WABI reports on UMaine Speech Therapy Telepractice Program

WABI (Channel 5) reported on the University of Maine’s Speech Therapy Telepractice Program, which allows speech therapy students the opportunity to gain valuable, clinical experience without leaving campus. Using a secure web-hosted video conferencing system, graduate student clinicians provide speech therapy services to adults and children through computers or other devices connected by high-speed internet. Sydney Trask, a student clinician, said she had to overcome the learning curves that come with cyber therapy. “I love people and working with people, helping people,” she said. “So I was definitely a little concerned that I might not make that connection.” Fellow student clinician Brooke Talcott added, “I don’t really see much of a difference between doing it in person and doing it over the computer.” The unique telepractice services at UMaine now serve as a model for other academic programs around the country, WABI reported. “We have the only program in the state that actually trains speech language pathology students at the graduate and undergraduate levels,” said Judy Walker, an associate professor in UMaine’s Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders, who developed the program, which serves adults and children. “We’re like the speech therapist in a box,” said MaryBeth Richards, clinical supervisor of the telepractice program.