LOUDcrowd-xlarge(1).pngThe students in the University’s Department of Speech-Language Pathology (SLP) and the Speech-Language Institute (SLI) are going to need a larger tool belt.

Thanks to a grant from the non-profit Parkinson Voice Project, Salus was one of 149 recipients to receive a 2019 SPEAK OUT! & LOUD Crowd grant for $5,000 that will be used for training students to help those with Parkinson’s disease improve their voice, swallowing and cognition.

“Our goal is to make sure our students have experience with Parkinson’s disease patients,” said Robert Serianni, MS, CCC-SLP, FNAP, interim SLP program chair and assistant professor in the department of Speech-Language Pathology. “And when they graduate, they’ve got this in their tool belt.”

Grant recipients include hospitals, university speech therapy clinics, private practices and nonprofit Parkinson’s organizations. Each clinical site will receive training for their speech-language pathologists and graduate students as well as speech therapy supplies. Some grant recipients will also receive funding to offset the cost of providing group speech therapy.

“We’re really focused on getting folks to the clinic so that they can participate in the program,” said Serianni.  “We have a few clients in the clinic that qualify now, but we need new people.”

Student, Faculty & Client at SLI
SPEAK OUT! is a treatment methodology that includes a speech pathologist working with a participant in an individual speech therapy training program. Once the participant hits a certain level, they move to what’s called LOUD Crowd, which is basically a maintenance program.

To join the Salus program, participants have to have had a diagnosis of Parkinson’s disease and have had received previous speech therapy services. Those with voice problems – like with nodules on the vocal chords that causes trouble producing voice - don’t qualify.

Serianni hopes to get the group up and running by early September. He would like to see 12 participants in the program, but there is not a maximum or minimum number of program participants.

“The opportunity to provide LOUD Crowd to the community helps SLI develop speech pathologists that are able to work with a variety of clients, especially those that have Parkinson’s disease,” he said. “SLI appreciates the opportunity for the Parkinson’s Voice Project grant to support growth of the programs. Students flourish in learning treatments that are applicable after graduation and the grants supporting their training will benefit them for years to come.”

Clients with the diagnosis of Parkinson’s disease or Parkinsonism who would like to participate in the program at SLI should contact 215.780.3150. They will be scheduled to participate in an individual evaluation to determine if they are a candidate for the program.

More About The Loud Crowd & Other Support Groups at SLI