Teletherapy 101: Materials & Equipment for SLPs

by Bonnie Steiner on November 9, 2018

telepractice materials equipmentWe’re excited to continue our series of Q&As on telepractice for speech-language pathologists! It’s important for clinicians to understand how they can transition their traditional speech therapy session plans into telespeech sessions, along with obtaining the right materials, technology, and equipment. Let’s start off with some of the common questions and answers.

Will SLPs need to provide their own equipment to be a teletherapist?

The short answer is yes, but before you start calculating costs, you most likely already own much of the “equipment” needed for teletherapy already. Test this by looking around your home when you have a chance. Do you have a computer or laptop? Do you have a webcam (either built in to your laptop or as an add-on)? Do you have a headset or headphones with a microphone? Is your home internet service reliable? If you’ve answered “yes” to most of these questions, there’s really no need to purchase anything else, unless you have a strong desire to upgrade your devices or internet.

What equipment do SLPs need to practice successfully as a teletherapist?

As stated above, teletherapists simply need a computer with webcam capabilities, reliable home internet (most telecom providers offer a stable amount for a strong connection, even at the lowest tier), and a headset just in case your microphone and speakers are hard to hear without it. If any of these are lacking, or if you need to upgrade any of them, make sure you keep your receipts, as it could qualify as a business expense on your tax return. Confirm with your accountant or a tax expert on specifics.

What virtual or physical materials are best for telespeech sessions?

This is a great area to get creative with planning, since so many activities and resources can be found online. VocoVision offers a Toolkit to our team members with some great resources that can be used during intervention.  More importantly, our versatile platform lets clinician access the wide spectrum of digital and physical tools that they would use if they were practicing onsite.  This is particularly helpful as we coordinate with other educators to connect to classroom communication and the language of our students’ curriculum.

Are there any other resources for SLPs transitioning to telepractice?

VocoVision has a clinical team to help with therapy and assessment tips, and a technical office team to assist with software set up and connection processes. We are dedicated to making sure our clinicians, especially those starting their first assignment in telepractice, feel confident and comfortable before they start.

Along with our support team, there are so many resources out there for teletherapists. We strongly recommend engaging with ASHA’s special interest group focused on telepractice (SIG 18). Our clinical director, Nathan Cornish-Raley, CCC-SLP, M.A., is the Professional Development Manager for this group.

Besides all these support methods, there are a number of blogs from experienced teletherapists that are open to the public, along with forums and groups on social media. With this being a remote way of providing therapy, you can only imagine the amount of remote support across the globe!

 

 

Have any other questions about materials, equipment, or technology needed to be a successful teletherapist? Ask us in the comment sections below!

Interested in teletherapy? We have multiple opportunities arising throughout the year. Check out our newest positions here.

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{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Matt November 10, 2018 at 12:36 pm

I was told during my ‘tech screening’ that my MacBook didn’t meet the specific requirements to continue in the hiring process. What are the specifics of a MacBook Pro? How much RAM is needed and which Operating System is required?

Tera Tuten November 12, 2018 at 10:33 am

Hi Matt,

Great questions. Our software can run on either Macs or Windows – we just can’t run it on iPads, Chromebooks, or smaller devices. You will need at least 4GB of RAM/memory on your device for our software to run successfully. Hope this helps – let us know if you have any other questions!

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