Barkley Speech Language and Hearing Clinic receives grant from Parkinson Voice Project

Barkley Memorial Center

Barkley Speech Language and Hearing Clinic receives grant from Parkinson Voice Project

25 Jul 2019     By Kelcey Buck

The Barkley Speech Language and Hearing Clinic at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln was awarded a 2019 SPEAK OUT!® & LOUD Crowd® Grant from the Parkinson Voice Project to provide speech therapy to individuals with Parkinson’s Disease. 

Through the SPEAK OUT!® & LOUD Crowd® program, the Barkley Clinic will begin offering an intensive therapy program for individuals who have Parkinson’s this fall to help them preserve their speech and voice. After an initial evaluation at the Barkley Clinic, participants in the SPEAK OUT!® & LOUD Crowd® program will attend three 40-minute individual sessions per week for four weeks. Following the 12 individual sessions, patients will be added to a group maintenance program they will attend once a week throughout the remainder of their lives. 

“The SPEAK OUT!® & LOUD Crowd® program seemed like a great opportunity for our clinic to help serve the needs of individuals with Parkinson’s,” said Kristy Weissling, associate professor of practice and coordinator of Barkley’s speech and language clinic. “It will also be an excellent learning opportunity for our speech-language pathology students.” 

The first year of the program will be funded through the grant from the Parkinson Voice Project, allowing participants to attend therapy free of charge. In addition, the grant provided funding for three speech-language pathologists to be trained, as well as all materials needed for the program. 

The Barkley Clinic was one of 149 recipients of the SPEAK OUT!® & LOUD Crowd® Grant in 2019. 

“Up to 90% of people with Parkinson’s are at high risk of losing their ability to speak, and aspiration pneumonia caused by swallowing issues accounts for 70% of the mortality rate in this patient population. Awarding these grants has substantially increased access to quality speech treatment to those living with Parkinson’s,” said Samantha Elandary, Parkinson Voice Project’s Founder and Chief Executive Officer. 

The grant program honors Daniel R. Boone, Ph.D., a world-renowned speech-language pathologist and voice expert who recognized in the late 1950s that individuals with Parkinson’s could improve their communication if they spoke with “intent.” The speech therapy program is based on Boone’s teachings and combines individual therapy (SPEAK OUT!®) with ongoing group therapy (The LOUD Crowd®) to convert speech from an automatic function to an intentional act. 

The Parkinson Voice Project is the only non-profit organization in the world solely dedicated to helping individuals with Parkinson’s improve their speech and swallowing. The organization runs a speech therapy clinic in the Dallas-Fort Worth area, and host the world’s largest Parkinson’s Chorus, made up of nearly 100 individuals with Parkinson’s whose voices have been restored through their program.

The vision of the Parkinson Voice Project is to replicate it’s SPEAK OUT!® & LOUD Crowd® program across the globe. More than 1,600 speech-language pathologists from around the world have been trained to date. 

For more information about the program, visit

Special Education and Communication Disorders