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As part of the department’s Country Education Strategy and One in Four Reforms, telepractice is being piloted to deliver speech pathology and psychology services in selected schools across South Australia.
Telepractice statewide roll out in 2023
Telepractice 'hubs' have been set up in selected schools and Local Education Offices. These hubs have the required ICT infrastructure and can be accessed by neighbouring schools and preschools.
In addition to the hubs, travelling TeleKits will be available for schools across the state.
Each TeleKit is a carry-on sized suitcase that contains all the special equipment and instructions for schools to set up their own temporary telepractice space. They will be sent to schools when there's a student who is going to receive a service through telepractice.
Following a pilot in 2022, we've refined the technology for telepractice and how schools set up for telepractice sessions. In 2023, we'll be focusing our learning on which students and sessions can benefit the most from telepractice service delivery.
Telepractice uses video conferencing to deliver specialist services at a distance. Using video conferencing, a clinician can remotely connect to a child or young person, their carer or any person responsible for delivering services to a client.
This allows service providers to respond to the education and wellbeing needs of children and young people, particularly those in remote and regional areas who have limited access to face-to-face services.
Telepractice services can include:
Telepractice can be used to deliver a range of specialist services, such as speech pathology and psychology.
It may be used for:
- individual sessions
- group sessions
- specialist educational assessments.
Your school or preschool can advise the best way for your child to access services, which may or may not include telepractice.
Telepractice is delivered through COVIU, a specialised allied health video conferencing platform. COVIU makes sure that allied health and departmental compliance is guaranteed, including privacy requirements and data storage.
To support your child, service providers may also use Teams, Webex or phone for meetings.
Your child’s school or preschool will work with you and your child to prepare for a telepractice session.
You may be asked to:
- provide consent for your child to engage in the agreed service by telepractice
- transport your child to a telepractice hub (if relevant)
- attend and participate in telepractice sessions (for example for intervention sessions).
Your school or preschool will:
- arrange the telepractice session
- make sure the technology is available, including hardware, software and connectivity
- set up the room so the telepractice session can run smoothly
- explain how the session will work
- provide an e-helper (site-based educator, preschool or school support worker or allied health professional) to coordinate the session and provide tech support
- make sure appropriate confidentiality and security are in place.
During a telepractice session, your child will be connected to the service provider using a laptop or device.
Students accessing services by telepractice may require different levels of support to engage with the technology. An e-helper will help your child engage in all aspects of the telepractice session.
A telepractice session may involve some or all of the following:
- meet with you, or the preschool or school staff, to get and share information about your child
- assess your child’s needs
- provide recommendations on how to support your child at school or preschool
- work directly with your child to monitor and follow up their progress
- provide support for yourself, or the school or preschool staff working with your child to implement programs.