New York State Bureau of Early Intervention Implementation of Telepractice

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We ask the Bureau of Early Intervention to allow for the provision of services to our most vulnerable population via telepractice. These services, while indirect, are of primary importance and in-line with our family centered service mission. It allows, more than ever, for providers to teach guardians how to implement strategies with their children to achieve the goals established on the child's IFSP. This step will further support the states efforts to reign in the spread of the Covid-19 coronavirus while also, hopefully, preventing and protecting against the significant financial fallout the state and country will be facing due to lack of income.

With public schools beginning the process of providing at home learning, this move is practical and consistent. Some counties have placed early intervention and preschool services on hold, withholding much needed services from this high need population. Others are allowing providers to continue within guidelines/parameters. However, some providers and families being serviced are at higher risk for an infection being life-threatening and should not be putting themselves at risk.

Not allowing providers to use technology to provide remote support is punitive (and discriminatory due to age) to both the children and their providers. I urge you to implement this option with immediacy.

With respect, Early Intervention and Preschool Families and Providers