From My Screen to Yours Telepractice technology brings client and clinician face to face, looking at and participating in the same activities. Here’s how it works—and what you need. App-titude
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App-titude  |   December 01, 2014
From My Screen to Yours
Author Notes
  • Nerissa Hall, PhD, CCC-SLP, is a clinician with Commūnicāre LLC in Westfield, Massachusetts. She is a certified assistive technology professional and an affiliate of ASHA Special Interest Groups 12, Augmentative and Alternative Communication, and 18, Telepractice. hall@AACcommunicare.com
    Nerissa Hall, PhD, CCC-SLP, is a clinician with Commūnicāre LLC in Westfield, Massachusetts. She is a certified assistive technology professional and an affiliate of ASHA Special Interest Groups 12, Augmentative and Alternative Communication, and 18, Telepractice. hall@AACcommunicare.com×
  • Hillary Jellison, MS, CCC-SLP, is a clinician with Commūnicāre LLC, and specializes in AAC and assistive technology. A certified assistive technology professional, she has worked in public schools, early intervention agencies, visiting nursing services, community partnerships and outpatient clinical/medical settings. She is an affiliate of SIG 12 jellison@AACcommunicare.com
    Hillary Jellison, MS, CCC-SLP, is a clinician with Commūnicāre LLC, and specializes in AAC and assistive technology. A certified assistive technology professional, she has worked in public schools, early intervention agencies, visiting nursing services, community partnerships and outpatient clinical/medical settings. She is an affiliate of SIG 12 jellison@AACcommunicare.com×
Article Information
Telepractice & Computer-Based Approaches / App-titude
App-titude   |   December 01, 2014
From My Screen to Yours
The ASHA Leader, December 2014, Vol. 19, 38-39. doi:10.1044/leader.APP.19122014.38
The ASHA Leader, December 2014, Vol. 19, 38-39. doi:10.1044/leader.APP.19122014.38
When we tell people we deliver services over a computer screen, we sometimes get quizzical looks. We field questions like: But how can you re-create the dynamism of a face-to-face session online?
Although clinician skill and functioning technology are certainly part of the answer, much of it comes down to the interactive power of electronic tools and apps. A wide range of no- and low-cost tools allows clinicians and clients to move targets on a shared screen, fueling discussion and learning.
Among these tools are interactive websites from Disney, Lego, Starfall and PBS Kids, which address basic concepts (for example, colors, shapes, letters, numbers and basic prepositions), along with vocabulary expansion, listening comprehension, literacy development and more.
Also, a number of websites for speech-language pathologists (such as Quia and Speech Buddies; see box) offer programmable tools that target certain vocabulary, parts of speech or sounds. Some of these sites require a registration fee or membership. You can also sign up for subscription-based services that provide fully developed, ready-to-use curricula and activities (such as Big Universe, Learning Planet and Brain Pop Jr.; see list on facing page).
To learn more about other online sites and tools, see resource listings from Judith Maginnis Kuster and Tara Roof
Software and screen-sharing
Clinicians can also use software programs to develop intervention materials. For example, Boardmaker Studio, SMART Notebook, Clicker 6 and Intellitools offer customizable interactive books, game boards, flashcards and scene-based activities (see box). Once clinicians create these activities, they can display them on the client’s desktop via screen-sharing. The clinician controls pacing and presentation of these materials.
iPad apps for treatment
Also key in telepractice are iPad apps—a growing number of which are specifically designed for speech and language intervention. These include ArtikPix, Speech With Milo, and Mobile Education (such as Conversation, Language, Tense, Story and Rainbow Sentence Builder apps). Wondering how to use your iPad for computer-based treatment? You can screen-share your iPad apps to the client using airplay-mirroring tools like Reflector or AirServer. These tools project your iPad screen onto your computer screen. Note, however, that although clients can see and learn from iPad-projected content, they can’t manipulate or interact directly with it.
Several sites offer more information about iPad speech-language intervention apps, such as Apps for Children With Special Needs, Geekslp, Scribd, Speech-language apps, SpeechTechie and Teachers With Apps (see box).
Back to basics
Of course, before you can use any of these tools and apps, you need to equip yourself for teleconferencing—and ensure that your client is equipped, too. You and your client will need:
  • A computer with high-speed (preferably hard-wired) Internet access, speakers, microphone and webcam. If your computer does not have a built-in webcam, you’ll need to hook up an external one. Clients using augmentative and alternative communication may need an additional computer and webcam to ensure that the treating clinician is able to view the screen of the client’s AAC system.

  • Software to provide an audio-visual connection between you and the client. Secure, HD platforms (for example GoToMeeting, Polycom and Vidyo; see box) are best because they comply with the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act and allow for simultaneous live video-streaming, screen-sharing, and shared presenter controls (both client and clinician can manipulate on-screen content).

Good planning and attention to detail are essential to a successful session. For example, be sure that the client views a full-screen version of the presentation and is not distracted by other content—you want full client attention on your session.
Websites for Telepractice Resources and Apps

Interactive Websites

Speech-Language Pathology Websites

Subscription Websites

Software

Apps for Intervention

Airplay Mirroring Tools

Speech-Language Intervention App Resources

Video Conferencing Software

1 Comment
November 20, 2016
Ebony Brown
AAC and Telepractice
Awesome to see fellow SIG 12/AAC members blogging about telepractice. I'm considering making the switch from traditional school-based setting to telepractice and reading up on info to familiarize myself a bit more.
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December 2014
Volume 19, Issue 12