a). Speech-language pathologists providing clinical services via telepractice: technical report [Technical Report]. Available from www.asha.org/policy.

American Speech-Language-Hearing Association. (2005b). Knowledge and skills needed by speech-language pathologists providing clinical services via telepractice [Knowledge and Skills]. Available from http://www.asha.org/policy.

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