The Illinois Department of Human Services (IDHS) announced today the first-ever service delivery model for Early Intervention (EI) services through live video visits. Families will now be able to receive services through video for their infants or toddlers with disabilities or delays. Early Intervention services include help with movement, learning, interacting, behavior, and self-help skills.
“Thank you to all of our Early Intervention providers for their continued dedication to the infants, toddlers, and families of Illinois – and special thanks for your patience as the first-ever policy for Early Intervention live video visits was developed,” said IDHS Secretary Grace Hou.
In light of the COVID-19 social distancing guidelines, Early Intervention face-to-face services were suspended on March 16th. Since then, the IDHS Early Intervention team has been hard at work to secure an effective way to continue EI services, virtually.
Consideration was given to delivery procedures, consent, confidentiality and privacy, platforms, billing, accessibility, and equity. As a result, Early Intervention services can now be provided virtually over the internet with video and audio features and with the EI provider and family present in real time.
The therapy can be delivered over any platform so long as it is not public-facing, to ensure privacy. IDHS is also developing tip sheets to provide families with concise information about how the process will work along, with tips and recommendations to get the most out of live video visits.
The Illinois Telehealth workgroup developed guidance and training for live video visits Guidance and training were posted the evening of April 6, 2020. Families will begin hearing from EI providers this week as live video visits are launched.
Families can access EI services through the IDHS website.
Guidance and training for video visits can be found on the EI Clearing House website.