By Leslee Bennett
Louisiana Tech’s Speech and Hearing Center will benefit from one of 20 grants from Louisiana Tech University’s Lagniappe Ladies women’s philanthropy group. The funding will provide new technology designed to train future speech-language pathologists and audiologists for careers and service to their communities.
Over 40 grant applications were received in the organization’s 12th year. Members of the group evaluate grant proposals from across campus and choose their favorites for awards of up to $5,000 each.
The Speech and Hearing Center provides clinical practicum experiences and rehabilitative services to individuals from diverse backgrounds who struggle with speech, language, swallowing, hearing and cognitive aspects of communication.
The Center also collaborates with people and organizations with information concerning human communication, specifically speech, language, and hearing.
The center has Speech-Language Pathology students who are required to have clinical experience with a variety of settings and clients before they can begin their careers as professional speech-language pathologists and audiologists.
A growing academic program and more demand for graduates of that program meant that the Center needed more equipment.
Enter the Lagniappe Ladies.
With the grant funds from the Lagniappe Ladies, the Speech and Hearing Center will be able to provide students with more hands-on training and new areas for faculty and staff research.
With this new technology, the center will be able to help those with neurological disorders like Parkinson’s Disease through an established partnership with Louisiana Tech’s Parkinson’s Resource Center, a collaborative public service center bringing together Nursing, Nutrition and Dietetics, and Speech-Language Pathology.
Daphne Washington, an instructor of speech pathology and AAC specialist, said she is very excited about the new upgrades the center has to offer.
“With the Parkinson’s Resource Center, we wanted to explore being able to provide services for speech and voice in our Speech and Hearing Center,” Washington said. “The new technology will give our graduate students experience working with individuals who have neurological disorders in the areas of voice.”
The Speech and Hearing Center will begin training on the Lee Silver Voice Treatment Program (LSVT), a program focused on helping Parkinson’s patients increase their vocal intensity, in December of the same year.
“There’s other implications for using LSVT with other areas like articulation and their speech sound production,” Washington said. “There’s added benefit to using this program, not just on the voice.”
Once the students complete LSVT training, they will be certified speech pathologists in that specialized area.
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