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Guidelines for the Use of Speech-Language Telepractice in the Delivery of Related Services to Students with Disabilities

The purpose of this memorandum is to provide important information regarding the use of telepractice in the delivery of speech and language related services.  Speech-language telepractice is a remote service delivery model that utilizes telecommunications technology as the medium for the provision of speech and language services.

School districts have the responsibility to ensure that a free appropriate public education is provided for all eligible students with disabilities.  The use of speech-language telepractice can be an effective means for districts to meet the needs of students with disabilities (e.g., in areas of the state where there is a personnel shortage).  Although telepractice is a permitted modality in New York State, and may be an appropriate method for the delivery of speech and language services to certain students based on their unique needs, its use may not be appropriate in all circumstances or for all students. 

In addition to the guidelines issued by the New York State Education Department's Office of Special Education, the Department's Office of Professions has issued guidelines for telepractice in the Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology Professions.  School districts should review both sets of guidelines to ensure that appropriate recommendations are made for students with disabilities and that speech and language telepractice services are delivered consistent with State guidelines. 

Please share this memorandum with appropriate staff, including Directors of Special Education, Committee on Special Education Chairpersons, Directors of Pupil Personnel, as well as Parent Teacher Associations.  Questions about this memorandum should be directed to the Office of Special Education at (518) 473-2878.