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Technology for Live Video Visits
Live video visits (e.g., telehealth or teletherapy) may enable you to receive EI services during COVID-19. Live video visits are new to Illinois EI services and are ONLY being offered during the pandemic. Below, we provide some technology tips for live video visits.
What Internet Platform Do I Need for Live Video Visits?
Your service coordinator and/or EI provider will identify a platform (e.g., Skype for Business, Zoom for Healthcare) to offer the live video visits. Each EI provider or service coordinator may have a different platform. However, all platforms will let you see and hear the EI professional. Your service coordinator and/or EI provider will tell you which platform they’re using and help you access the live video visit. No public-facing platform (e.g., Facebook) should be used for live video visits. You should ask your early intervention professional about whether the platform protects your privacy.
What Technology Do I Need for Live Video Visits?
For live video visits, you will need an Internet/data plan with a stable connection. Usually, you can use a phone, tablet, laptop, or desktop computer for live video visits. Some laptops or desktops may require a webcam and speakers.
How Can I Prepare for a High-Quality Live Video Visit?
During COVID-19, we understand that your family circumstances are unique and constantly changing. Below, we provide tips for a high-quality visit realizing that, in the current context, it may be difficult to implement these tips.
- Choose the best location in your home that will allow you to see and hear the EI professional. Ideally, this location would be private and quiet. This will help avoid background noise so you can see and hear the EI professional.
- Try to ensure a consistent and sufficient bandwith for your Internet connection. You may ask family members to avoid using the Internet during your live video visit. If possible, hard-wire your Internet connection (versus relying on WiFi). If you’re using WiFi, try a location as close to your router as possible. The ideal bandwith of your Internet connection will depend on the Internet platform you are using. Ask your EI professional about the needed bandwith for the platform you are using. Check your Internet bandwidth with the Speakeasy Speed Test at https://www.speakeasy.net/speedtest/
How Can I Access Needed Technology for Live Video Visits?
There are several free and low-cost ways to access technology for live video visits. Consider:
- Comcast has a program that offers low-cost computers
- The Arc of Illinois-Technology Fund for families will pay for a $500 device for a family.
- AT&T has a program for low-cost, high-speed Internet services.
- Mobile telephone and Internet companies can provide free mobile service, including both voice and data, through the Lifeline Program. The customer accesses the Lifeline benefit by obtaining service from one of the participating companies, and the companies verify eligibility.
- Safelink is a well-established lifeline mobile carrier.