Clark County, Nevada Case Study
Clark County, NV, May, 2006 – In Nevada’s Clark County School District, the New Year brought new opportunities for speech-language professionals to expand their access to intervention materials. In January, the district adopted TheraSimplicity, an online subscription service that offers over 1,800 precreated worksheets, activities, flash cards, handouts, slide shows, and games.
District Speech-Language Director Judy Moseley is behind the effort to introduce the program to Clark County, the fifth biggest school district in the country. She explained that each year the district identifies funding for SLP resources. As part of their search effort for effective materials,TheraSimplicity Marketing Director Joe Eral was invited to make a presentation to district representatives.
“We gave him six ‘r’ words,” Judy said, “and in just seconds he made worksheets, practice sheets and a word-search activity. We were really impressed. He also showed us how they planned to expand the program and even solicited input from us on how to change and grow the service.
“Another thing we liked is that the program is Web based. That means you can really use it anywhere, even at home. Just put in your password and you can get to work wherever you are.”
TheraSimplicity uses the latest Internet technology to deliver resources. The application is seamless and always accessible. There’s never a worry about installation, upgrades, or patches. The program includes a multitude of pictures. In fact, subscribers get unlimited access to over 11,000 images that include color illustrations, line art, and photographs. And content is never static—it’s continuously growing.
Judy said, “In the past, we purchased prepackaged items. Some fit our needs and some did not. Because TheraSimplicity lets us customize materials—and because we felt it would save us money in the long run—we decided to use part of our resource funding to provide the program to anyone who wanted it. About 170 people took advantage of the offer. We’re going to test it for a year, but in the few months we’ve had it, I’ve gotten positive feedback.
“For example, I recently observed a lesson where the SLP was using the book Brown Bear, Brown Bear. She extended the activity to real live animals and line drawings from TheraSimplicity.”
As Judy continues to conduct performance evaluations throughout the year, she said she’d see how other people use the program. “I think it will be especially nice for those interested in making their own materials.”
Darcie Osgood, Clark County SLP agrees. “I use it a lot—in fact every day—because I can make my own worksheets, for instance, when teaching certain sounds. As the program expands, it will only be better.”
Darci says TheraSimplicy also helps keep her organized. “Once I have created worksheets, I can save them by ‘artic’ or language goal, such as ‘pronoun,’ and go back to them for use with another child. I can also make worksheets ahead of time for homework.
Darci’s coworker SLP Greg Staley says he uses the program more for phonological and articulation therapy than for language. “I have a lot of experience using the Internet. In my opinion TheraSimplicityis a robust, quick, and easy tool. For the first rollout of a program like this, I feel it constitutes a pretty good base.
Dona Rogner, another Clark County SLP, works in a school with special education and kindergarten students and also with a group of preschoolers in another location. She finds that TheraSimplicity is valuable for students with a wide range of needs. “For instance I work with an apraxic student, and for him, I like to use the section with games. Starting with the blank game board, I write in the words I want him to say. This way he can practice sounds and I can give the game to his mom for homework.
“With other students, I make worksheets for reinforcing specific sounds. I also like that the program includes black and white pictures. This saves on ink, and after we’re done with the exercise, the kids can color the worksheet.”
Dona mentioned she also appreciates being able to get immediate answers when a question arises. “For example, I could not find a specific topic after searching through all my options on the site. I made a phone call to TheraSimplicity, which was answered immediately from the time zone 3 hours away! I was very impressed with the speedy service. [The person who answered the phone] walked right through the site while I sat at my computer. I am having so much fun coming up with a variety of ways to enhance my lessons! My compliments to the creators!”
Later in the year, the SLP Forum will check again on Clark County speech-language professionals’ progress with TheraSimplicity. For additional information on this program, click onwww.therasimplicity.com.