The University of Nebraska- Kearney's RiteCare Clinic makes it possible for people all over the state to receive speech and language therapy via the Internet.
UNK's Department of Communication Disorders partners with Scottish Rite of Nebraska to operate the RiteCare Clinic in the College of Education, allowing graduate students at the college the chance to provide therapy to individuals who might not otherwise have access.
"Our goal with this program is to reach individuals in rural areas who would not otherwise be able to receive therapy, whether that's because of their location or funding or lack of insurance," said Laura Moody, speech and language pathology lecturer and RiteCare Clinic supervisor.
All the teletherapy clients need is Internet access and a computer or mobile device with a web camera.
Some clients use a home computer, while others visit their local library or use a computer in their residential facility, according to Moody.
our experience, teletherapy definitely works. It's a wonderful education tool.
It's a wonderful opportunity to collaborate with parents and talk with them
about their child and give them the support to develop these communication
skills in their child," she added.
Clinicians at RiteCare mostly work with children, but they may provide therapy to some adults such as individuals who have suffered a stroke.
Children may need help working on speech sounds, saying certain letters or increasing language skills. Some children may have limited verbal communication or suffer from fluency disorders such as stuttering.
"There really aren't any limits to the types of clients we can see," Moody said.
The clinic opened at UNK in 2012 and is funded by the Scottish Rite Foundation, a masonic organization that provides funding to 178 RiteCare clinics across the country.
Other Nebraska clinics are located in Omaha, Lincoln and Hastings.