Danley Leads the U of A Speech and Hearing Clinic in SPEAK OUT! Voice Project

Jessica Danley outside the U of A Speech and Hearing Clinic.
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Jessica Danley outside the U of A Speech and Hearing Clinic.

Students in the U of A Communication Sciences and Disorders (CDIS) program now have the opportunity to help people with Parkinson's Disease improve their communication skills.

Each year a select number of university clinics are awarded a Parkinson Voice Project SPEAK OUT! grant. Jessica Danley, clinical education coordinator for CDIS, authored a submission to secure the U of A Speech and Hearing Clinic grant.

Parkinson Voice Project is the only 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization in the world solely dedicated to helping people with Parkinson's Disease improve their speech and swallowing. The organization trains speech-language pathologists to deliver voice therapy to people living with the disease.   

"Up to 90 percent of people with Parkinson's are at high risk of losing their ability to speak. Our vision at Parkinson Voice Project is to make our highly effective speech therapy program accessible to people with Parkinson's worldwide," said founder and CEO Samantha Elandary. 

The $3,500 grant will provide CDIS students with professional-level voice therapy training. Participating students receive free access to advanced clinical training, workbooks and an online database of materials necessary to implement the therapy program.   

Following completion of the SPEAK OUT! training, students will deliver components of the therapy program to patients at the U of A Speech and Hearing Clinic, under the supervision and guidance of a licensed and certified speech-language pathologist.   

"The SPEAK OUT! grant allows our students to give back to the Northwest Arkansas community and learn how to deliver vocal rehabilitation to adults in a supportive clinical environment," Danley said. "There is also a teletherapy option, a valuable alternative for more vulnerable members of our healthcare community. We are very excited about this educational opportunity."

Individuals with Parkinson's Disease who want to learn more about this new program are encouraged to contact Courtney Vaughn at the U of A Speech and Hearing Clinic at 479-575-4509 or email spclinic@uark.edu.

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