NEW YORK, October 25, 2023 – Presence, a premier solution for PreK–12 remote evaluation and teletherapy services, has delivered more than 6 million teletherapy sessions to students across the nation in the last decade. In the most recent school year, Presence saw a 190% increase in demand for behavioral and mental health services. The proliferation of teletherapy reflects the rising need for special education and mental health services among public schools.
The number of students receiving IDEA services in the United States increased by nearly a million students in the last decade, making up 15% of all public school enrollments according to the National Center for Education Statistics. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates a 19% growth in demand for speech language pathologists and 12% growth in demand for occupational therapists over the next decade. Likewise, more than two-thirds of public schools have reported large increases in students seeking mental health services in the last several years.
“With rising student needs and staffing shortages, schools need partners with experience and expertise in supporting their special education and counseling programs,” said Presence CEO Kate Eberle Walker. “The pandemic brought new openness to teletherapy services, but not all remote services are equally impactful. We know from providing these services since 2009 that hybrid programs require deep partnerships with schools and clinical specialization in telepractice. This excellence in service only comes with practice, and the depth of our experience from these 6 million sessions is unmatched.”
The Presence therapy platform is designed by clinicians, for clinicians, with the goal of enhancing human connection between a therapist and their student in every session. Some of the clinicians in the Presence network, who have been with Presence for over a decade, have individually delivered over 10,000 teletherapy sessions to students with diverse needs. Now, more than 2,000 clinicians across multiple disciplines, including speech language pathologists, occupational therapists, school psychologists and mental health professionals, utilize Presence’s online platform to support the full spectrum of their work–from case management to planning to therapy delivery to documentation. The platform has thousands of digital learning resources, games and activities, including materials from well-known therapy content publishers and a breadth of curated assessments from marquee test publishers.
Since Presence was founded in 2009, nearly 10,000 schools in 47 states have partnered with Presence to expand their clinical capacity and serve more students. By using Presence’s network of clinicians to provide secure, efficient, and engaging online therapy solutions, schools have been able to reduce heavy caseloads and help more students reach their Individualized Education Program (IEP) and mental health goals.
“It’s been very inspiring to see how student engagement has improved with Presence and the offering of teletherapy,” said Dr. Vangie Akridge, director of special education for California Pacific Charter Schools-Virtual in Newport Beach, Calif. “Because of the robust selection of games, activities, and tools provided in the platform, our clinicians are seeing students grow their confidence, engagement, and skills in areas such as self-advocacy and self-esteem. Even parents are more engaged in the work we are doing with their children. We get positive feedback from excited parents all the time expressing how they see their child has improved communicating their feelings, regulating their emotions, and socially interacting.”
Today’s announcement signals Presence’s continued momentum. Recently, the company hired a new Chief Financial Officer which resulted in Presence achieving majority-female leadership positions across its executive team. Receiving national recognition for its innovative online platform, earlier this month Presence was named “Best Assistive Technology” in the 7th Annual Tech Edvocate Awards, and received two awards in the 2023 Tech & Learning Awards of Excellence.
Inspired to drive solutions for the national shortage of school clinicians, Presence is unlocking the potential of schools and clinicians by removing traditional barriers to success through an elevated approach to teletherapy. As a trusted leader since 2009, Presence is innovating how schools assess and address student special education and mental health needs. By equipping the largest network of teletherapy providers with award-winning technology and end-to-end clinical support, Presence is meeting the needs of schools, students, and clinicians today—wherever they are. With 6 million remote evaluations and teletherapy sessions conducted throughout the U.S., schools and clinicians trust the experience and expertise of Presence, a pioneer in school-based teletherapy. Presence is teletherapy, elevated.
Vice President of Communications & Public Relations