SPOKANE, Wash. — A variety of specialty speech, voice and audiology clinics will be offered this fall by the University Hearing and Speech Clinic, including one available nowhere else in Spokane.

The clinic, a joint program of Washington State University and Eastern Washington University, serves patients ranging from professional voice users such as singers and teachers to those with Parkinson’s disease and advanced hearing loss, and works with infants to elderly adults. They charge on a sliding fee scale based on income, and can bill Medicaid and insurance companies for services. The clinic is housed in a new facility in the Health Sciences Building at Riverpoint, with the latest equipment. Specialty clinics are conducted by students working toward their professional graduate degrees, under the supervision of faculty.

The Lingraphica System is a user-friendly medical device that enables those with acquired communication deficits, particularly aphasia and apraxia, to communicate. The computer-based therapy tool allows patients to communicate without words, using a picture language that is translated into spoken audible English. The system also provides therapeutic benefits for a wide range of patients with aphasia, including patients many years after the onset of stroke or head injury. The clinic is the only provider of Lingraphica therapy in Spokane.

The Voice Clinic offers diagnostic and therapeutic services for a wide variety of voice problems related to loss of voice, voice quality, pitch and loudness, which may be due to organic or functional causes. Clinicians also provide advice for professional voice uses on proper voice use and vocal hygiene. High-risk clients for voice problems include people whose jobs require excessive daily use of voice, and those who are exposed to airborne fibers, gases, excessive noise and other environmental factors in the workplace.

The Auditory Processing Disorders Clinic is a collaborative venture involving graduate students and faculty in both audiology and speech-language pathology. The clinic provides evaluation, diagnostic and treatment services to children and adults who have normal hearing, yet experience unexplained difficulty in understanding what they hear. Services are available to children and adults who have difficulty attending to what they hear, understanding auditory information, comprehending the meaning of auditory messages, hearing speech in noise, or working with reading, writing, spelling or math.

Lee Silverman Voice Treatment serves people with Parkinson’s disease, helping them strengthen muscles around the vocal cords and speak with more volume and clarity than those receiving standard speech therapy. The clinic is conducted by Doreen Evans, director of the speech and hearing clinic, who is one of only a handful of clinicians in the area certified to provide LSVT therapy. At least 75 percent of those with Parkinson’s have a speech disorder that makes communication difficult, and nearly 50 percent have a swallowing problem. LSVT both improves speech and minimizes mild swallowing difficulties.

The Accent Modification Clinic aids foreign-born individuals in improving their spoken English. A set of practice exercises available on CD-ROM or cassette supplements the individualized learning program, which is based on a phonetic analysis of the client’s tape-recorded speech. Group instruction and practice, personalized training manuals and practice tapes, and a self-study program are included, with a tape-recorded reevaluation at the end of the clinic to measure success.

For more information on the hearing and speech clinic, or to schedule an appointment, contact them at (509) 358-7580, upcd@wsu.edu. Online: www.upcdclinic.spokane.wsu.edu.

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Note to editors: Patients who have benefited from treatment in these and similar clinics are available for inte