Sidekick Therapy Partners
Sidekick employs approximately 120 SLPs across 26 districts in Middle and East Tennessee, primarily providing in-person speech and language services within the school in accordance to the child's IEP. We also serve clients through teletherapy and in our clinic location in Knoxville, Tennessee.
Schools/Health Care

Sidekick Teach-In Program

Initiative Category


Focus Areas

  • Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC)
  • Dialect
  • Multilingualism
  • Trauma Informed Care


Sidekick Therapy Partners is fully committed to achieving a diverse and inclusive workforce that prioritizes equity, belonging, and inclusion. We seek to be a pillar of inclusivity in the communities we serve where both teammates and patients can feel a strong sense of belonging.

Sidekick's Teach-In program was initiated in 2019 to provide opportunities for our therapists to grow their knowledge in a variety of clinical topics. These once-a-month learnings are presented by internal Sidekick therapists as well as external experts and partners and allows Sidekick therapists to receive one CMH credit hour for each session they attend, at no cost to the therapist. DEI topics are prevalent in the Teach-In program, as these are topics that have a direct impact on caring for our clients.

AAC, cultural and linguistic differences, multilingual assessment, considerations for evaluation when working with Appalachian English and/or African American English dialects, and trauma informed care in pediatric populations have all been teach-in topics. Each of these topics has been presented by an individual with direct experience with the topic and provided therapists with best practices for each topic, from application of AAC technologies, to considerations for language development in multilingual children, to considerations when evaluating clients with specific dialects, to raising awareness and recognition of trauma informed care when working with pediatric populations.

Additionally, an off-shoot of the Teach-In program, our Summer CMH event, is a 3-hour workshop open to Sidekick therapists and our school partners. In 2022 we partnered with Bilinguistics to present on recognizing speech and language impairments when working with clients who speak a different language than you do.

The Teach-In program continues to provide our therapists with valuable learning opportunities related to DEI topics. This year we are partnering with additional external experts on topics of interest for working with pediatric populations, and specifically focusing on multicultural/ethics topics. Historically we average 30 participants per session and are working to ensure this program meets therapists where they are and is easily accessible. Starting late 2023, we began to offer an online recording and quiz for Sidekick therapists to review the Teach-In at a later date and gain the CMH for the session if they were unable to attend live. This has increased our viewership by 10+ participants per session. Based on an average of 30 participants in each session, since its inception in 2019, the Teach-In program has offered over 1,300 hours of learning, with 210 hours of direct DEI topic learning! If we add our Summer CMH event to that number, it jumps to 510 hours of direct DEI topic learning! Sidekick Therapy Partners also publishes a weekly Sidekick Blog called “The Spotlight” which has published numerous articles to raise awareness and help combat unconscious bias, many of which tie directly to Teach-In topics.

For More Information

See the Sidekick Therapy Partners blog, Appalachian English and African American English: Considerations for Evaluation presentation slides [PDF], or contact Rebecca Fleckenstein at

This initiative was submitted on May 21, 2024.

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