Parkinson Voice Project, a nonprofit focused on speech therapy, is accepting applications for its National Grant Program that aims to assist nonprofit Parkinson’s groups and patient clinics in bringing its speech therapy approach to patients in their communities.
The program will award a total $650,000 in grants to speech therapy clinics and Parkinson’s organizations that want to use its two-part approach: SPEAK OUT! and The LOUD Crowd. Applications, available on the group’s website, are being accepted through March 2.
To date, Parkinson Voice Project — which has as its mission 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” — has trained nearly 600 speech-language pathologists in 42 states in its approach.
Grants will provide professional training and supplies to speech therapy clinics and nonprofits nationwide to help them set up a program.
“Our goal is to restore the speaking abilities of more people with Parkinson’s. We know Parkinson’s affects more than 1 million people in the U.S. and 89% are at high risk of losing the ability to communicate. This grant program will allow us to bring our highly effective speech therapy program to communities in need of these services,” Samantha Elandary, chief executive officer and founder of the Parkinson Voice Project, said in a press release.
The two-part approach begins with SPEAK OUT!, in which Parkinson’s patients are given individual speech therapy that includes speech, voice, and cognitive exercises conducted by a trained speech-language pathologist.
Next, The LOUD Crowd uses group therapy to help people maintain speaking abilities.
Speech therapy is important to Parkinson’s patients not only for speaking but for many other aspects of life, from socializing to dining out, since the muscles used in speaking are also used for swallowing, the group said in the release.
Grant winners will be announced in April, which is Parkinson’s Awareness Month.
Applicants must guarantee they have the physical space and clinical staff needed to provide both individual and group speech therapy to people with Parkinson’s. Additional eligibility requirements are provided here.
This national grant program honors Daniel R. Boone, a speech-language pathologist and voice expert who developed the methodology being used by Parkinson Voice Project. In the late 1950s, Boone discovered that people with Parkinson’s could improve their communication if they spoke with what he called “intent.” He is a former president of the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA).