Danley Awarded Speak Out! Grant for Graduate Training at U of A Speech and Hearing Clinic

Pictured from left: Graduate students Jennifer Andrews, Katie Richmond, Cassidy Collier, Lauren Lynch and Caroline Brinkley.
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Pictured from left: Graduate students Jennifer Andrews, Katie Richmond, Cassidy Collier, Lauren Lynch and Caroline Brinkley.

Graduate students in the Communication Sciences and Disorders Program will have the opportunity to help individuals with Parkinson's disease improve their communication skills, thanks to a grant from the Parkinson Voice Project. 

Parkinson Voice Project is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization dedicated to training speech-language pathologists to deliver voice therapy to people living with Parkinson's disease. 

Each year a select number of university clinics are awarded the Parkinson Voice Project's Speak Out! Grant. Jessica Danley, clinical education coordinator for CDIS, authored the submission to secure the grant for the U of A Speech and Hearing Clinic. The grant, estimated at a $5,000 value, gives graduate students free access to advanced clinical training and online access to a database of materials needed to implement the therapy program. Students also receive discounted professional development from the Parkinson Voice Project after graduation from the CDIS program. This is the second year in a row Danley has been awarded this grant.

Graduate student Melissa Leffel participated in the training this year and reported, "I am incredibly thankful to have been trained in the Speak Out! Therapy intervention for patients with Parkinson's disease. I learned so much about how Parkinson's affects the voice (among other things), and I thoroughly enjoyed being able to provide some hope to these patients through this intervention. As a graduate student, I was able to model and provide the Speak Out! Therapy protocol, and then help facilitate the Loud Crowd! Maintenance program for the patients who graduated from Speak Out! I loved getting to know the patients through this program and help them learn to be confident with their changing voice and tell their stories with intent!"

The grant will provide CDIS students with advanced and professional-level voice therapy training. Students will then participate in delivering the therapy program to patients at the U of A Speech and Hearing Clinic, under the supervision of a licensed and certified speech-language pathologist. 

"April is Parkinson's Awareness month. We want the Parkinson's community to know the CDIS program is preparing the next generation of speech-language pathologists to meet their unique clinical needs," Danley said.

Individuals with Parkinson's disease who want to learn more about this new program are encouraged to contact the U of A Speech and Hearing Clinic for additional information.

If you're interested in learning more about these services or scheduling an appointment, please call the clinic at 479-575-4509 or email spclinic@uark.edu.

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