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University News | Parkinson's | Welch-Schmidt Center for Communication Disorders

2021 SPEAK OUT! & LOUD Crowd Grant Awarded to UCM

By Jeff Murphy, September 21, 2021

Martin Building

The University of Central Missouri's Welch-Schmidt Center for Communication Disorders has received funding for the third  year from  the Parkinson Voice Project 2021 SPEAK OUT! & Loud Crowd Grant Program.


WARRENSBURG, MO -- Parkinson Voice Project, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, has named the University of Central Missouri Welch-Schmidt Center for Communication Disorders as a recipient of its 2021 SPEAK OUT! & LOUD Crowd Grant Program. A full listing of the 2021 grant recipients can be found here.

Grant recipients include hospitals, university speech therapy clinics, private practices, and nonprofit organizations. Each clinic receives therapy supplies and free training for their speech-language pathologists and graduate students.  UCM is committed to offering Parkinson Voice Project’s effective speech therapy program in Warrensburg and surrounding areas.  Open enrollment is currently available to area residents at no cost.

“Up to 90% of people with Parkinson’s are at high risk of losing their ability to speak, and swallowing complications account for 70% of the mortality rate in this patient population. Our vision at Parkinson Voice Project is to make our highly effective speech therapy program accessible to people with Parkinson’s worldwide,” said Parkinson Voice Project’s Founder and CEO Samantha Elandary.

This grant program honors Daniel R. Boone, Ph.D., CCC-SLP, a world-renowned speech-language pathologist and voice expert who recognized in the late 1950s that individuals with Parkinson's could improve their communication by “speaking with intent." Parkinson Voice Project’s program combines individual and group therapy to convert speech from an automatic function to an intentional act.

“We are very excited to, once again, have been named a recipient of the Parkinson Voice Project Grant. This allows us to continue providing specialized training in the evaluation and treatment of voice disorders related to Parkinson’s disease as well as provide funding for members of our local and surrounding communities to receive these services,” said Bonnie Slavych, assistant professor of communication disorders at the WSCCD. “Additionally, our voice clinic now offers these services via telehealth so that individuals who are unable to come in person may still receive the treatment they need and want. We look forward to continue helping our neighbors and friends regain their voices so that they will have the confidence and satisfaction of participating in activities that they may have thought no longer possible.”

When individuals with Parkinson’s lose their speaking abilities, it has a tremendous impact on their lives by making it difficult to converse with family and friends, carry on telephone conversations, and even order food at restaurants. This program will consist of weekly voice therapy sessions while also offering camaraderie, support, and encouragement to patients as they battle the progressive, degenerative effects of Parkinson’s disease.

The WSCCD is a self-contained unit that provides clinical training and is situated in an 8,600-square-foot area on the lower level of the Martin Building at UCM. Students who are enrolled at UCM provide diagnostic and rehabilitative services to children and adults with communication and swallowing disorders from throughout the local community. 

To  learn more, contact Slavych at 660-543-8816 or

About Parkinson Voice Project:

Parkinson Voice Project is the only 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization in the world solely dedicated to helping individuals with Parkinson’s improve their speech and swallowing. The organization runs a speech therapy clinic in the Dallas-Fort Worth area and hosts the World’s Largest Parkinson’s Chorus.
Parkinson Voice Project hosts daily online speech practice sessions to support and encourage people with Parkinson’s globally. These sessions are available on the organization’s website.

Parkinson Voice Project has trained more than 3500 speech-language pathologists in its SPEAK OUT! & LOUD Crowd program, including clinicians in Australia, Canada, Israel, Italy, Greece, Japan, Korea, Malaysia, New Zealand, South Africa, Taiwan, and the United Kingdom.  To learn more, visit



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