Nine out of 10 people with Parkinson's Disease are at risk of developing a weak voice that can lead to serious speech and swallowing issues. The Barkley Speech Language and Hearing Clinic is proud to offer an effective program that combines education, individual speech therapy (SPEAK OUT!®), and group speech therapy (The LOUD Crowd®) to help these individuals. The program was developed by the Parkinson Voice Project.
Since 2019, the Barkley Speech Language and Hearing Clinic has offered the SPEAK OUT!® and LOUD Crowd® project, thanks to grant support from the Parkinson Voice Project. Candidates for SPEAK OUT!® are referred for individual speech-language treatment three times a week. The Barkley Clinic accepts Medicare and Medicaid, or individuals may self-pay. The LOUD Crowd® remains free of charge for participants who have completed the SPEAK OUT!® sessions.
SPEAK OUT!® – Interested individuals should call the Barkley Speech Language and Hearing Clinic at 402-472-2071 to schedule an evaluation.
The LOUD Crowd® – Conducted via Zoom beginning at 1 p.m. on Tuesdays.
Good Candidates for SPEAK OUT!®
- Can tolerate 40-minute therapy sessions.
- Follow simple commands.
- Respond to modeling and cueing.
- Complete daily exercises individually or with a dependable person to assist.
- Commit to the treatment schedule.
- Show improvement in two or more areas when using intent: breath support, volume, vocal quality, articulation, intonation of speech.
Individuals interested in participating in the speech therapy program begin with a speech evaluation at the Barkley Speech Language and Hearing Clinic.
The next step of the program is a Parkinson's Information Session, which is available online, to help patients and families understand basic information about Parkinson's and how speech and swallowing can be affected. The session explains how using intention can improve one's communication, as well as other motor movements, such as walking and writing.
The individual portion of the program, SPEAK OUT!®, typically consists of 12 speech therapy sessions. Together, the patient and speech-language pathologist complete speech, voice, and cognitive exercises using a specialized workbook that Parkinson Voice Project provides to every SPEAK OUT!® patient in the U.S. The program emphasizes speaking with intent and converts speech from an automatic function to an intentional act.
Upon completion of SPEAK OUT!®, patients transition to The LOUD Crowd®, which consists of weekly group sessions where SPEAK OUT!® exercises are performed and participants practice speaking with intent. The LOUD Crowd® provides accountability, camaraderie, education, and support.
Due to the progressive nature of Parkinson's, daily home practice and ongoing follow-up is necessary. Individuals are expected to complete the SPEAK OUT!® exercises twice a day for 25 days, then once a day for the rest of their lives.
Barkley Speech Language and Hearing Clinic