Seton Hall University has been selected as a 2021 SPEAK OUT!® & LOUD Crowd® Grant Recipient by the Parkinson Voice Project. Each year, the grant is open to graduate programs and clinical providers internationally, providing recipients with a training course that focuses on the Parkinson Voice Project's speech therapy program in addition to therapy supplies and materials. "The Parkinson Voice Project has a goal to share this effective program with people all around the world whose voices are impacted by Parkinson's Disease (PD) which aligns with the goals of our program mission" says Caryn Grabowski, Director of Clinical Education and Instructor in the Department of Speech-Language Pathology (SLP). As part of the grant, a number of Seton Hall's SLP students and faculty will receive resources and training to help improve the speech and voice of people with Parkinson's Disease.
It is the mission of the Parkinson Voice Project "to preserve the voices of individuals with Parkinson's and related neurological disorders through intensive speech therapy, follow-up support, research, education, and community awareness." The nonprofit organization achieves this goal in collaboration with speech-language pathologists to make their SPEAK OUT!® and The LOUD Crowd® programs accessible to people worldwide. Grabowski explains, "Their SPEAK OUT!® program is becoming the gold standard for SLP's serving folks with PD. This cutting-edge program will allow for our students to be trained in the evidence-based and clinically regarded approach for supporting common speech and voice changes associated with Parkinson's Disease. With this training, our students will be prepared to evaluate and support people with Parkinson's Disease in an advanced and specialized approach that is used by leading SLP's, preparing them for future employment."
Following the online training, students will have the opportunity to engage in case study discussions, clinical simulation experiences, and service delivery in research and within programs with community partners. The department will also use the tools provided to develop internal and community-based programming for clinical training and research purposes. Students who elect to complete their second-year research project with Professor Grabowski and Dr. Sona Patel will have the opportunity to use their training as a part of their experience. The SLP program also intends to offer specialty clinic training to small groups of students who will engage in telepractice and/or in person training for folks with PD in individual and group programming. Additionally, Parkinson Voice Project offers another component called The Loud Crowd® which is a group programming that allows many individuals with PD to come together to rehearse the skills learned in individual training. SHU speech-language pathology students will run these skill generalization and social support groups as well.
Through grant funded research and training opportunities such as this one, the speech-language pathology faculty continue to optimize the curriculum and experiences afforded to students throughout their time at Seton Hall. Through innovative research and special projects, SLP students contribute to work that advances the field and their understanding of speech-language pathology. Click here to learn more about the various SLP research laboratories to view projects and presentations by faculty and staff.