Speak Out December 2019 V2 DIGITAL EDITION
Out & about
Enthusiasm for Parkinsons project
SUNSHINE COAST SPEECH PATHOLOGISTS KAREN MALCOLM, CATHY SHAPTER AND LOUISE WILLIAMS, RECENTLY RETURNED FROM VISITING THE PARKINSON VOICE PROJECT, IN DALLAS, UNITED STATES. THE NAMBOUR-BASED SPEECH PATHOLOGISTS RECEIVED ONE OF FIVE INTERNATIONAL GRANTS
Parkinson Voice Project is the only 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organisation in the world solely dedicated to helping people with Parkinson’s improve their speech and swallowing. Two other Australian speech pathologists were also successful in receiving a grant to travel to Texas for the symposium: Kirstine Shrubsole from Southern Cross University and Colleen Kerr from Optimal Speech Pathology. Parkinson Voice Project’s SPEAK OUT!® & LOUD Crowd® Grant Program provides professional training and therapy supplies to speech therapy clinics. The trip to the US was an amazing opportunity for the Nambour-based speech pathologists to spend time with clinicians from the Parkinson Voice Project and other grant recipients from around the world, as well as individuals with Parkinson’s and their families. From the first day of the Parkinson Voice Project’s Leading with Intent symposium, the speech pathologists were overwhelmed by the generosity shown to them. The Parkinson Voice Project is funded by donations, mostly from individuals with Parkinson’s that they have treated and their families. Louise, Cathy and Karen were greeted members of the LOUD Crowd (individuals with Parkinson’s that participate in a weekly speech therapy group program) and family volunteers. These Texans committed time and finances, and were passionate to meet and communicate the importance of this therapy to the speech pathologists that had travelled from around the world.
The enthusiasm was contagious, and Cathy, Karen and Louise returned determined to increase patient access to this quality speech treatment. Parkinson Voice Project has developed a two-part therapy approach that strengthens the muscles used for speaking and swallowing by combining individual speech therapy (SPEAK OUT!®) with ongoing group therapy (The LOUD Crowd®). The program emphasises speaking with intent and converts speech from an automatic function to an intentional act. SPEAK OUT! consists of individual sessions and The LOUD Crowd consists of weekly speech therapy sessions and provides camaraderie, support, and encouragement for this patient population that is battling a progressive, degenerative condition. When people with Parkinson's lose their speaking abilities, this impacts their ability to effectively converse with family and friends, talk on the phone, and even order food in a restaurant. There is a wealth of information and resources for people with Parkinson’s, as well as health professionals on the Parkinson’s Voice Project website. The Parkinson Voice Project online training program is available to speech pathologists all over the world. There are now over 1500 SPEAK OUT!® providers worldwide. For more information or to register for online SPEAK OUT!® training please visit www.parkinsonvoiceproject.org
December 2019 www.speechpathologyaustralia.org.au
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