The Marshall University Speech and Hearing Center is the first clinic in West Virginia to offer an innovative voice treatment for individuals with Parkinson’s Disease. The new therapy regime, SPEAK OUT! And LOUD Crowd, was developed at the Parkinson Voice Project and founded on the principles of Dr. Daniel R. Boone.

This technique places emphasis on speaking with intent and converting speech from an automatic function to an intentional act, according to Ernay Adams, a speech-language pathologist at the Speech and Hearing Center.

“I traveled to the Parkinson Voice Project in Dallas, Texas, to become the first therapist certified from West Virginia, and I am so excited for the positive impact this treatment will have on those we serve,” Adams said. “The training provided at the Parkinson Voice Project was the best I have ever received. Not only did I learn this life-changing therapy technique, I met and witnessed people with Parkinson’s Disease who are not only communicating, but thriving because of this type of therapy. It made me a believer, and I know we can have the same type of impact in our own community.”

The university’s Speech and Hearing Center is offering SPEAK OUT! and LOUD Crowd beginning in August 2018 as part of a grant it received from the Parkinson Voice Project. The center is actively recruiting its first clients to begin therapy.

“If you or a loved one is diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease, it is never too early to begin speech therapy, as 90% of people with Parkinson’s Disease will experience communication difficulty at some time,” Adams said. “Once a client completes four weeks of SPEAK OUT! training, the LOUD Crowd is a group therapy that meets once a week, and LOUD Crowd will be offered free of charge to the client as part of the grant.”

Adams will offer information sessions for interested community members who wish to learn more about the new service. These sessions will take place at the following locations:

  • 6 p.m., Tuesday, July 17, at the Cabell-Huntington Hospital Parkinson’s Support Group meeting located in the Edwards Comprehensive Cancer Center Resource Room in Huntington;
  • 6 p.m., Tuesday, August 7, at the Kings-Daughters Medical Center (KDMC) Parkinson’s Support Group located in the KDMC Health Education Center in Ashland, Kentucky;
  • 6 p.m., Monday, August 20, at the Charleston Parkinson’s Support Group, which meets at Blessed Sacrament Church on 305 E Street in South Charleston, West Virginia.

For more information on the SPEAK OUT! And LOUD Crowd programs, contact Adams at or by calling (304) 696-3644.

Originally from Megan Archer for Marshall University Communications.