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Parkinson's Disease

Ninety percent of individuals diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease are at risk for having a weak voice which can lead to significant speech and swallowing issues.  UTHSC now offers the SPEAK OUT!® & Loud Crowd® Program, a Parkinson’s-specific intervention and support program to individuals of any age with this diagnosis.  The program begins with an information session designed to educate patients and their families about how speech, voice, and swallowing are impacted by the disease.  Next, patients are enrolled in twelve individual speech therapy sessions, the SPEAK OUT!® component, which incorporate a variety of speech, voice, and cognitive exercises.  Patients will receive a workbook from the Parkinson Voice Project which includes the goals addressed in therapy.  Because Parkinson’s Disease is progressive in nature, the patient is encouraged to perform daily at-home exercises that are demonstrated during therapy sessions.  Once a patient has completed the center-based therapy sessions, they will be invited to participate in weekly group sessions at UTHSC where participants continue exercises for speech, voice, and cognition and practice speaking with intent.  According to the Parkinson Voice Project, the LOUD CROWD® component of the program “provides accountability, camaraderie, education, and support” with the goal of maximizing skills that will enable each individual to function as independently as possible in home, work, and social environments.

Faculty training and participant materials for the Speak Out!® and Loud Crowd® Program
are provided via grant funding from

Parkinson's Voice Project logo

Last Published: May 22, 2020