Communication Disorders Program Receives Parkinson Voice Project Grant

May 14, 2018

CONTACT:    Dr. J. Dirk Nelson, 806-651-3501,

COPY BY:     Rana McDonald, 806-651-2129,

Communication Disorders Program Receives Parkinson Voice Project Grant


CANYON, Texas—The Department of Communication Disorders at West Texas A&M University has been named a recipient of a National SPEAK OUT!® & LOUD Crowd® grant through the Parkinson Voice Project. The nonprofit organization awarded more than $600,000 to speech therapy clinics and Parkinson’s disease organizations across the country.

The grant will provide WTAMU’s Speech and Hearing Clinic with additional resources and supplies to expand the existing SPEAK OUT! and LOUD Crowd programs. The department currently offers individual SPEAK OUT! therapy sessions, covered by most insurance providers, to individuals with Parkinson’s disease. The program trains the individual to speak with intent daily, resulting in communication that is more effective. WTAMU graduate students lead the sessions under the direction of a faculty member. The clinic also facilitates the LOUD Crowd, a voluntary group program developed by the Parkinson Voice Project. The LOUD Crowd offers patients a weekly opportunity to practice learned techniques as well as the chance to encourage other persons with Parkinson’s disease to live with intent.

The grant also provides the recipients with an invitation to the 2018 Lead with Intent Symposium this summer in Richardson. Presenters will include former First Lady Laura Bush and voice expert Daniel R. Boone.

The WTAMU Speech and Hearing Clinic faculty thanks the Parkinson Voice Project for its generosity in offering this grant. Faculty members look forward to sharing the expertise gained from the Parkinson Voice Project with individuals in the Panhandle region who are living with Parkinson’s Disease and helping them to continue communicating with loved ones.

The communication disorders program at WTAMU educates and prepares students on the procedures and processes of speech-language pathology. Under the supervision of faculty members, graduate students learn from hands-on opportunities through the WTAMU Speech and Hearing Clinic. The outpatient clinic serves community members from across the Panhandle in the treatment of voice, speech, language, and swallowing disorders. The clinic also proudly offers evaluation and treatment for hearing loss and more. The clinic is currently located at the Virgil Henson Activities Center, Suite 242 in Canyon. The clinic will move to the new WTAMU Amarillo Center in downtown Amarillo in the fall of 2018.


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