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Parkinson’s patients learn to SPEAK OUT!

Group sitting around a table

Participants in CSD LOUD Crowd program.

Illinois State University’s Eckelmann-Taylor Speech and Hearing Clinic received a grant from the Parkinson’s Voice Project. The grant includes training for the speech-language pathologists and graduate clinicians to provide an innovative voice treatment for individuals with Parkinson’s disease.

SPEAK OUT! with LOUD Crowd provides a two-part speech therapy program to help individuals with Parkinson’s regain and maintain effective communication. SPEAK OUT! places emphasis on speaking with intent and converting speech from an automatic function to an intentional act. After the patient completes the SPEAK OUT! Program, they transition into the LOUD Crowd. LOUD Crowd is a maintenance program which consists of weekly group sessions. LOUD Crowd provides support, encouragement, and accountability to the group members.

Individuals with Parkinson’s disease typically notice changes in their speech. Common changes in speech include speaking softly or in a monotone voice, hesitating before speaking, slurred speech, or speaking too fast. By participating in SPEAK OUT! and LOUD Crowd patients with Parkinson’s Disease are able to strengthen the muscles used for speaking and swallowing and teach them to speak with intent.

The Eckelmann-Taylor Speech and Hearing Clinic is currently taking new Parkinson’s patients to enroll in this program. To schedule an evaluation, please contact the clinic at (309) 438-8641.

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