CSD Implements Parkinson Voice Project Grant

Published on October 18,2021 by Rosemary Lavery

The Robbins Center at Emerson College received a grant from the Parkinson Voice Project.
Photo/Derek Palmer

Emerson’s Robbins Center will expand its clinical services to clients with Parkinson’s disease as the recipient of a 2021 SPEAK OUT! & LOUD Crowd grant from the Parkinson Voice Project.

The renewable grant includes free training in a treatment approach called “SPEAK OUT,” and therapy supplies for one Communication Sciences and Disorders (CSD) clinical instructor and any interested CSD graduate students. The College is committed to offering Parkinson Voice Project’s speech therapy program and expanding these services in Greater Boston.

“This grant will provide The Robbins Center graduate students with the necessary training to effectively serve many people with Parkinson’s disease,” said Barbara F Worth, clinical instructor in the Robbins Center, who applied for the grant in collaboration with clinical instructor Jocelyne Leger. “The SPEAK OUT program trains people to use an intentional voice so that they can be heard again at work, in their homes, and across all aspects of their lives.”

The program honors Daniel R. Boone, PhD, CCC-SLP, a world-renowned speech-language pathologist and voice expert who recognized in the late 1950s that individuals with Parkinson’s could improve their communication by “speaking with intent.” Parkinson Voice Project’s program combines individual and group therapy to convert speech from an automatic function to an intentional act.

“Up to 90 percent of people with Parkinson’s are at high risk of losing their ability to speak, and swallowing complications account for 70 percent of the mortality rate in this patient population. Our vision at Parkinson Voice Project is to make our highly effective speech therapy program accessible to people with Parkinson’s worldwide,”said Parkinson Voice Project’s Founder and CEO Samantha Elandary in a press release.

Grant recipients include hospitals, university speech therapy clinics, private practices, and nonprofit organizations.