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 and group exercise called SPEAK OUT!® to help these individuals. The program was developed by the Parkinson Voice Project.

Since 2019, the Barkley Speech Language and Hearing Clinic has offered SPEAK OUT!® thanks to grant support from the Parkinson Voice Project. Candidates for SPEAK OUT!® are referred for individual speech-language treatment two to three times a week. The Barkley Clinic accepts Medicare and Medicaid, or individuals may self-pay. Lincoln Voice Warriors SPEAK OUT!® remains free of charge for participants who have completed the individual SPEAK OUT!® sessions.

Session Information

SPEAK OUT!® – Interested individuals should call the Barkley Speech Language and Hearing Clinic at 402-472-2071 to schedule an evaluation.


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.


Program Process

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 can be scheduled through the Parkinson Voice Project, this helps 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 8-12 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.

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.

Rhonda Heiserman of Lincoln reads out loud during her clinic session. The instrument measures the decibels of her speech.


Barkley Speech Language and Hearing Clinic