Testimony of Robin Roberts to the BOE, September 17, 2020

I would like to speak about Action Item #22 – Enable My Child.

I am, Dr. Robin Roberts, a physical therapist with the SDP. I am speaking on behalf of our physical therapists.

Attending the professional development training session, makes clear that this program does not improve anything for our service delivery to the families we serve. It is little more than a scheduling and audiovisual system without any additional resources. The end user is responsible for populating their resource library for use. During our only training session with EMC administrators, it was clear that their Resource Library is currently empty and it is up to the therapists to upload all resources, assessments, or clinical tools for use on their site.

And, we have spent several months gathering resources that would benefit our student population in this virtual environment; they are stored in a shared Google Drive.

We have multiple platforms that replicate Enable My Child which are readily available and/or free: Scheduling – Sign Up Genius, Google Calendar Audiovisual contact – Google Meet, Zoom, LOOM, which we are currently using and have been, since schools moved to virtual instruction.

Most importantly, this is an unnecessary barrier to service – with our families having to learn another process in order to access related services. I think we have to acknowledge how difficult virtual education is for parents and caregivers.

Many of us have been in contact and initiating service with our students using our existing platforms. It is working. We were instructed that it may be beginning to mid-October before any activity on this platform could start. This service is far too late to start.

Additionally, our training included our Speech language pathologists, many of whom asked to continue to use other programs, such as Ultimate Speech, to provide resources and service for their students.

There is nothing of value added for related service providers or the families that we serve. There is nothing inherently special or high quality about the Enable My Child Platform that we do not have in the various platforms we are already using. Since March, we have been working with the students and families that we serve to build a rapport with appropriate resources and support their individual educational needs in this virtual environment. This program is unduly expensive. That $100K can and should be used to purchase at-home equipment kits: like balls, yoga mats, fine motor tools: putty, etc., the delivery service to get them to our students, and assessments for therapists to complete our evaluations.

Robin Roberts PT DPT, MBA