Videoconferencing is being used to bring support to children with speech or language disabilties in mainstream schools as as part of a three-year trial.
Children who have been pupils at one of the four I-CAN (Invalid Children's Aid Nationwide) specialist speech therapy schools in the UK and who have since returned to mainstream education benefit from special link-ups with the speech therapists at I-CAN.
During the trial the speech and language therapists also visit the pupils periodically to assess progress. The aim of the trial is to evaluate the social and economic benefits of videoconferencing support of the children once they are returned to mainstream education.
The University of Glasgow is providing an independent evaluation.
I-CAN believe that this approach to service delivery can drive down costs while driving up the quality of the service they can offer. I-CAN are the largest provider of speech therapy services to schools in Britain.
The trial, which started in 1996, is funded by BT and DTI.
Contact Duncan Rose at BT for more information