eLuma’s CEO & Founder Jeremy Glauser had the opportunity to join Dr. K Todd Houston and Kim Dutro Allen on their podcast “Telepractice Today”. In this episode, Jeremy discusses how eLuma got started, the importance of teletherapy now, and beyond COVID.
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Video Transcript

Narrator: [00:00:00] Welcome to episode 24 of Telepractice Today with Kim Dutro Allen and Dr. Todd Houston.
Kim Dutro Allen: [00:00:18] Okay, welcome back to another episode. Todd has some news, not happy news to share with us before we get started today.  
Dr. Todd Houston: [00:00:34] Because of the timing of when we record and then when we are able to publish, but I’ve, I’ve just learned of the death of Bill Connors. And those of you who have been doing telepractice for a little bit longer, You are probably aware of him and the work he’s done with the Aphasia Toolbox and, and the online community, especially the Facebook group.
And he was such a big presence in terms of telepractice and has been a big presence for many, many years, advocating for telepractice, his focus with adults, and there was not that many people out there talking about adult services. And he was certainly one of those pioneers in terms of telepractice and working with patients with Aphasia and other diagnoses.
And, you know, I was kind of shocked because I’ve shared some  emails with him, not that  long ago. And unfortunately he passed away on October 19th. And so I just want to say to his colleagues certainly we offer our condolences to him and his family and his colleagues and all the folks involved with Aphasia Toolbox.
And we hope everything continues. We hope the Facebook group continues, but we all know it won’t be the same without Bill. He was definitely one of a kind. For sure. And I think he helped countless people with advice and tips and helping them get off the ground with lots of services and providing private services through teletherapy.
Kim Dutro Allen: [00:02:28] And it’s a loss for sure. Yeah. And he was responding a lot on the SIG 18 group, and the online chats and stuff that were posted there, you know, different questions from time to time, he would offer some direction and help. And so I, it just really is a bit of a shock. So with that, we will move on. Rest in peace Bill. 
Dr. Todd Houston: [00:03:02] So Kim, you have a tip you want to share? 
Kim Dutro Allen: [00:03:07] I do. I just wanted to give a heads up to people about a website that’s been helping me a lot and that I’ve used a lot and sessions and that is free, which is also always nice. If you guys haven’t been on to toytheater.com yet you should. I have used it for just like simple reinforcers. There’s a whole section on games. There’s ones that are great to do even if you can’t share mouse control. I’ve played lots of snakes and ladders, lots of UNO, and just have the kids, you know, kind of watch me control it and, but get reinforced and excited about it. And I’ve found some more things recently. There is a hidden pictures game on there, which I think would be great for working on prepositions and answering where questions and things like that. I really like anything where I can recreate kind of imaginary play and things like that. And it’s hard to do over tele-practice, but there are ways that you can simulate that, I guess I would say, and they have a board where you can drag in different stickers and then you can kind of record the stickers moving and they have a background.
[00:04:30] So I used this with some students the other day where I have some targets for them like using conjunctions, or maybe I put their words with their articulation targets. I used the annotate tool to put those on the screen and then said, okay, here’s your stickers. I’m going to move them around. You tell the story while I move them around. And then we played that video back. Again, it doesn’t record the sound. It just records the movement, but you can still have them do the story at first. And then, okay. Now they’re going to move again. You tell the story while your stickers move. So that’s been a neat tool to use too, so, and it’s all free.
[00:05:11] So hopefully that gives you some ideas for mixing up sessions and what we’re doing in there. I’ve heard others talk about Toy Theater. 
Dr. Todd Houston: [00:05:21] I haven’t used it yet, so I haven’t sort of done the deep dive to really figure it out, but I’m looking forward to it. I’ll probably just end up wasting lots of time, myself just playing.
 Kim Dutro Allen: [00:05:35] No, I know. I kind of feel like going on and playing a game of Uno or something like that. There were some games that I haven’t played since I was little and I’m like, Oh, this is a fun way.
[00:05:46] I’m still making the deep dive into it too. I just, you know, I was kind of just using it for reinforcers, but there’s a lot on there. There are some good language activities too. 
Dr. Todd Houston: [00:06:00] Yeah, I’m going to pass that onto my grad students to make sure that they know that it’s out there. Yeah. And it’s free.
Kim Dutro Allen: [00:06:07] So that’ll always appeal to grad students. 
Dr. Todd Houston: [00:06:11] Exactly. They’re always looking for the free stuff and the cheapest Teachers Pay Teachers and all that. 
Kim Dutro Allen: [00:06:23] We have a great person on today. I’m looking forward to this. Yes, we do. We have our first non SLP, I believe. So that’s a good one too. We’re branching out. So we have Jeremy Glauser and he is the CEO of a company called eLuma that is providing teletherapy services. Full disclosure, it is a company that I am an independent contractor with just recently and have had some experience with. And we’re excited to hear from him today and just kind of the background on why telepractice.
[00:07:22] We want to welcome Jeremy Glauser to the podcast today. Jeremy, thanks for coming. Give us some of your background and how you ended up in telepractice. 
Jeremy Glauser: [00:07:58] Thank you so much for having me. It’s a pleasure to be with you. I love what you’re doing by the way. The education around telepractice is so necessary and what a timely podcast during a pandemic. 
[00:08:14] You know, I came into contact with telepractice about 11 years ago, and I was working with a speech scientist, Dr. Sam Fletcher, and we were working on a device called the Palatometer and presenting at conferences and interacting with SLPs all over the country. And I became aware of ample research around telepractice and it just peaked my curiosity because my mission is to help people fulfill their human potential and connecting therapists, democratizing access to therapy services was something that I have become very passionate about. 
Dr. Todd Houston: [00:08:55] And so with that passion, you started a company.
Jeremy Glauser: [00:09:01] I did. I know. Isn’t that crazy? 
Dr. Todd Houston: [00:09:05] So tell us about how that happened. How the start of the company happened. 
Jeremy Glauser: [00:09:12] You know it’s a very serendipitous story. And for all of all of those who are familiar with some of the SLP history and programming, Utah State was one of the first accredited programs West of the Mississippi.
[00:09:35] And Dr. Fletcher was part of that process and, and working very closely with him opened up my world to a lot of different avenues research, academic studies. And as I was pouring through that, like I said, I became aware of decades of research around telepractice and it had evolved tremendously over the years in academic research, mostly. And at ASHA, one year in San Diego, I was interviewing and interacting with others who are thought leaders in Speech Language Pathology. And seeing this, this dire trend of an increasing need in speech therapy, especially among kids in K through 12 and a decreasing supply of therapists, mostly because of the lack of accredited universities, putting therapists out there and really fulfilling the needs of kids.
[00:10:42] And it was at that time that it occurred to me. That what, Dr. Fletcher and I were doing among other people on that team was, was that we needed to get the solutions out there to more people. And I decided that I was a little bit crazy and passionate enough, maybe a little bit naive, right? Or a mixture of perfect things to found eLuma back in 2011 and start a very difficult yet rewarding journey.
Kim Dutro Allen: [00:11:19] That’s great. What is it about teletherapy that you feel like is important right now and not just in a pandemic, but will continue to be important and will continue to be something that we need as Speech Language Pathologists? 
Jeremy Glauser: [00:11:37] That’s a very good question, because I think that the problem is more systemic than many might realize. And yes, there are not enough accredited universities putting out enough SLPs and OTs and educators in general, and a statistic that, that, that you can find that’s pretty widespread and is common among academic studies is that almost half of educators, including speech therapists, exit the workforce within five years. And that’s tough. It’s tough to gain traction. It’s tough to really build your therapeutic knowledge. And, you know, what’s interesting is ASHA did a study quite a while ago and interviewed a very large cohort of speech therapists specifically around their reasoning for exiting the workforce, but then the conditions upon which they would re enter the workforce.
[00:12:40] And I’m sure many of you are familiar with these studies, but to summarize the reasons for exiting the workforce is increasing case loads and the inability to connect with the students and make that personal impact. And then on the flip side, the qualifying criteria to reenter, which is very interesting. Is the ability to have flexible hours, less paperwork and more control over their schedule.
[00:13:06] And those were some of the light bulbs that went off, and that’s why teletherapy is so critical. Because there’s this amazing pool of Speech-Language Pathologists all over the country, but guess what? They’re not working because they don’t have less paperwork, more flexible hours, and the ability to control their schedule. And teletherapy really taps into this amazingly talented group of speech therapists that want to work on their conditions. And that’s my hope. And that’s what we’re doing at eLuma. 
Kim Dutro Allen: [00:13:39] Yeah, you just summarized a lot of the things that drew me to teletherapy in the first place was that flexible schedule, less paperwork. And I think too, one of the things that’s nice about teletherapy is some of the places that need it the most need the most services.
[00:13:56] The most help are the places that have the hardest time getting it. Those underserved populations, the low income areas are places that don’t have a big draw to get people physically there. And I think that is a big advantage of it too. 
Jeremy Glauser: [00:14:15] And when you think about what you just said. There are pockets in this country that are suffering from a more severe shortage of, of any therapist or educator, but then you also have pockets in this country that have a plentiful supply of universities, graduating therapists, for example, Pennsylvania of all places, Ohio, even Utah itself. Missouri is another state has three plus accredited universities putting out a lot of speech and language pathologists and democratizing the access, is a big theme in teletherapy, in my opinion. Because you can take those areas where there are enough therapists and you can connect them with those areas that, that are underserved, right? And it used to be these rural areas across the country, but you know, one of the things that we’ve seen changing over the years, and especially now with the COVID-19 is that no one’s immune. We all need to elevate our understanding and our practice of online instruction. And that’s for sure. 
Dr. Todd Houston: [00:15:30] Is it sometimes not the person or the family that lives far away that needs those services. It could be someone we know that, you know, those rural communities have less access and less in terms of choice in terms of providers. But, you know, I I’ve had families that live literally a mile from our center and telepractice was still the best option for them for a variety of reasons. Transportation, there were several other children that they would have to get together to bring the child actually needed the therapy. They have to have all these other kids with them, or they had to pay for a babysitter, which they couldn’t do. And so teletherapy and telepractice was the best solution for those families. And so I think it’s, you know, now with COVID of course, when everyone had to sort of jump on and do it, I think people are seeing that sometimes it’s, it’s the best thing to do. Even those, you know, like maybe right down the street. 
Jeremy Glauser: [00:16:36] Yeah. I’m a living case study. I have three kids and my youngest daughter is in speech therapy and my wife and I are working from home most, most days each week. And we’re tag teaming and it is a lot of effort to get her down to the school building for speech therapy and back. Of course we do it because we really want to. But one of the things that we’re working on with the speech therapist, is doing teletherapy. He hasn’t done teletherapy, it’s a new thing for him. And so we’re taking our daughter in because that’s the best situation for this therapist.
[00:17:23] But my wife and I have talked about what if our local district was implementing teletherapy and how much convenience. Right. And I agree with you, Todd, it’s not so much, a decision of necessity anymore, right? It’s a decision of what’s best for the family and the student and the provider.
Dr. Todd Houston: [00:17:44] Exactly. And, you know I’m at the University of Akron. So one of my hats that I’m wearing and so in training my grad students, and I really want them to see telepractice as a another tool. Borrow an analogy, of putting this tool in your toolbox. 
[00:18:03] You know, I want them to be just as as efficient as doing in-person therapy as they would be doing teletherapy. And I want them to be able to do both equally as well. And so that then they can really put together a treatment program or therapy services for the children, families, or adults that they may be serving, and they’re not limited in any way. And that’s, that’s been my philosophy over the years.
[00:18:37] And so I’m hopeful that that will continue to have this need. We know the need is there, but I’m hoping we will continue to, to see training programs, especially other universities adopting a similar philosophy where they’re trying to integrate more training and telepractice before the students graduate.
Jeremy Glauser: [00:19:01] I love that Todd, it takes partnerships on all sides. And you know, you’re building awareness through a podcast and educating these therapists, and we’re building a framework and a system for them to deliver these teletherapy services. And we need both sides to partner together. And it’s exciting for me to see these programs, building curriculum around teletherapy now.
[00:19:34] And I imagine that we will see teletherapy becomes standard curriculum in graduate programs across the country, at least that’s my hope. Because, you know, when we’re out there trying to solve these needs with school systems, it’s always advantageous to work with those who have had teletherapy experience.
Dr. Todd Houston: [00:19:58] Right.
Jeremy Glauser: [00:19:58] But those who haven’t, you can do it. It’s easy to upskill with some proper training. 
Kim Dutro Allen: [00:20:04] Exactly. And I feel like, like we said, we are getting out of that realm where teletherapy is the only thing that we could do. And I think there really are some people there were like, okay, I did this because I had to, but now I kind of like it what’s, what’s your pitch for them? What do you tell them about why they would want to do this longer than for just COVID and what should they look for when they’re looking for a company to do it with?
Jeremy Glauser: [00:20:30] Yeah. I think that if anything, teletherapy allows us to exercise all of our humanity. We have families, we have work, we have professions, we have our personal lives and teletherapy allows you to balance all of those things. And you know, we are fast approaching the time where post pandemic is in my mind, a hybrid world. Where yes, therapists will continue to go onsite to school systems, but they will also continue to do online services and instruction post COVID and I’m grateful for the possibilities that have been opened up here.
[00:21:19] So what I would say is don’t pigeonhole yourself in one or the other, but look at this as a new opportunity to bring a hybrid solution that not only serves your balance for life and keeping therapists in the workforce, but it’s also to help meet students where they are and to offer a greater element of modality choice that is determined by the IEP team, including the family. 
Dr. Todd Houston: [00:21:51] That’s exactly what I believe as well, in a sense that, you know, really see this as that other tool to really structure something, that’s going to meet the needs of the student. And I do think, I agree with you that even after COVID or vaccine or whatever, we end up over that after world looks like.
Jeremy Glauser: [00:22:14] Let’s hope it’s sooner than later.
Dr. Todd Houston: [00:22:16] I do think we’ll see sort of a swing back, but I think it’s going to be that hybrid world. I think there’s the consumers in a lot of the families and students have also liked it have also enjoyed having the access or they may not have had it before, or didn’t know about it before. Now they know about it. And so I think we’re going to see consumer demand continue to go in that direction. And I think like Kim was saying they’re professionals who were kind of skiddish in the beginning are now jumping in because it’s something they enjoy. And as you were mentioning earlier, there’s more flexibility. They can work from home. They can have all those things that make their, their quality of life much better. 
Jeremy Glauser: [00:23:12] Yeah. And, and I think that before  COVID there wasn’t this great sense of we need a teletherapy software or platform. And I’m going to be very honest with you, when COVID hit we were working toward a platform solution, but we were not ready with that immediately and the amount of interest and feedback and an inquiries, “eLuma do you have a platform that we can use to do teletherapy?” was tremendous, and we’ve learned a lot. 
[00:23:50] And one thing that has become clear is that there is a thirst for knowledge and best practice and training. And I think that that’s where we’re headed next from a standpoint of software or solutions built for teletherapy is we need to continue establishing best practice, establishing systems and trainings in addition to these curriculums and universities. Right. And so we’re hoping that over the next few months as we release our platform, that it will really serve the needs of these SLPs, these educators in these schools, across the country. 
Kim Dutro Allen: [00:24:36] Yeah, that’s it. I think everything that we’re moving towards and that we’re doing is really exciting. So if people are more are interested in eLuma who should they contact? Where do they go? And what, what do you offer that they won’t find other places? 
Jeremy Glauser: [00:24:53] Yeah, absolutely. Our website is eLuma.com and you can reach out to me. My name is Jeremy Glauser. My email is J Glauser, G- L-A-U-S E-R@elumatherapy.com.
[00:25:06] And I’ll be happy to introduce you to whoever it is that you’re interested in learning from here at eLuma. But we really just want to be a help to this industry, to the people who need it. We truly do believe in building community. So even if you want to reach out and connect, please do. But you know, I think here at eLuma, what matters to us is that we focus on, on the people, on the service. And for us, it’s very much about helping people fulfill their human potential and that’s what defines anything and everything we do. 
[00:25:44] So it’s been a pleasure to be here, Kim and Todd, this is such a good thing you’re doing. Thank you for promoting information and spreading good and good information about telepractice.
Dr. Todd Houston: [00:25:56] Well, it’s been a pleasure having you Jeremy, and best of luck to you and eLuma.
Jeremy Glauser: [00:26:01] Likewise.
Dr. Todd Houston: [00:26:04] I liked the way Jeremy has infused his own personal life’s purpose into the company that he is building. And how it’s really about using teletherapy and telepractice to connect providers to the children, to the students who need those services so that those children can really achieve their ultimate potential, their human potential.
[00:26:37] And so, really love that philosophy. And just as a note, we are not endorsing eLuma or any other company. This was not  something that was paid, we received no income from them. We just liked the philosophy and we wanted to invite Jeremy on to discuss that we are certainly open to having other companies, other CEOs, to come on to the podcast and to chat with us about how their companies are positioned and, and to share that information with you, ultimately, Kim and I want us to be available to talk to anyone who wants to talk to us about telepractice. If we find that that information is helpful to any of you who may listen.
[00:27:32] So we are totally open to talking with other CEOs or the companies that this conversation and this episode is not an endorsement per se of eLuma. But we can use your endorsement and you can do that endorsement by leaving a five star review. And when you do that, that helps us to grow our program, to grow the podcast.
[00:28:03] We get more subscribers when you do that, which leads us to sharing more information with more people about telepractice. So we’d really appreciate if you can do that for us. So until next time, stay safe and stay healthy. This has been a production of the Three C Digital Media Network.

Additional Resources

You can find more episodes of Telepractice Today at https://telepracticetoday.libsyn.com/
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Aerial Lee

Aerial Lee

Aerial Lee is a Marketing Specialist at eLuma Online Therapy. She earned a Bachelor's degree in Digital Marketing from Utah Valley University. She loves working at eLuma and is passionate about its mission in changing lives for the better.