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Outreach service telepractice guidelines

Learners who need specialist support can be referred to the Integrated Services Team.

If anyone from a learner’s team or whanau has noticed that they need help to support the child or young person, then they can refer the learner to the Integrated Services Team.

A referral can be about communication, movement, sensory, social, behavioral, cognitive, and emotional needs, as well as Audiology or Assistive Technology.

Following an accepted referral, a learner will be assessed (either directly or indirectly) via Telepractice.

  • The Integrated Services Team can provide consultation, assessment, and programme planning and implementation remotely via Telepractice. Telepractice is the online delivery of services via live videoconferencing, where a specialist and learner, whānau, and/or teacher interact in real time.

    A flyer is available HERE for a summary about how Telepractice works.

    A support person or ‘Facilitator’ (whānau / teacher) will be required to be present with the learner during Telepractice sessions to ensure the session runs smoothly. This could be for the entire session or part of the session.

  • Telepractice sessions may involve:

    • Direct work: face to face interactions with the learner using interactive assessment/ therapy tools
    • Indirect work: working with the whānau/ teaching team to gather assessment information (video clips / discuss observations) or provide coaching around strategies/ activities

    The aim of Telepractice sessions:

    • To complete assessment and/or programme implementation, training, and/or coaching
    • To create and follow a ‘Support Plan’

    If the specialist needs to see the learner ‘in person’ an In-Reach or Local Visit may be suggested.

  • Telepractice is evidence-based and allows the Ko Taku Reo Integrated Services Team to provide:

    • Equal service to learners wherever they are in New Zealand
    • Increased flexibility with session timing
    • Greater access to services
    • Sessions in a more time-efficient way, avoiding travel and traffic issues
    • A motivating platform for learners to access services

    Telepractice requirements

    Technological equipment:

    • High-speed internet connection
    • Video conferencing software
    • Preferably laptop/ desktop computer. Tablets can be considered but the learner won't be able to use keyboard controls
    • For some assessments, the learner screen size must be at least 25cm (9.7 inches) diagonal. There may need to be a third camera set up for these assessments discussion, video clips etc. Indirect programme implementation can be delivered using a coaching model with the whānau/ teaching team.
  • Audio and visual considerations for each learner need to be addressed on a case by case basis to ensure they are able to fully access the Telepractice session.

    For direct assessment and programme implementation, the learner needs to be able to:

    • Sit and pay attention to a screen for 30-60 minutes
    • Follow simple directions
    • Use a computer mouse (not essential)

    If the learner does not meet the learner requirements, an alternative model of indirect assessment and programme implementation via Telepractice should be considered. Indirect assessment involves gathering assessment information informally via

    • Has familiarised themselves with the information regarding the role of the Facilitator
    • How to use teleconferencing software e.g. screen viewing options, volume control, screen sharing
    • Be able to access emails, read session plan prior to the session, print/ organise necessary resources
    • Assessment: how to support the therapist/ learner with this process
    • Programme implementation: be open to receiving ideas/ strategies to try with learner and generalise this to outside of telepractice session


  1. When an IST Outreach Service referral is received and accepted, along with a completed Telepractice screening form, an IST specialist will contact the whānau/ teaching team to talk about the IST Telepractice service and explain what the requirements are.
  2. A Telepractice Flyer will be sent to the whānau/ teaching team, which gives more information about the service, the equipment required and the setup expectations of how Telepractice will work (e.g. direct vs indirect models)
  3. A Telepractice Facilitator needs to be nominated and given information about the facilitator role.
  4. Test Video call with Facilitator:
    1. have Facilitator’s phone number on hand
    2. troubleshoot any connectivity/ technical issues
    3. Zoom familiarisation, screen viewing options
    4. the opportunity for the Facilitator to ask questions
  5. Telepractice Initial Session: with whānau/ teaching team (and sometimes learner depending on suitability) to gather initial information/ case history/ discuss learner’s needs
  6. Telepractice Test session with Learner present (this may happen during or straight after the Initial Session):
    1. to determine learner suitability for direct Telepractice and online assessment
    2. to evaluate earner’s responses, and identify any possible issues
  7. Type of Telepractice service is decided upon:
    1. Direct: working directly with the learner
    2. Indirect: working through the whānau/ teaching team
    3. A combination of direct/indirect approaches
  8. Start Telepractice Assessment/ Programme Implementation
  9. Ongoing Review of Telepractice suitability for each learner. If Telepractice isn’t meeting the learner’s needs, they may be considered for an ‘in-person’ approach (In-Reach Visit/ Local Visit).